New Year musings from Bishop Malone

Wed, Jan 6th 2016 09:00 am
Bishop of Buffalo

• The motto for this Jubilee Year of Mercy is "Merciful like the Father." What will we allow this to mean in our lives? With God? With one another?

• Vatican II declared: "Upon the Muslims, too, the Church looks with esteem." How dare any American suggest that refugees who profess the faith of Islam be prohibited from entry into the United States solely on that basis?

• Studies show that teens who practice the faith most often have parents who practice the faith.

• Pray for vocations to the priesthood, consecrated life, diaconate and Christian marriage!

• College and university students: seek out and become active in your school's campus ministry community.

• Been to confession recently? One of the best New Year's resolutions we can make is to establish the habit of regular confession. I encourage you to consider these words of St. John Paul II: "Confession is an act of honesty and courage - an act of entrusting ourselves, beyond sin, to the mercy of a loving and forgiving God." Especially during this Jubilee Year of Mercy, let us turn to our merciful Lord in the sacrament of reconciliation on a regular basis.

• Of course, we cheer the Bills and the Sabres on to victory. Yet recall: Jesus Christ has already won the ultimate victory for our salvation. Let us all share in the joy of His victory!

• Every year, Catholic Charities serves over 140,000 people of all ages, races, faiths and walks of life.  Please be generous during the annual appeal!

• All of the baptized are called to evangelize, to invite others to Jesus by word and deed.

• As the Catechism of the Catholic Church reminds us, "Sunday Eucharist is the foundation and confirmation of all Christian practice (2181)." It is a mortal sin to miss Sunday Mass without grave reason (for example, illness, care of infants, inclement weather). For those who have others under their charge, it is a sin to hinder them from attending Mass without sufficient reason. However, let us not come to Sunday Mass only to avoid grave sin; rather, recall that "participation in the communal celebration of the Sunday Eucharist is a testimony of belonging and of being faithful to Christ and to His Church (CCC, 2182)." Let us renew our commitment to being faithful to Christ through our weekly attendance at Sunday Mass!

• It may sometimes happen that a priest is covering a Mass at your parish and suddenly becomes ill or cannot offer Mass because of hospitalization. If you are unable to attend another Mass that day, your Sunday obligation will be fulfilled. The Catechism states that: "If because of lack of a sacred minister or for other grave cause participation in the celebration of the Eucharist is impossible, it is specially recommended that the faithful take part in the Liturgy of the Word if it is celebrated in the parish church or in another sacred place according to the prescriptions of the diocesan bishop, or engage in prayer for an appropriate amount of time personally or in a family (2183)."

• May the year 2016 be one of good health and abundant blessings for you and your loved ones. In particular, may we all experience the richness of God's mercy in a memorable way during this Jubilee Year of Mercy! Happy New Year!


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