17 Sep 2016

This Week Letter – September 18, 2016

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Dear Parishioners and Friends,


” Hear this, you who trample upon the needy and destroy the poor of the land” (Am 8, 4). Amos’ warnings in the first reading correspond with the previous tradition of the Old Testament: “You shall not wrong any widow or orphan. If ever you wrong them and they cry out to me, I will surely listen to their cry. My wrath will flare up, and I will kill you with the sword; then your own wives will be widows, and your children orphans. If you lend money to my people, the poor among you, you must not be like a moneylender; you must not demand interest from them. “(ex. 22:21-24).

In the Catechism a similar procedure is named: “sins that cry out to heaven”. Among them are hurting the poor, widows and orphans and withholding payment to employees. In the Scriptures, this last case is placed on alert: ” whoever withholds means to life, kills his neighbor, pours out his blood, and deprives the worker’s pay” (Sir 34, 22). Saint James the Apostle adds in his letter: “here are calling out the wages of the laborers, the reapers who worked your fields, those which you withheld, and their cry came to the ears of the Lord of hosts” (James 5:4).

The prophet Amos was not received among those to whom he spoke, though he did not disapprove of wealth as such. He only criticized dishonesty and harm, which takes place during its acquisition.  The prophecy of the Prophet however was fulfilled. He warned his audience that what would follow was the fall of the Kingdom, if they would not depart from their sins against the poor and oppressed.

The Church in this day and age often intuitively returns back to his teaching. Everyday life provides an occasion in which a quick profit means contempt for human dignity. This happens due to unemployment, unfair pay or the unfair treatment of employees.

Recall the words of John Paul II at the Sanctuary of Mercy in Łagiewniki: “the Church reads anew the message of mercy, to effectively bring the next generations the light of hope. She continuously asks God for mercy for all people. At any time, in any period of history-and especially in the period so crucial as this, our church cannot forget about prayer, which is a cry for God’s mercy against the various evils that weigh over humanity, and what it threatens. (…) The more human consciousness succumbs to secularization, the more it loses a sense of meaning of the word ‘mercy’ – the more humanity moves away from God, away from the mystery of mercy-the more the Church has the right and the duty to beseech the God of mercy “.

Less than a month remains to the  100-anniversary celebrations of our parish. I encourage and welcome all to be enriched by your presence at Church during a solemn mass and a banquet in the “Chateau Ritz”. God bless you!