June 26, 2020

Editorial

Our need for God, and God’s need for us to be there for others

“Now more than ever before, our world, our society, our human family—indeed our Church—need to be reminded that we need God.”—Archbishop Emeritus Daniel M. Buechlein, Surprised by Grace: Memories and Reflections After 25 Years of Episcopal Ministry, page 111.

Are we people of prayer?

That question seems appropriate to ask as we continue moving into what appears for many of us to be uncharted territory.

A new illness that has taken hundreds of thousands of lives across the globe. Violence marring the streets of Indianapolis, where more than 100 people have been murdered in less than six months. Several people across the U.S. unjustly killed by police officers, which has resulted in civil unrest that reminds us that people of all races are created in the image and likeness of God, even if some people fail to recognize this basic truth of our common human condition.

Now may be a good time to remind ourselves—and our neighbors—about our brothers and sisters.

If Christ appeared today, and asked, “Who are your brothers and sisters,” what would your response be?

Would they include: the unborn child? The “Dreamers” who moved to the United States from a foreign country as young children with their parents? The African-American born in the

U.S. living down the street from you? The growing number of victims of violent crime in our cities? The inmate on death row waiting to be executed?

Our faith teaches us that all of these individuals—and each of us—are brothers and sisters in Christ. Together, we are the masterpiece of humanity that God created.

Each of us is unique in our Creator’s eyes, and much is demanded. None of us is perfect, but we must strive to see Jesus in others and be Jesus for others. The words sound so simple, but living out that tenet in today’s world is a challenge for many.

It doesn’t help when some in society bring divisiveness to our message of faith, hope and love—each so desperately needed in today’s world. They try to tell us to keep our faith inside our churches and not bring it to the public arena. In their opinion, it’s OK to practice it in our church buildings, but not in public.

But our faith demands more of us.

As missionary disciples, we are reminded that we must live out our faith in all we say and do. And we are also called to plant seeds of faith to all who cross our path.

Being a Christian today can be a daunting experience, but we must not let fear take hold of our hearts.

During the praying of the Angelus on June 21, Pope Francis invited Christians to “have no fear” in the face of hostility, persecution and even in the feeling of being abandoned by God. That is never the case, he noted.

“The life of disciples lies firmly in the hands of God, who loves us and looks after us. … The Father takes care of us, because our value is great in his eyes,” the pope said. “What is important is the frankness of our witness of faith … the condition of salvation, of eternal life with him in Paradise.”

As we continue on this earthly journey, we first and foremost must be people of prayer, unafraid to be witnesses of Christ in both public and private. Sometimes, our efforts will lead others to step outside their comfort zones and allow the light of Christ to shine through in their actions.

“In prayer, we speak to God and he speaks to us. We become open to God, and he directs us away from our

self-centeredness to the service of others,” the late Archbishop Emeritus Daniel M. Buechlein wrote in his 2012 book, Surprised by Grace: Memories and Reflections After 25 Years of Episcopal Ministry. “This is how prayer teaches us to hope—by reminding us that we are never alone and by placing us in the presence of God, the true source of our hope.”

We must also stand up to any wrongs we see in society, not be afraid to challenge the status quo, and work for systematic change.

As Archbishop Buechlein wrote, “Now more than ever before, our world, our society, our human family—indeed our Church—need to be reminded that we need God.”

As we face society’s challenges and all that awaits us, may his words always guide us.

—Mike Krokos

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