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93. Whether believers or not, we are agreed today that the earth is essentially a shared inheritance, whose fruits are meant to benefit everyone. For believers, this becomes a question of fidelity to the Creator, since God created the world for everyone. Hence every ecological approach needs to incorporate a social perspective which takes into account the fundamental rights of the poor and the underprivileged. The principle of the subordination of private property to the universal destination of goods, and thus the right of everyone to their use, is a golden rule of social conduct and "the first principle of the whole ethical and social order" (Laborem Exercens). The Christian tradition has never recognized the right to private property as absolute or inviolable, and has stressed the social purpose of all forms of private property. St. John Paul II forcefully reaffirmed this teaching, stating that "God gave the earth to the whole human race for the sustenance of all its members, without excluding or favouring anyone" (Centesimus Annus). These are strong words. He noted that "a type of development which did not respect and promote human rights – personal and social, economic and political, including the rights of nations and of peoples – would not be really worthy of man" (Sollicitudo Rei Socialis). He clearly explained that "the Church does indeed defend the legitimate right to private property, but she also teaches no less clearly that there is always a social mortgage on all private property, in order that goods may serve the general purpose that God gave them." Consequently, he maintained, "it is not in accord with God's plan that this gift be used in such a way that its benefits favor only a few." This calls into serious question the unjust habits of a part of humanity. (World Day of Peace 1990)
Source : Laudato Si'
Dear parishioners of St. Andrew,
In preparation for the exchange of peace at every Mass, the priest prays: “Lord Jesus Christ who said to your Apostles: Peace I leave you, my peace I give you; look not on our sins, but on the faith of your Church, and graciously grant her peace and unity in accordance with your will; who live and reign for ever and ever.” This brief prayer is filled with the Easter message.
First of all, the priest directs this prayer to the “Lord Jesus Christ” and not, as is ordinarily the case, to God the Father. This is a bold proclamation of faith. To say that Jesus is Lord is to say that he is God, as did St. Thomas the Apostle after the resurrection (John 20: 28). To say that Jesus is the Christ is to say that he is the anointed one, the long-promised Messiah and Savior. Therefore, to say “Lord Jesus Christ” is to proclaim that Jesus is both fully human and fully God; the man Jesus who was born of the Virgin Mary is also Messiah and God.
The prayer then recalls the Lord’s promised gift of peace to the Apostles: “Peace I leave you, my peace I give you” (John 14: 27). This is no ordinary peace. It is the peace of Christ, a peace that no one and nothing else can give. Christ does not give peace as the world gives it. His peace is that of reconciliation, justice and mercy. After his resurrection, Christ greeted the Apostles by saying: “Peace be with you.” We recall and are renewed in this peace every time we gather at the altar of the Lord. It is the same peace that we share with one another in the sign of peace.
The priest then says: “Look not on our sins but on the faith of your Church.” This expresses the dual reality of sin and faith in the community of believers. Even after the rebirth of baptism, each of us has sinned. We beseech the Lord to look not upon our individual sins but rather on the faith of the Church which we profess and believe. Only the gravest sin can completely separate us from the communion of the faithful in the Church. We must remain part of the believing community so as to be faithful to Christ and free from sin. The Church on earth is a pilgrim church moving forward in faith to the fulfillment of the Kingdom of God. The Church in heaven lives that Kingdom in its fullness. We profess the faith within the communion of the Church so that we can move forward on the way of holiness of life and one day join the Church victorious in the blessedness of heaven where faith is fulfilled.
Finally, the prayer asks that the Lord “graciously grant” the Church “peace and unity in accordance with [his] will.” Peace and unity not dissention and division are signs of the Kingdom of God and are to characterize the Church. This includes the Universal Church, the local Church (i.e., the diocese), the parish church and even the domestic church which is the family. We are to conform our lives to His divine will so that we might live to the full these gifts of peace and unity. For that reason, the prayer asks for peace and unity “in accordance with your will,” the will of the Lord Jesus Christ who lives and reigns for ever and ever.
The prayers of the Mass are filled with theological truths and spiritual insights. This particular prayer speaks most eloquently of the Easter message of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, the interplay of personal sin and the faith of the Church community, and the gifts of peace and unity which can only come from the Risen Lord.
May the Lord continue to bless you and your families with His love!
Msgr. Michael A. Souckar
@ 7:00 PM
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@ 7:30 PM
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