As Christians, we must open our arms to all

Re: “Religious tolerance” (God Lives, Dec. 27).

A heartfelt thank you for Msgr. Owen Campion’s wise warning concerning mindless prejudice against Muslims, immigrants and refugees. Many of these dear people have lost everything: homes, property and even family members. Often, their home countries did not allow Christian missionaries or evangelism among Muslims. This may be the first time they experience real religious freedom and have the opportunity to learn that our Lord Jesus is more than just a great prophet — but only if Christians meet them with love, kindness and a clear proclamation of the Gospel in the power of the Holy Spirit. Let us not allow carnal fear and selfish prejudice to rule our hearts and silence our witness. “The Spirit God has given us is no cowardly spirit, but rather one that makes us strong, loving and wise” (2 Tm 1:7).

Margret Meyer, Jacksonville, Florida

Jesus’ youth

Re: “Christ’s hidden years” (Pastoral Answers, Jan. 10).

I enjoyed reading the response to the “hidden life” of Jesus. Similarly, I wrote a recent two-part series in our weekly bulletin for my two rural parishes on this topic. Fresh in my mind, even the response from Msgr. Charles Pope resonates with my writing, noting that we, too, have hidden lives, including those in our childhood where details are lacking. We do know Jesus studied well in the Scriptures, and so it becomes our devoted aim to study, pray and reflect on his word and grow in this mystery.

Interestingly, as I read from scholars and archaeological studies of Nazareth, this “son of the carpenter” must have developed from St. Joseph a trade. One noted reflection from Jesus’ reference — “My yoke is sweet and my burden light” — could very well have imagined his work on a finely perfected yoke for the oxen of the fields. Perhaps many a peasant farmer profited from his expertise! The more I wrote of this hidden life, the more I could stretch his prepared life to his public ministry. Still a mystery, but even the details need not deter our soul-searching. Our faith inclines us to move forward as we look deeper in the mystery we follow from Lent to Easter: the Paschal Mystery.

Father Melvin Dornak, Llano, Texas

Preaching on life

Re: “Duty to defend life” (God Lives, Jan. 10).

Msgr. Owen F. Campion hit a “hot button” when he wrote Catholics had a “duty to defend life.” Don’t misunderstand, I agree, but does Msgr. Campion realize most of the blame lies at the feet of the clergy? For years, Catholics never heard a word about contraception, abortion, etc., from our pulpits. It was a major complaint in the pro-life movement when I became active in the 1980s. Many, though not all, priests and bishops still do not speak about the issue to the laity. Never hearing about the sanctity of life from the Church is why so many in the pews do not think abortion, euthanasia, same-sex marriage and other moral issues should be their number one factor when deciding who to vote for. So don’t come down so hard on the laity — they are only reacting to what they are hearing from the Church.

Joan Jacobson, Lake Odessa, Michigan

Pro-life message

The big money news now is that the next Powerball winner might walk away one of these weeks with $1.5 billion.

But bigger money news, which goes mostly underreported, is the fact that every year American taxpayers give half a billion dollars to Planned Parenthood; and, every year, Planned Parenthood uses much of that money to perform or provide abortions, which they, themselves, once said, “kills the life of a baby after it has begun.”

Abortion kills human beings.

In other words, we have become accomplices in the killing of the most helpless members of our human family: the innocent unborn. And we wonder why there is so much senseless killing now in our society.

Richard A. Carey, Needham, Massachusetts
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