"Encountering" Jesus Christ in America Today

 

"Reflections" regarding  ENCOUNTERING JESUS CHRIST IN AMERICA TODAY              (continued)

 

 

Prayer ~~  "Come Holy Spirit!  Come and transform the hearts of all your people!  Come quickly, so we may at long last "see" the new heavens and new earth!" 

 

 

Growing Respect for Human Rights

God is the author of LIFE  and created all people to be FREE and not under the authority of their governments.  

 
Life, itself, is very "precious" because it is a gift to us from God.    

 It is a gift of love.

This gift was endowed to us at the moment of our conception by God!

 

 

No government, no person and no activist group has the right to take this gift away from us.

A human right that is being denied in many countries today, is the freedom to worship God and in many East Asian countries, the right to have children, but Pope John Paul II sees a growing support for governments that uphold the equality of human rights, opportunity and treatment of all their people. As citizens of a civilized country, we have a duty to the people of the world to maintain respect and regards for human rights.  

As Christians, it is our duty to "reach out" to the oppressed, the persecuted and those who are enslaved by their governments, "...for all that live by the sword shall perish with the sword."  (Matthew 26:52)    Our actions must reflect the morals and principles that come from Holy Scripture Jesus explains to us that He loves us, "As the Father hath loved me, I also have loved you." and then commands us, "Abide in My Love." (John 15:9)  

He instructs us saying, "This is my commandment, that you love one another, as I have loved you.  Greater love than this no man hath, that a man lay down his life for his friends.  You are my friends, if you do the things that I command you."  (John 15:12-14)

Jesus Christ, our Lord, set good examples for us.  Now we must follow in His footsteps. 

Our beloved Pope reminds us that,

"...THERE IS NO FREEDOM WITHOUT TRUTH!!!" 

 

The most basic of human rights are engraved in those essential qualities that make us human.  

This is the TRUTH because these rights are willed to each and every one of us by God!

No human authority has the right to infringe upon them even though a few in political power say otherwise.  That is why it is the responsibility of the Church to first educate lay people and then support them in  

"...law making, government and administration of justice so that legislation will always reflect those principles and moral values which are in conformity with sound anthropology { which is the study of the races, physical and mental characteristics, distribution, customs, etc. of mankind }  and advance the common good."

We must remember that we cannot compromise God's Law with the laws of society today.

 

We have to make sure the law reflects God's law!

 

It appears that society today tries to compromise this fact in order to justify the wrong being done.

  The phenomenon of globalization

"Globalization"  ~ The word itself sounds exciting and adventurous.  It means communicating and economically dealing with all "Four Corners" of the World.

The concept of "globalization" has greater repercussions in America.  It has been brought about by the technological advances in communication with geographically distant countries.  THE CHURCH IN AMERICA supports an economic globalization IF it will bring about greater unity among us with a desire to better serve one another.

BUT

Pope John Paul II reminds us that if it is dictated by a few, powerful people with only self-fulfilling motives, it will only bring about 

"...  the absolutizing  ( existing by itself without regard to anyone or anything else) of the economy, unemployment, the reduction and deterioration of public services, the destruction of the environment and natural resources, the growing distance between rich and poor..." 

and unfair competition which puts the poorer nations at a distinct disadvantage.

The sharing of wealth and technology to underprivileged countries is an act of kindness.

However, we must proceed with caution! 

 

It is our responsibility to see that the wealth is spread to the poor people in need of help  

and not just going to the country's leaders or powerful companies. 

 Cultural globalization

Our beloved Pope expresses some very legitimate concerns about the cultural globalization that is being produced by the power of the media.

The media such as television, radio, newspapers, magazines, billboards and advertisements are imposing a new value system based solely upon materialistic desires and not upon the values of the Gospel.

Often the media portrays a lifestyle that does not really exist in the real world or one that is attainable by only an elite few.  Unfortunately, this kind of cultural change may lead many, especially the youth, to feel that they have somehow failed when they are not able to obtain the lifestyle portrayed by the powerful media! This may lead to discouragement and even despair.

 

Growing urbanization

For the most part, the older and inner cities in the United States of America have deteriorated.  We see many empty houses and businesses that have closed or moved to the suburbs in order to follow the movement of the people from the inner city into the suburbs.  Unless the city, state and federal governments do something to help revive these cities, they will remain unchanged.  

Today, throughout most of the remainder of the American Continent,  we are seeing a growing move toward urbanization, where people are moving from the rural settings into the city.  

This is largely due to poverty and underdevelopment in the more rural areas.   Bright lights and busy sidewalks ~~  The people are being lured to the city by promises of prosperity.  But when this promise is not fulfilled they find out that they have been disillusioned.  It is this disillusionment that may lead to juvenile delinquency, and especially in the youth, violence and despair!

There may be loss of family traditions and because they may not continue to practice religious traditions, their faith may become weakened.

 

There may be deterioration of family values and morals.

  THE FAMILY is and will remain the basis of all good society because it forms the groundwork and foundation of our society.  When the "family" deteriorates, society is always adversely affected.  

 

Pope John Paul II reminds us that the various cultural, religious traditions are a means to help keeping our faith alive!  It is the same for the people who move into the city, seeking a better life for themselves and their families.  Previously, we could find distinct areas of the cities where people of the same ethnic heritage gathered to live in order to maintain and practice their own lifestyle and continue their specific religious traditions. 

BUT

Some of these people have become distanced from their cultural "roots."

 Just as with a growing plant, our FAITH needs roots! 

  If it has no roots, it will not continue to grow,

 let alone flourish ~~ 

THE CHURCH IN AMERICA is calling all of us to help these people rediscover their "roots." This gives us a great opportunity to evangelize the "Good News" of the Gospel to them.

 

Our Lady of Guadalupe

 

is gently asking each one of us to pray and become active

 

Apostles of this New Evangelization!!

New Message of Hope 

The Encounter with The Living Jesus Christ

Encountering
Jesus Christ in America Today
The Path of Conversion

The Path to Communion

The Path  to
Solidarity