Making February Brighter
“Rejoice always, never cease praying, render constant thanks; such is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Full confession: February is my least favorite month. I am glad it is the shortest. Having said that, I am grateful for February. All time is a gift, even the days of February.
It is during this time that I wish to express gratitude to all those who continue to live your faith and support the mission of the Church though your daily living and the keeping of commitments. There seem to be daily stories that trumpet the latest failure or fear, both in the Church and the world. It can be easy to give in to fear, anger and cynicism, which is why I am grateful to the thousands and thousands of faith-filled people across our diocese who continue to live their lives with faith and hope; who continue to be kind and generous; who continue to love and serve.
While I don’t like the New England Patriots that much (the Chiefs really should have won that game three weeks ago!), I do admire their success and I don’t think it is a fluke. One of the famous sayings of their coach Bill Belichick, which is ingrained in the team’s culture, is: “Do your job.” For the Patriots, the success of the organization depends on everyone being faithful to their part of the team’s mission. If everyone is faithful to doing their own job well, then the entire team will be successful. This is true for any team, including the Church. Unfortunately, the opposite is true too. We have seen how damaging it is when even a small minority of people betray their promises and commitments.
I recently shared with someone that the Lord loves his Church and never leaves us. He associates her with himself so much so that the Church is described in Scripture as his Body (1 Cor 12:12). The Church is made up of each of us who are members of that Body through the sacraments. We are “those who are being saved” (Acts 2:47) even though we are still weak and often influenced by sin. We are already in the Kingdom of God that Jesus inaugurated in this world, and that Kingdom’s visible presence in the world is the Catholic Church. Membership in that Kingdom does not exempt us from the Cross but requires it (cf. Mt 16:24; Mk 8:34).
So, thank you for your many daily kindnesses, your prayers, your fidelity, your financial support for the supernatural work that the Lord has entrusted to us. You make February a lot brighter.
+James V. Johnston, Jr.
Bishop of Kansas City-St. Joseph
Catholic Key, February 22 issue
Pope Francis’ February Prayer Intention
Human Trafficking – For a generous welcome of the victims of human trafficking, of enforced prostitution, and of violence.
Bishop Johnston’s February Prayer Intention
For those who experience profound loneliness.