Guided by the Holy Spirit, Our Lady of Loreto Catholic Parish is a Eucharistic community that seeks to live the Word of God, instill the legacy of faith, and proclaim the love of Christ through service to all.
Monday - Saturday: 7:30am
Wednesday - Friday: 5:30pm
Saturday (Anticipatory): 5pm
Saturday 8:30 am-10am
September 14, 2014
For the Sake of the Ten.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
Today is the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. The feast originally commemorated St. Helena’s finding of the true cross. Today, though, too, the feast commemorates that the true cross, Jesus’ cross, is still being erected, still used as an instrument of execution in lands throughout the world. Of course I am referring in the extreme to the murder of Christians in the Middle East simply for being Christians and refusing to convert to Islam. But there are many ways in which Christians are being persecuted throughout the world, even here in the land of the free and home of the brave, even here in south-central Arapahoe County, even here in our own neighborhoods and homes. In Iraq Christians are told at gunpoint to convert to Islam or flee or die; here at home Christians, especially Catholics, are told at the point of public opinion to convert to popular culture or die deaths of ridicule, marginalization, and rejection.
When I was living in Jerusalem on my sabbatical, I was often invited to the table of the Christian Brothers who administered Bethlehem University, the Vatican’s institution of higher learning in the Palestinian Territories. Other guests often included students discerning vocations to the priesthood and religious life. One evening I asked a student why he, unlike so many of his Christian brothers and sisters, including members of his immediate family, was not leaving the Palestinian Territories and emigrating elsewhere. He had reflected a great deal on that question, he responded, and could point only to a question Abraham himself had posed of God regarding God’s intention to destroy Sodom for its sin and wickedness. “[Abraham] persisted: ‘Please, do not let my Lord be angry if I speak up this last time. What if ten (righteous people) are found there?’ For the sake of the ten, [the LORD] replied, I will not destroy it” (Gen 18:32). This young Christian intended to stay and be the best Christian he could be despite the prejudice and persecution he was enduring and knew he would be made to suffer if for no other reason than to stay the hand of God.
I hold up this young man’s witness for our young people today, for us, and for all our brothers and sisters here at home. In a land where some seek to create a caliphate, an Islamic state, Christians will be crucified. In a land where many are “hell-bent” on creating a secularist society, we will be ridiculed and excluded. But as long as there is one, or ten, or one hundred righteous people we will see it really is true that Jesus came so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life, that the world might not be condemned but saved.
In the crucifix which hangs above the altar, in the sunburst below Jesus’ feet, is a relic of his true cross. Let the cross attract you to Jesus. Stay close to the cross, even in its shadow, so as to know its light. “For Jews demand signs and Greeks desire wisdom, but we proclaim Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God” (I Cor. 1:22-24).
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Our Lady of Loreto Catholic Parish
18000 E. Arapahoe Rd. Foxfield, CO 80016 Church Office