Scripture Reflections – Sunday, May 13th, 2012

Acts 10:25-26; 34-35; 44-48;  1Jn4:7-10; Jn 159-17

6th Sunday of Easter

What better tribute to mothers can the Scriptures offer than to focus on Love?

In the first reading, Peter remarks that , “In truth I see that God shows no partiality.”  Meaning – God loves everyone  the same.

The first letter of John includes this line: “In this is love: not that we have loved God, but that he loved us.”   The headline-grabbing story of salvation history is NOT the human response to God’s love – although every day women and men perform quiet and beautiful acts of love towards one another – but God’s overwhelming embrace of the human race.

The readings culminate with Jesus’ simple command in the gospel of John that incorporates everything else:  “Love one another as I love you.”

From every pulpit in the last few weeks, in every issue of my local Catholic newspaper I’ve been hearing and reading about what appears to be a growing confrontation between the U.S. bishops and the Obama administration.   While not limited to the pending health care legislation, the mandate to include contraceptions and abortafacients in all health plans seems to be the catalyst.

The issue is a serious one  – history has demonstrated without a shadow of a doubt that  when Church and State get mixed up in each other’s business both are made corrupt and ineffective – but whereas governments come and go, there is only one Church, and the lasting effects of such corruption more easily become entrenched.   Both Church and State must be vigilant to honor the 1st Amendment in its’ letter and spirit.

The health care reform package now working its’ way through several Supreme Court decisions, however, is the greatest piece of social justice legislation crafted by our leaders since the creation of Social Security and the programs of the “Great Society”  during the Johnson administration.  It is motivated by the same vision – that our society will ultimately be judged not how we treat the rich, but on how we treat the poor.

Didn’t Jesus say things like that, too?

Surely there must be some way for Church and State to find common ground that makes the right to health care a reality while not forcing any Catholic nor any other believer to violate her or his Conscience?

In fact – it seems to me that Jesus’ commandment exhort us all to seek such a compromise.

What do you think? I would really like to know your opinion.

Jim Philipps (3rd millennium pilgrim)

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