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The “Human Rights Ordinance”. 

As we heard in last Sunday’s Gospel, Jesus sat down to teach his “Sermon on the Mount”. Sitting was the ancient way. Teachers today, stand in front of a class, but in His day, the teacher sat down…and the students stood. Either way, it is now well known that Our Lord had (and has) some important lessons for you and me.

He starts that famous list of blessings that begin His famous “Sermon”, which is not really, a single speech, but is a collection     of several key ideas drawn from hundreds of sermons that He delivered around the Sea of Galilee. (And I can attest, after our   Holy Land pilgrimage last Fall, to what a spectacular spot that Mount of Beatitudes is, right on the northwest shore of the Sea) From there, Jesus gave us a wise collection of Blessings,   of which, each blessing on its own, can provide us “spiritual food for thought” for a lifetime.

The very word “Blessing” comes from a Hebrew word that means “happy.” And, it certainly makes sense that the “Way of the Lord” is exactly what leads us to a life that is fulfilled, at peace, and profoundly happy. Any alternative “way” that we choose, just cannot provide that lasting happiness that only comes from the God; God who after all, created us, and truly knows what makes us happy and what doesn’t. Have you had the opportunity to read the book gifted to each family at Christmas? This book, “Resisting Happiness”, written by Matthew Kelly, makes it quite clear, how so many of us, so unwittingly, embrace those alternative “ways and the temptations of this world, that virtually deny us that happiness we all so ardently desire.

Fr. Lou Gardiola, during our Eucharistic Mission this past week, reminded us of the power of the Miracle -Worker, that lies squarely in front of every single one of us…right there in the tabernacle; the God-Man, Our Savior Jesus Christ, who as God, is omni-present…is everywhere…in every created thing (which excludes no thing; nothing). His glorified Human and Divine Body is totally present in the Consecrated Host…in every Holy Communion we make and in every tabernacle throughout our wide world. He (and His precepts and teachings) is where true and lasting happiness lies

Today we have a multitude of aberrant, secular, diversions from the truth presented by the media and culture that we must daily pray for strength and clarity of mind to identify and resist. After 44 years, it appears (mind you I said “appears”) that we as a Christian Nation will bring the scourge of legalized baby killing to an end. However we need to become active in our resolve to make this happen by continuing to urge our elected representatives to do just that. The table is set, but our persistence is greatly needed. Please write, phone and e-mail your elected representatives to end legalized abortion and de-fund Planned Parenthood. Please do so this week and when you see me, please give me a spiritual lift by telling me you have done so. The addresses are available at the back of Church, or come by the office for a copy. Think “pro-life” and be (and/or stay) active in defense of all life.

The abortion issue revealed to us how activists change the meaning of words to achieve their objectives. Planned Parenthood spread the lie to women that it wasn’t a baby but merely a “fetus”; a “lump of cells”; an “un-viable tissue mass”.  The courts and America bought the lie that they were not killing a living person…and over 59 million babies have been “legally” exterminated. We must continue to be alert to the fact that today’s ‘activists’ in communion with the highly secular media, are still working overtime to deceive you into making several other evil behaviors appear “good“.

One of Obama’s first presidential actions was to eliminate an existing American Law, the Defense of Marriage Act, and set the table, with more re-defining of words. Activists have riddled the Marriage Issue with attempts to redefine “sex” to include multiple immoral obsessive acts. In addition they are trying to redefine (with a great deal of success so far) the word “gender” so that it will include “homosexuals” and so-called “trans-genders”. Homosexuality is not a gender…it is a behavior. Yet, the activists have succeeded in redefining marriage, (with great assistance of our past president). This is the sacrament of Marriage that our Creator defined from the beginning of creation, as being the joining of one man and one woman for the purpose of procreating children.

Right here in Jacksonville, the activists are back, after two failed attempts to deceive Jacksonville citizens and City Council Members. They are hell-bent on expanding the already sufficiently comprehensive “Human Rights Ordinance”.  Ever the wordsmiths, they want to include language that will needlessly force citizens to accept (against their consciences) and within their own lives and livelihoods, the immoral actions and behaviors of persons which are deeply offensive and objectionable. We need to vocally let our local Government leaders and councilpersons know that they should vote “No” on the proposed expansion of Jacksonville’ HRO. (Please see Bishop Estevez’s statement on this issue in included in today’s bulletin)

Yours in defense of our faith,fr denis