Bulletin, June 17, 2001
During this time of year we hold our young people in prayer. Many are facing transitions: to high school or college, or from school into the work place. On Tuesday of the past week we had the graduation Mass and ceremony for our Holy Family eighth graders. It was an important moment for them and their parents as well as the staff of our parish school. Mr. Morissette, along with various teachers, gave different awards to students. The ones for students who had written essays honoring their fathers especially touched me. Parents - and dads in particular – often do not realize how much they mean to their children.
This Sunday we celebrate Fathers’ Day. It is a good moment to recognize our dads and to pray for them. In some cases our dads are deceased. We have a filial duty pray for their eternal rest. Honoring dads who are alive can sometimes be more difficult than honoring moms. Typically, they are less open about expressing their emotions, but still those feelings are deep.
Because all of us are weak human beings, honoring parents will inevitably involve mutual forgiveness. Local Catholic writer, Mark Shea, gave the following reflection on 1 Peter 4:8 – “Above all hold unfailing your love for one another, since love covers a multitude of sins.”
This is a verse that is understood by every healthy family in the world. Love covers sins in different way than lies and deception cover sins. It covers them because love knows that sin is not the essence of who we are but a distortion and a deformity of who we are. When we sin, God walks in backwards and covers us as Shem and Japheth covered the drunken Noah. Love covers sin gently, so as to heal it like a bandage. Hatred exposes sin violently, so as to rip the wound open and rub in the salted words: "This is who you really are!" Today, cover sin with love. (Daily Word of Encouragement, http://www.e3mil.com/)
This coming week we have our annual Priest’s Days at Ocean Shores. It involves conferences, health check-ups and the opportunity to hear what others have been doing this past year. I will be there from Monday through Thursday afternoon. Fr. Ramon Velasco will be in the parish for Masses and emergency needs. In fact he will be one of the few priests in the Seattle area those three days.
You may have noticed in the Progress that Archbishop Brunett has assigned Fr. Velasco to Holy Family. We are most fortunate to have him with us. Besides celebrating English and Filipino Masses, Fr. Ramon has sufficient Spanish to celebrate Mass and hear confessions in that language. He will also be helping with the Archdiocesan Detention Ministry, especially visiting King County Jail for Mass, confessions and counseling.
Last week, U.S. District Judge Robert Lasnik made a disturbing ruling. In Erickson v. Bartell Drugs, he determined that not treating contraception prescriptions the same as other drugs violates the 1974 Civil Right Acts. For us Catholics – and also for many Evangelical Christians – this ruling has enormous implications. It is well known medically that chemical contraception (Norplant, Depo Provera, the Pill, etc.) not only can prevent conception, but also the implantation of a human embryo. Although very tiny, it is still a human life. You and I were once that size.
Judge Lasnik’s ruling will force many employees of Bartell’s Drugs to be involved in something contrary to their consciences. By participating in the employee-medical plan they will in effect be accomplices to chemical abortions. Moreover, a small fraction of every purchase at Bartell Drugs will go toward extinguishing tiny lives.
Back in 1968 when Pope Paul VI spoke out against artificial contraception, he foresaw enormous consequences: divorce, family breakdown, devaluing of women, treating children as commodities, etc. For that reason he reaffirmed what Christians have known and taught from the beginning: that contraception is “intrinsically evil.” Though not an easy teaching, it is from Jesus himself. For a convenient summary of that doctrine, I encourage you to read paragraphs 2366-2372 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. It is less than two pages and contains much for food for thought and prayer.