Bulletin (January 6, 2008)

In my Christmas homily, I recommended a book: There is a God (How the world’s most notorious atheist changed his mind). As a follow-up, I would like to mention a book which more directly takes up the case for Christianity. It is written by Dinesh D’Souza, an immigrant from India, who has since become a U.S. Citizen. D’Souza is a cradle Catholic, but here in America his faith became alive. He has written a fine book that answers some of the most common objections to Christian faith. The title is: What’s So Great About Christianity. In it D’Souza explains:

· Why Christianity explains the universe, and our origins, better than atheism does
· Why Christianity and science are not irreconcilable, but science and atheism might be
· Why the alleged sins of Christianity—the Crusades, the Inquisition, the Galileo affair—are vastly overblown
· Why atheism is a demonstrably dangerous creed—and a cowardly one
· Why evolution does not threaten Christian belief
· Why atheists fear the Big Bang theory
· Why Christianity is the ultimate defense of man’s free will
· Why ultimately you can’t have Western civilization—and all we value from it—without the Christianity that gave it birth

Dinesh D’Souza has an entertaining writing style, and he strives to present his opponents’ arguments in a fair and accurate way. In the concluding chapters, he speaks about what it means to live one’s faith today. His book will help young people who feel under attack for their beliefs, and it will help adults in guiding young people. I recommend it highly.

D’Souza’s book illustrates the relevance of Christian faith for the twenty-first century. In that spirit I would like to point out a small but practical way that faith and modern science converge: In the Bible, blood is identified with life. The blood of animals, such as the lamb, was used to seal the covenant between God and his people and to bring forgiveness and reconciliation. We know that Jesus’ Precious Blood is the source of our salvation. Although we do not perform ritual sacrifices today, we still know that blood is the source of life. When we go for a medical check-up, one of the most important parts is the analysis of one’s blood. It shows a great deal about a person’s overall state of health.

Blood can also sustain and save another person’s life. We saw this a week ago, when our Knights of Columbus sponsored a Blood Drive. Many people came to the Tice Hall to give the gift of life. The picture shows Knights Bob Youngs and Steve Scripture during the Blood Drive. Steve is just getting ready to a give a pint of his blood. I put some other pictures of donors on the bulletin board. This is a big month for our Knights. Within a space of thirty days, they are sponsoring not only the Blood Drive, but also the monthly second-Sunday breakfast and the annual Crab Feed and Lovers’ Dance. These are wonderful events for our parish. In addition this month our Knights are again providing the bus that our middle school students will use to attend the March for Life. I am grateful to the Knights for the many ways they serve our parish, our school, and our community.

And speaking of Knights, we had a somewhat poignant milestone in my family last week. My brother-in-law, Alex, realized that his health problems make it difficult for him to take part in a Knights of Columbus honor guard. He decided to hand over his Fourth Degree sword and uniform to a younger man. Here is what may be the last picture of Alex in that uniform. Next to Alex, of course, is my sister, Melanie. Many of you ask how she is doing after the stroke she suffered in July of 2006. The answer is that she made a remarkable recovery and can perform all ordinary tasks, but they still require greater concentration. Your ongoing prayers for Melanie and Alex are appreciated. They are devoted parents and grandparents, and they serve others in beautiful ways.

While we are on the topic of people getting older and needing our prayers to continue their good work, I ask you to remember our principal, Mr. Glen Lutz, whose birthday is this Wednesday. One of the nicest gifts you could give to Mr. Lutz is a generous response to this Sunday’s two-bit collection for the Randy Terlicker Fund. May God bless you all as we begin this New Year 2008.

El Domingo pasado nuestros jovenes dieron una bella presentacion de una pastorela sobre las tentaciones que el cristiano tiene que enfrentar en su camino a Belen. Fue bien divertido e hizo pensar a las personas que asistieron a este evento. Tal vez ustedes vieron el articulo en Seattle Times con la foto de Suzana Orozco y su hermano Carlos. Aquí tambien una foto de todos los jovenes que presentaron la pastorela navidadeña.

Al comenzar este Nuevo Año 2008 quisiera pedir a Dios que bendiga a todos ustedes y sus familias. Sigan participando en los sacramentos, especialmente la Santa Misa que es fuente y cumbre de la vida cristiana. Tomen tiempo para rezar en sus hogares para que tengan la bendicion y proteccion de Dios.