This weekend our parish celebrates the fiftieth anniversary our Church’s Dedication by Archbishop John Krol. We offered this land, this building, and our very lives to God on that day. He in return made this ground holy. This dedication is more than a part of the history of the Catholic Church in Philadelphia or even in the history of Catholics in America.
This dedication reflects our families’ commitment to live out the teachings of Jesus and to hand on this faith to our children and our children’s children. This history, given to us by our parents and their parents before them, taught to us through the bishops, from the lips of Christ Himself. I cannot change His Words. I cannot alter their meaning; I can only continue to teach you the Truth, a Truth that will set you free.
There is no doubt that those of us who take His Name will be misunderstood and hated for our beliefs. Nevertheless, the truth is that a Christian loves the person, any person without judgment. God does not wish anyone harm, but will hold us accountable for our decisions.
All human beings, from conception to death are made for goodness. And our Goodness recognizes mercy and justice; it recognizes consequences and does not deny them.
At this point we still enjoy freedom of speech, freedom of expression and freedom of religion. Take advantage of these freedoms and become heralds of the Gospel. Do not condemn, but do not be afraid to teach, by word and deed, the Gospel of Jesus.
We have a place here in the garden of holiness in which to rest, to be silent before God and hear Him speaking to us. Here, in this holy place, we can respond with the words He gave us.
There is a need to help the poor, to care for the lonely and to share with others a Christian charity that is chaste and bound to Christ. It is Divine Providence, not our own.
Do not be silent in regards to your children; teach them the Gospel of Jesus, openly and without fear. Teach them what love means, what chastity means, what purity of heart means or their lives will surely be destroyed in a Godless vacuum of confusion and self-obsession.
Our dedication this weekend reminds us of the hope we possess because of the love given to us by God. Be grateful for this brilliant gift. Tell people about it, invite them to come and sit quietly by the rivers of new life. Show your children how to ask, how to seek and how to find!