Border Wall Construction: Imperiling Sacred Sites, Churches and Religious Freedom

By Bother Coyote, OEF

Gary Paul Nabhan (Brother Coyote, OEF), is an agricultural ecologist, ethnobotanist and writer whose work has focused primarily on the desert Southwest. He is considered a pioneer in the local-food and heirloom seed-saving movements. His views do not necessarily reflect the views of the Franciscan Action Network


Most of us have heard the devastating reports of how the new construction of a thirty-foot wall and floodlights along our southern border has begun to impact water flows, wildlife and archaeological resources long-protected by federal laws. The federal protection of endangered species, critical habitat and cultural antiquities has been waived along a three-hundred foot swath along the U.S./Mexico border. Eminent domain under the auspices of homeland security has allowed U.S. Customs and Border Patrol and Army Corps of Engineers to condemn lands and sidestep long-standing laws that by former presidents from both political parties signed without much debate or rancor.

Most of the legal efforts to gain injunctions to stop wall construction undertaken by the ACLU, tribes and environmental groups have been vacated or kicked up to higher courts. But what has not been challenged to date is Homeland Security’s right to impair or ignore religious freedoms guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution.

As documented in a 220-page National Park Service report covered by the Washington Post and New York Times, archaeological sites – including Native American sacred sites, burial and ceremonial grounds – have already been impacted by wall construction in national parks and wildlife refuges along the border.

And yet, some of these same sites have been – and still continue to be visited, used and stewarded by Native American communities who live within 50 miles of these parks and refuges along the border. They are part of living, continuing spiritual traditions – not by-gone remnants – that have been practiced in the desert borderlands for upwards of 4000 years.

What has also escaped the notice of most journalists is that several sites imperiled by wall construction and well-drilling along the border have also been utilized by Christian communities of Native, Hispanic- and Anglo-American practitioners for centuries.

Perhaps the first-recorded Palm Sunday mass recorded in present-day Arizona took place at Quitobaquito Springs – then known as A’al Wappia in the O’odham or Piman language – in 1698 or 1699. It was presided over by the Jesuit priest and explorer Padre Eusebio Francisco Kino. Now part of Organpipe Cactus National Monument, this ancient springs and agricultural settlement was frequented by Roman Catholic practitioners for rituals related to the Day of the Dead and the Holy Sacrament of Baptism at least through the 1980’s.

Some of the long-standing participants of these rituals remain alive and well in communities on both sides of the border, but fear retribution from CBP if they visit the site while construction is in process. Individuals from their communities who were simply taking photographs of the destruction of sacred plants and cultural resources at this site have already been threatened by construction workers and on social media.

Elsewhere along the U.S./Mexico border, the white adobe chapel of La Lomita built in Mission Texas in 1899 is now threatened by wall construction, as are several cemeteries in San Juan and Pharr, Texas. These cemeteries have served Mexican- and African-American families for decades. However, the families and their lawyers have been told by Homeland Security department officials that all laws which protected sacred sites along the border have been waived because of a “natural security emergency.”

Similarly, since 2008, bi-national gatherings of La Iglesia Fronteriza or Border Church have been organized by Methodist Pastor John Fanestil along the border wall in Friendship State Park, south of San Diego. But recently, gatherings involving deportees and refugees in attendance have been heavily monitored and at times disrupted by Customs and Border Protection Officials.

While no one can pass from one side of the border to the other at Friendship Park, parishioners are allowed to touch their “pinkies” through the wall to have contact with relatives on the other side – those who have been deported or denied access to visiting their families on U.S. soil.

These disruptions of religious traditions and harassment of spiritual practitioners appear to be in violation of Constitutional mandates intended to assure that citizens and refugees can practice their faith with a full guarantee of religious freedom.

We urge Native American, Christian and other faith communities to unite in solidarity in response to this crisis, and to meet with Homeland Security and other federal officials to find alternative solutions to further violations of the religious freedoms of the peoples of many faiths, creeds, cultures and races who live upon the border.

We urge you to write the Environmental Branch Chief, Border Patrol Facilities and Tactical Infrastructure Program Management Office, 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20229, and the Commissioners of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection at the same address. May your prayers be with them to do the right thing, as well as with the refugees, deportees, and faith practitioners who wish to worship along the border.


Gary Paul Nabhan (Brother Coyote, OEF), is an agricultural ecologist, ethnobotanist and writer whose work has focused primarily on the desert Southwest. He is considered a pioneer in the local-food and heirloom seed-saving movements.

Published in: on October 17, 2019 at 9:44 am  Comments (1)  
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Lift up those weary arms!

Reflection for the 29th Sunday in Ordinary Time by FAN Associate Director, Sr. Marie Lucey, OSF

This reflection was originally posted in our October 14th newsletter


Sometimes the Sunday scripture readings are in very clear alignment in support of a theme or teaching. This Sunday is one of those times. With help from friends, Moses is able to keep his hands raised in prayer until Joshua wins the battle against Amalek; Paul instructs Timothy “…be persistent whether it is convenient or inconvenient…”; Jesus narrates a parable to illustrate the necessity “to pray always without becoming weary.”

The contexts of the readings from Exodus and Luke reinforce the message of Paul that persistence is needed even more when it is “inconvenient,” when the going gets tougher. Moses assumes responsibility to keep his hands raised until the battle is won, but he grows tired. Haven’t we all grown weary of continually beseeching God to intervene in a painful personal situation or in our deeply troubled country and world, yet nothing seems to change for the better? Haven’t we felt like the persistent widow demanding “a just decision” from the unscrupulous judge? But neither Moses nor the widow gave up. Moses persisted with help from others. The widow persisted, convinced of the justice of her cause.

It is easy to pray when it is “convenient”—when I’m not distracted or anxious, when the weather is beautiful and I’m in a peaceful place. More often than not, however, outer or inner clamor distracts or disturbs me. I grow weary of calling on God to heal sick friends and to render just outcomes in very unjust situations. Like Moses, I rely on support and encouragement of friends and co-workers to keep me steady. Like the widow, I must be sure of the justice of my cause—the cause of people in poverty and pain caused by unjust systems—and be persistent “whether it is convenient or inconvenient.” I must trust that God does listen and is with me, with us, in the struggle.

Sr. Marie Lucey, OSF
FAN Associate Director

Published in: on October 15, 2019 at 10:05 am  Leave a Comment  

Arrested for Christ

Reflection for the 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time by FAN Board Member, David Seitz, OFS

This reflection was originally posted in our October 7th newsletter

The readings this week have a great Psalm response; “The Lord has revealed to the nations his saving power.”

How has the Lord’s saving power been revealed? By me and you; by our evangelizing and living an authentic Gospel life. History is full of stories of evangelizers who have paid a price for speaking the truth of Jesus Christ. We celebrate the saints who have suffered for the sake of spreading the Good News. Think about that. The Good News. If this news is so good why are those who proclaim it so often persecuted?

Jesus said in John 15:20 that they persecuted him and so we too will be persecuted. St. Paul, in the reading from Second Timothy, is writing from prison. He is weighed down with chains. He is in prison for proclaiming the Lord’s saving power. He is rejoicing because he is suffering for Jesus. St. Paul knows well that Jesus, proclaiming the saving power of God, was arrested, tortured and executed. The saving power we proclaim often convicts those who possess worldly power. It challenges the conscience of the religious and political elite. Nothing has changed in 2,000 years.

I’m perplexed at times when the staff of the Franciscan Action Network is harshly criticized for taking part in civil disobedience actions which sometimes leads to a staff member being arrested for publicly proclaiming the saving power of the Lord. They are called out as being anti-Catholic, anti-Christian, anti-Franciscan, law breakers who have no business going to the public square to proclaim the Gospel message. These events are always planned in advance with the local authorities, with those who are the target of the protests; there are no flash mobs. Law enforcement and those being arrested know in advance that the arrest will happen. This is our constitutional right being exercised in the public square.

As a professed Secular Franciscan, I promised to live a rule of life which states in Article 15 “Let them individually and collectively be in the forefront in promoting justice by the testimony of their human lives and their courageous initiatives. Especially in the field of public life, they should make definite choices in harmony with their faith.” Franciscans are called to take action to promote a just society. Franciscans are called to let their faith inform their action in public life, not let politics inform their faith. This is challenging, especially in our polarized society where civil conversation is scarce. We live in a world where if you disagree with my point of view then I have no time for you.

Paul says, “such is my gospel, for which I am suffering, even to the point of chains, like a criminal. But the word of God is not chained. Therefore, I bear with everything for the sake of those who are chosen, so that they too may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus.”

We are fortunate that in the United States, civil disobedience only leads to a possible arrest, usually ending with paying a fine at the police station after being detained for a number of hours, although the risk of staying in jail overnight exists. We are not being tortured and executed for proclaiming the saving power of the Lord as are many of our sisters and brothers across the globe. Every morning I pray the Canticle of Zechariah during morning prayer. There is a line in the canticle that we should all cherish; “to set us free from the hands of our enemies, free to worship him without fear, holy and righteous in his sight all the days of our life.” Free to worship without fear. Sisters and brothers, addressing social justice issues in the public square is how we will ensure that our children’s children will enjoy this same freedom. Next time you read about a FAN staff member being arrested for proclaiming the saving power of the Lord, instead of criticizing, why not thank them for “promoting justice by the testimony of their human lives and their courageous initiatives.” (Article 15, Rule of life, Secular Franciscan Order)

David Seitz, OFS
FAN Board Member

Published in: on October 8, 2019 at 9:23 am  Comments (2)  

Respect life! Challenge the culture of death!

By Tony Magliano

Tony Magliano is an internationally syndicated Catholic social justice and peace columnist whose column is published in print and/or posted online in various U.S. diocesan papers. His views do not necessarily reflect those of the Franciscan Action Network.


St. Pope John Paul II, in his powerful encyclical letter “Evangelium Vitae” (“The Gospel of Life”), challengingly said “How can we fail to consider the violence against life done to millions of human beings, especially children, who are forced into poverty, malnutrition and hunger because of an unjust distribution of resources between peoples and between social classes?

“And what of violence inherent not only in wars as such, but in the scandalous arms trade, which spawns the many armed conflicts which stain our world with blood?

“What of the spreading of death caused by reckless tampering with the world’s ecological balance?”

St. John Paul then linked these deadly affronts against life to the lethal attacks upon human beings at life’s earliest and final stages – through abortion, infanticide, euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide.

Attempting to raise our consciousness regarding the vastness of assaults against humanity, St. John Paul said, “It is impossible to catalogue completely the vast array of threats to human life, so many are the forms, whether explicit or hidden, in which they appear today!”

He powerfully called this evil reality a “structure of sin” manifested in a culture characterized by a denial of our solidarity with each other – especially with the poor and vulnerable – leading to what can be called a veritable “culture of death.”

St. John Paul insightfully saw that this “culture of death” is widely promoted by powerful cultural, economic and political forces that devalue the lives of human beings who require and deserve greater acceptance, love and care.

He saw what so many don’t care to see: that in a society overly concerned with efficiency and personal lifestyle choices, that ill, handicapped, poor and vulnerable persons, or any others considered useless or a burden, are to be “looked upon as an enemy to be resisted or eliminated. In this way a kind of ‘conspiracy against life’ is unleashed” (see: https://bit.ly/2nW5GRz).

St. John Paul said of all this, “It is possible to speak in a certain sense of a war of the powerful against the weak.”

And so, we the followers of the Prince of Peace, the lover of the poor and vulnerable, the Almighty Creator of the very earth we all inhabit must nonviolently enter the battle!

With the weapons of faith, prayer, compassion, wisdom, courage, generosity, self-sacrifice, perseverance, truth, justice and love let us challenge the “culture of death.”

There is no time to lose!

Every single day unborn babies are being brutally dismembered and aborted, brothers and sisters in Christ are being tortured and killed, children and adults are starving, people are drinking filthy water, human beings are barely existing in sub-human conditions, wars are plaguing dozens of countries while several rich nations continue profiting from selling weapons of war, children in need of an education are instead forced to work, people are suffering in modern slavery under the new name of human trafficking, migrants and refugees fleeing armed conflicts and dire poverty are pleading at our borders for help, our earth home is increasingly being polluted and the climate of our planet is dangerously heating up.

Yes, all of this is overwhelming. No one person can right all these wrongs, and cure all these ills. But all of us together can.

Every single person can make a difference! Remember, Jesus is saying to each one of us: “You are the light of the world!”

Tony Magliano is an internationally syndicated social justice and peace columnist. He is available to speak at diocesan or parish gatherings. Tony can be reached at tmag@zoominternet.net.

Published in: on October 7, 2019 at 2:00 pm  Leave a Comment  

A reflection on the Prayer of St. Francis

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace… 

Where there is hatred, let me sow love… 

When politics tempt me to hate the other side,
when my envy delights in workplace intrigue,
when my thoughts walk the paths of anger’s edge:
teach me to love as you have loved me… 

Where there is injury, pardon… 

When words cut sharp as knives,
when idle gossip tears apart,
when careless deeds wound deep:
teach me to pardon and heal
as you have healed and pardoned me… 

Where there is despair, hope… 

Teach me, Lord, 
to hope when I’m unsure of many things,
to trust when I want so much to give up,
to believe when I’m confused and lost in doubt,
and teach me to share your truth and my hope in you
with those who struggle or have none… 

Where there is darkness, light… 

Teach me, Lord, to trust in your light when I cannot find it,
to walk by your light when the shadows beckon,
to stand firm in your light when darkness threatens
and to share your light and its warmth
with all who seek it… 

Where there is sadness, joy… 

Lighten my heart with the gifts of your Spirit,
touch my heart’s ache with the peace of your presence,
lift my heart’s burdens and free me to share
the gift of your joy, the joy of your grace… 

O Divine Master… 

Help me find my peace in making peace with others,
help me come to know your love in learning to love those I know,
and let the needs of others’ hearts help me learn what I most need…

Teach me to give from my heart as your heart gives to me,
teach me to pardon others as freely as you forgive me
and deepen my faith
that in your dying 
I rise to life, 
forever with you…

With Brother Francis I offer this prayer, my God,
this morning, this day and all through the days ahead… 

Amen.

Published in: on October 4, 2019 at 10:17 am  Comments (1)  
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Comfort in the Space Between Failure and New Hope

By Catherine Juliano

Catherine Juliano is a math and political science major at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana. She is assisting our communications coordinator. Her views do not necessarily reflect those of the Franciscan Action Network.


“Blessed is the servant who does not consider himself any better when he is praised and exalted by people than when he is considered worthless, simple, and looked down upon, for what a person is before God, that he is and no more”— St. Francis of Assisi (Admonition XIX)

Who today does not feel overwhelmed by the discord and the urgency of events occurring all around us? It’s a deluge of upsetting news, and many of us feel so besieged by it that we need to retreat. Indeed, the political situation in the United States can leave many of us feeling spiritually impoverished as if God is far away. We are worried and anxious, not confident and secure. We resist feeling this way, but perhaps the only way around it is through it.

It hearkens back to one of the times in St. Francis’ life when he was probably feeling defeated. After fighting the neighboring Perugians and being held as a prisoner of war for a year by them, Francis returned to Assisi, no doubt beset by trauma. As he was praying before a crucifix in the dilapidated Church of San Damiano, Francis heard the voice of God tell him to “Go…repair my house.” This revelation led Francis to go to his earthly father’s store, take fabric and a horse, and sell them in town. Afraid of his father’s wrath, Francis hid in a cave, and when he finally came out, gaunt and dirty, his father, Pietro Bernardone, was so angry that he beat his son and locked him in a closet. After being released by his mother, Francis was taken before the bishop in the piazza where he stripped off his own clothes and handed them to his earthly father, thereby aligning himself with his heavenly Father.

The sign of greatness isn’t the absence of difficulty in one’s life but rather the ability to come back from the difficulty even stronger. Great nations decline, but they also recover. Social institutions fail, but they also come back. Likewise, great people disappoint us, and they fall. We can only imagine that this was the perspective of Pietro about his son. But we don’t always see the whole picture. As long as people get up again, there is always hope. The space in between the fall and the comeback is where God does much of His work. It’s the place where we learn to trust, pray, and wait. Pietro couldn’t have anticipated the thousands of friars who would come to follow Francis in his own lifetime. Perhaps we need to get comfortable in the spaces in between.

The rapacious caterpillar, hung up and asleep, has a transformed blueprint for the future. He could never foresee that beyond death, his body melts down into an orange, yellow, and black butterfly. So it was for Christ, and for Francis after he received the stigmata and died. So it is for us as we wait in the uncomfortable spaces for God to work in and through us in our uncertain world.

Published in: on October 3, 2019 at 10:37 am  Comments (1)  

Standing Firm in Faith Despite Adversity

Reflection for the 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time by FAN Executive Director, Patrick Carolan

This reflection was originally posted in our September 30th newsletter


Sunday’s first reading from Habakkuk makes the statement: “How long, O LORD? I cry for help but you do not listen! I cry out to you, “Violence!” but you do not intervene. Why do you let me see ruin; why must I look at misery?” How many of us have felt this way? We often feel abandoned by God. I imagine over the years all those people bound in slavery cried out but felt abandoned. Why doesn’t God intervene? As a boy I was sexually abused by a Catholic priest. I still ask God the question: “Why didn’t you intervene? How could you have let this happen to me?”

I have heard priests give homilies about suffering being part of God’s plan, how we may not understand why but on judgement day we will understand our suffering was a key part of the kingdom. I cannot believe a God who is the epicenter of love, who created us in love could be so cruel as to allow what happened to me or what is happening today to children on the border, or to children who are trafficked and sold into sex slavery.

Some of our theology teaches us that creation was a one time static event. God created perfection and nothing has changed. By this logic, my suffering was just a means to help bring us back to that perfection. Nothing from God’s creation is changing. But we know that everything is changing. The theologian John Haught in his book Resting on the Future: Catholic Theology For an Unfinished Universe suggests a different story. He suggests that our universe was not a finished product the moment of creation but rather an unfinished universe. Or as Sr. Ilia Delio, OSF puts it, “If we take the future as our starting point for thinking about God, creation, and humanity—then everything we know must change or rather be realigned to an evolving universe, including our theologies, philosophies, economic and political systems, cultural matrices—in short, our planetary life.” If Haught and Delio are correct and the universe is constantly changing and evolving, then my and your suffering and pain is not part of some master plan by a cruel God. Rather it is part of the suffering of growth that happens with the creation of a new Heaven.

In our second reading from 2 Timothy we are told: “I remind you, to stir into flame the gift of God that you have through the imposition of my hands. For God did not give us a spirit of cowardice but rather of power and love and self-control.” Think about what that means. Acting in a spirit of cowardice during this time of crisis that we live in. In my nine years as executive director of FAN I have been constantly attacked by some people. I have been accused of acting in league with satan, of not being Catholic or Franciscan. I even had one person say he hoped my son would be killed by Muslim terrorists then I would understand the need for a Muslim ban. These people are not acting out of love; they are cowards.

The reading goes on to say “So do not be ashamed of your testimony to our Lord, nor of me, a prisoner for his sake; but bear your share of hardship for the gospel with the strength that comes from God.” The strength that comes from God is love. Love of all creation and all creatures. If we do not act out of love we are not following the teachings of Jesus.

Peace and All Good,
Patrick Carolan
FAN Executive Director

Published in: on October 1, 2019 at 10:00 am  Leave a Comment  

Who is on Our Doorstep?

Reflection for the 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time by FAN Board Member, Sr. Marge Wissman

This reflection was originally posted in our September 23rd newsletter


In reading this Sunday’s Gospel about the rich man and Lazarus I was reminded of another story I read about a man who, when going to his office everyday, noticed a ragged looking child sitting outside the building begging. This irritated the man who asked God everyday why God did not do something about this. One day he heard God’s answer: “I did do something, I created you!”

I do not know if this man acted on God’s message or not. We do know that the rich man in the Gospel was enjoying his wealth and paid no attention to those suffering and perhaps did not even know that Lazarus was on his doorstep.

Are we aware of who is on our doorstep? Or do we see them and act like we didn’t, and really wish we hadn’t seen those suffering? We need to also heed the caution that Amos gave the chosen people in the First Reading. Amos cautioned the people against a false sense of security. That if they think God expects nothing more of them because they are the chosen people, they are mistaken and this complacency can lead to ruin.

That is exactly what happened to the rich man for when he died he was sent to the “netherworld where he was tormented”. Lazarus died at the same time but was taken by the “angels to the bosom of Abraham”. When the rich man begged Father Abraham to warn his five brothers, Abraham answered: “They have Moses and the prophets, let them listen to them.”

Who or what has God placed in our path to warn us – the beatitudes, the commandments, the Social Justice Principles, modern day prophets, and those suffering – God places these in our path to warn us to notice injustices. We are challenged by the reality that it is hard to be giving in a society where having is deemed more important.

Sr. Marge Wissman, OSF
FAN Board Member

Published in: on September 25, 2019 at 9:29 am  Leave a Comment  

Season of Creation

By Tony Magliano

Tony Magliano is an internationally syndicated Catholic social justice and peace columnist whose column is published in print and/or posted online in various U.S. diocesan papers. His views do not necessarily reflect those of the Franciscan Action Network.


It’s good, it’s wise and it sounds so nice: “Season of Creation” – a time for us to stop taking the wonderful God-given gift of creation for granted. A time to wake up and smell the flowers!

The Season of Creation (see: https://seasonofcreation.org/about/) is an annual month long ecumenical celebration of prayer and action to protect creation.

From worship services, to trash clean-ups, to tree plantings, to lobbying governments and corporations, many Christians are presently demonstrating their care for our common earth home.

On Sept. 1, Pope Francis kicked off this year’s Season of Creation with his “World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation” message prophetically warning that the human response to the Creator’s gift of creation “has been marked by sin, selfishness and a greedy desire to posses and exploit. Egoism and self-interest have turned creation, a place of encounter and sharing, into an arena of completion and conflict” (see: https://bit.ly/2zJ9p7j).

The Holy Father notes that in recent decades humans through “constant pollution, the continued use of fossils fuels, intensive agricultural exploitation and deforestation are causing global temperatures to rise above safe levels.”

And the poor, who have contributed the least to this environmental crisis, are unjustly most at risk.

Francis cautions that “Melting of glaciers, scarcity of water, neglect of water basins and the considerable presence of plastic and microplastics in the oceans are equally troubling and testify to the urgent need for interventions that can no longer be postponed.”

And thus he alarmingly warns, “We have caused a climate emergency that gravely threatens nature and life itself, including our own.”

Pope Francis is not Chicken Little crying that the sky is falling because an acorn hit his head. No, the pope is doing exactly what Jesus taught in the Gospel, and what the world’s bishops at the Second Vatican Council called us to do: To read the signs of the times – to deeply reflect upon them and to respond with mature faith.

The environmental signs of the times are indeed gravely threatening.

The U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warns the world only has about 10 years to make comprehensive changes to bring increasing global warming under control – that is, by taking dramatic steps like completely moving away from the use of oil, gas and coal and fully adopting clean renewable energy sources like wind, solar and geothermal. Massive reforestation is also an essential component here.

But if we, and especially governments, continue to drag our environmental feet, climate scientists predict that by 2030 far worse, and far more frequent catastrophic weather events – like hurricanes, floods, droughts and crop failures – will cause untold suffering to countless human beings and to our common earth home (see: https://bit.ly/2E7MhED). In fact, doing too little, too late, could quite possibly put all of us, and future generations, at a catastrophic point of no return.

Let’s not let that happen!

Get involved!

Pray, plant trees, research ways your house and parish can go green (see: https://bit.ly/2mpMI4S), urge your state and federal legislators to pass Green New Deal legislation. And participate in the Season of Creation (see: https://seasonofcreation.org/guide/).

The official Season of Creation appropriately ends on the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi – the patron saint of ecology (see: https://bit.ly/2Od6xV1) – who sang joyful praises to God for the gift of all creation (see: https://bit.ly/2m04pb3).

In the spirit of St. Francis let us continue living the Season of Creation throughout all the seasons of our lives, forever discovering with joy, all that God has made!

Tony Magliano is an internationally syndicated social justice and peace columnist. He is available to speak at diocesan or parish gatherings. Tony can be reached at tmag@zoominternet.net.

Published in: on September 20, 2019 at 12:00 pm  Leave a Comment  

“You can not serve both God and…”

Reflection for the 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time by FAN Board Vice President, Br. Paul Crawford, OFM Cap.

This reflection was originally posted in our September 16th newsletter


Besides the readings this week, the Church in the United States also celebrates Catechetical Sunday. It is a time to promote our Faith’s teachings and a time to ask the Blessings of God upon those who stand up, in our local community to teach our Faith to the newest and perhaps the youngest members of our community.

So, the final verse of this week’s Gospel calls us to discern that even our good intentions can have some conflicting motivating factors. “You cannot serve both God and mammon.” LK 16:13. Perhaps we need to keep asking ourselves, what are our motivations? Or, as the Gospel puts it so well, who are we serving?

Most motivation comes from our own needs and wants or even at times our hopes. After all, God created a very complex being when we were created.

Our times, as well as the history of the Church, show us far too well how self interest is the root of much of our sin and even overflows into our Faith life.

So, this week let us listen to the parable of the Steward and take to heart and examine our service, and proclaim as to who are we serving. Let us all pray that we acknowledge that it is the Lord, the Prince of Peace, the One who feeds the hungry, the One who welcomes the stranger, and the One who forgives us again and again. For that One alone deserves our service.

Br. Paul Crawford, OFM
FAN Board Vice President

Published in: on September 17, 2019 at 10:27 am  Leave a Comment