Mary’s face was the first face that Jesus saw when he came into this world. Her voice was the first voice he heard.
The first apostles were proud to be “witnesses of his resurrection.” And that’s what it means to be a Christian. It means being a “witness to the resurrection.” It means we are called to bear witness to God's mercy and love.
The Church exists to evangelize — and the mercy of God is always the “content” of evangelization. Mercy is God’s revelation to us, it’s the good news the Church proclaims.
It was a beautiful Easter. More than 10,000 people came to join us for worship services at the cathedral during Holy Week. And across the archdiocese, we baptized nearly 2,000 new Christians at Easter.
“One must not love oneself so much as to avoid getting involved in the risks of life that history demands of us. … But whoever out of love for Christ gives themselves to the service of others will live, like the grain of wheat that dies. ... Only in dying does it produce the harvest. … Whoever offers their life out of love for Christ, and in service to others, will live like the seed that dies.”
The Church has been thinking about these issues of crime and punishment and the common good for a long time, beginning with the teachings of Jesus and the apostolic writings of the New Testament.
As I write, I’m getting ready for our annual Religious Education Congress, as I know many of you are, too.
The Congress is one of the high points of every year here in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles — and it has been for decades.
As I continue to visit parishes around this great archdiocese, I see every day that the life of faith is lived in the heart of the parish.
This morning, Pope Francis named Bishop Robert McElroy, Auxiliary of San Francisco, to be the new Bishop of San Diego, which is one of the six dioceses that make up the Ecclesiastical Province of Los Angeles.
As I write, I’ve just read the sad news that 90 Christians have been kidnapped from two villages in Syria. Of course we were all shocked earlier this month by the news that 21 Coptic Christians were executed in Syria — killed, as Pope Francis said, “for the mere fact of being Christians.”
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