We recently observed the annual World Day of the Sick, established by Saint John Paul II to urge people to pray for individuals who are ill and their caregivers. There are patients in overcrowded hospitals, our elderly brothers and sisters in nursing homes, and those in hospice care on their way to eternal rest that so desperately need our prayers and spiritual support. We must also pray for the doctors, nurses, health care professionals, and family members who fight fatigue on a daily basis, overburdened but unbowed, in service and commitment to those for whom they show unwavering compassion. We too will face health challenges. Therefore, may we all make some time this week to pause and remember those struggling with illness and their caregivers and entrust them to God’s loving embrace.
This Sunday millions of people will view The Big Game on big screen TVs and at big parties. It offers a terrific outlet to share hospitality among family, friends, and neighbors. The game will also the biggest betting event of the year. Last year it was estimated that over 50 million Americans wagered a staggering total of 16 billion dollars. Dear friends, gambling addiction is an emerging and dangerous trend that can compromise, disrupt, or damage personal relationships, and perhaps lead to financial ruin. No one wants to see individuals and families destroyed. If you feel you have a gambling addiction, ask yourself if it is worth it, and get help. And if you are a family member or friend who knows of someone with this affliction pray for the courage to address it.
For centuries people have toiled in the fields, planting crops for food and sustenance. But anyone who has tilled the soil will tell you that it takes great patience because the fruits of their labor can be affected by so many factors such as wind, rain, snow, and temperature. The growing season takes months to produce a bountiful harvest. This is true in our personal lives as well. Many times we feel we have made a positive impact but fail to see immediate results. When we doubt if our daily efforts, sacrifices, acts of faith, and good deeds are making a difference, remember the promise of Jesus. He assures us that the smallest seeds we plant will grow in unimaginable ways. Give the Lord your best today. He will do the rest!
On this week's episode, Bishop Burbidge: Shares what stood out to him from last week’s pro-life events, including the National March for Life in Washington, D.C. and the Life is VERY Good events in Fairfax. See the latest content. Speaks out against Virginia legislation threatening life at all stages, including a bill on assisted suicide being considered in the state Senate on Tuesday, January 23. Take action here. Asks us to continue praying for the state of religious freedom in Nicaragua. Read the latest news. Welcomes the religious freedom report released recently by the USCCB Committee for Religious Liberty. Read the report. Bishop Burbidge also answers the following questions from the faithful: I heard there were more than 20,000 young adults at the recent SEEK conference. Any thoughts on why this event is so popular? Do you have any interest in the NFL playoffs and Super Bowl since a certain team was eliminated?
January is Poverty Awareness Month. Did you know that the poverty rate in the United States is 11.5 percent, with nearly 38 million people living in poverty? Perhaps being the first month will remind us every month to remember, to pray for, and to act in support of our brothers and sisters in need: those who go to bed hungry; those who face financial hardships in paying bills or putting food on the table for their family; those who long for a warm blanket; and those who are unemployed or underemployed. We are reminded in Sacred Scripture that, “Whoever cares for the poor lends to the Lord, who will pay back the sum in full.” May we resolve that this be the year we hear the cry of the poor.
This week as we mark the observance of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, we remember a man who worked tirelessly to eradicate injustice through civility and nonviolence, and who implored us to “never succumb to the temptation of bitterness.” Dr. King built his legacy on a message of love, not hate, to see the good in people, and envision the promise of a better tomorrow. As we recognize the work of Dr. King, regrettably, we must also realize that there is so much more to do. Racism, bigotry, and division among us remain but they need not defeat us. Dr. King reminded us, “we must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.” His dream for unity must remain alive.
How easy it seems to go about our daily routines, believing we have little or no impact, perhaps because we think we hold modest positions, reside in a simple home, or feel we live quiet, unassuming lives. In reality, though, our interactions with others and how we conduct ourselves has tremendous impact on those around us. Jesus emphasizes the importance of our example as he reminds us in Sacred Scripture that, “your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father.” Whether you realize it or not, people are looking to you every day. With the grace of God, make sure your language, behavior, the way you treat others, and the way you live your life are not sources of scandal… but of inspiration.
On this week's episode, Bishop Burbidge: Talks resolutions—why to make them and how to keep them Discusses the increasing persecution of Catholics in Nicaragua and why we need to pray for the protection of religious liberty Emphasizes why a Texas ruling that emergency abortions are not required under federal law is a win for life Encourages the faithful to attend the March for Life on January 19 in Washington, D.C. Prepare to march right here in our diocese at Life is VERY Good events taking place the day before and morning of the March for Life
We begin a new year full of promise and potential. We are certain to experience hardships and challenges, joys and heartaches—at least to some degree. Many of these things will be out of our control. But what will be in our control is how we choose to live each day. We should choose to let go and surrender ourselves to God’s will. We are reminded in Sacred Scripture “not to worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will take care of itself.” Let this year be a year for less anxiety, a year of surrender, a year of “letting go” of fear and trepidation. When you feel overwhelmed, recall the words of Saint Teresa of Kolkata: “Yesterday is gone; tomorrow has not yet come; we have only today. Let us begin.”
We have every reason to rejoice as good news of great joy is proclaimed at Christmas: For unto us a Savior is born who is Christ and Lord. In a world experiencing so much unrest a Savior is born who announces peace, brings glad tidings, comforts his people, and unites us as God’s holy family. A Savior is born who is Emmanuel, God with us! He knows us and loves us, and is the source of our courage, strength, and consolation, especially amid our burdens and trials. And for all these gifts, the Lord asks so little in return. He simply wants us to be faithful; to trust him; to be reconciled with him and one another; and to continue our acts of goodness charity so prevalent at this time of year. May the peace of our Lord and Savior be yours at Christmas and always.
Dec 25, 2023