Monday, January 30, 2017

'Blessed Are Those Who See God in Every Person'

Our Gospel of love and grace is to be lived together for all people 
-The Rev. Jim Gonia 
Ecumenical and interfaith dialogue is not frosting on the cake.  It is at the core of our values.
-The Most Rev. John C. Wester
How appropriate that the Gospel reading for Sunday, January 29, was Matthew 5:1-12, also known as the Sermon on the Mount, where Jesus speaks about the virtues of humility, mercy, peace, righteousness and faithfulness.

On this Sunday, people around the country, including Albuquerque, people of faith and conscience came together to protest the new extremely punitive rules issued by the new U.S. administration against immigrants and refugees (the "anti-Beatitudes").

Also on this day, Catholics and Lutherans and people from other Christian denominations gathered at St. Luke Lutheran Church in Albuquerque to celebrate unity and pray and sing together about our common values and the priority to care for the poor and the marginalized.

The  Most Rev. John C. Wester from the Archdiocese of Santa Fe and Bishop Jim Gonia from the Rocky Mountain Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) presided over this service. Bishop Gonia mentioned Pope Francis' visit to Malmo, Sweden, on All Saints Day 2016, where he met with ELCA leaders to celebrate another step in the coming together of the two traditions.. During the trip, the pontiff reflected on the Beatitudes for our contemporary world. We take these Beatitudes to heart in our ongoing efforts to fight against hunger and poverty and for the rights of the marginalized.

Blessed are those who remain faithful while enduring evils inflicted on them by others and forgive them from their heart.

Blessed are those who look into the eyes of the abandoned and marginalized and show them their closeness.

Blessed are those who see God in every person and strive to make others also discover him.  

Blessed are those who protect and care for our common home.

 Blessed are those who renounce their own comfort in order to help others.

Blessed are those who pray and work for full communion between Christians.

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