During the Passover, after carrying out the instructions God revealed to Moses, the Israelites await their salvation. In their journey to the Promised Land, God reveals himself to his people, but this means the Israelites are called to adhere to the covenant. When they are faithful to the Word of God, they receive abundant blessings. When they turn away, they experience hardships, their enemies prevail, and they’re unhappy.
It is often remarked in both the secular and Catholic media today that society’s religious beliefs are declining. The Church has been asking the question these last years about what can be done to try to stem the tide of this alarming trend. Her answer so far has been to call for a “new evangelization.”
Each week, Bettina spends two hours volunteering at her community’s free clinic, which offers a range of medical services for the working poor. She’s not a medical volunteer, but goes to the clinic every Wednesday to greet and take information from clients and potential clients to determine or confirm their eligibility for services.
Many people today consider suffering something to be avoided at all costs. For those without faith, suffering is a mystery, a meaningless misfortune that randomly affects some people. But experience shows us that suffering is a basic human experience, one that affects every single human being to various degrees.
The lessons from both “Ziggy” and this Theology On Tap discussion came rushing back to me when reading this week’s Gospel, which starts out, “The people were filled with expectation, and all were asking in their hearts whether John might be the Christ.”