St. Cyril of Jerusalem Parish,15520 Ventura Boulevard, Encino, California - St. Cyril of Jerusalem Church, 15520 Ventura Boulevard,  Encino, California 91436
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From the Desk of Father Mac
 

Respect Life Sunday
Twenty-Sixth Sunday of Ordinary Time
October 01st, 2017


My Dear Friends in Christ,

Today is Respect Life Sunday, which is observed every year on the first Sunday in October. The Respect Life Program, sponsored by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, started in 1972 and begins anew each October—the month set aside by the U.S. bishops as Respect Life Sunday." This year's theme, "Be Not Afraid," is featured from October 2017 to September 2018.

The Church’s teaching on the value and dignity of every human life is founded on biblical principles. We read in Genesis 1:27: “God created mankind in his image; in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” Thus, we are called to have profound respect for human life in light of our intrinsic dignity as having been created in God’s image and likeness and are called to an eternal destiny with him. Life is a gift from God.

As a gift from God, every human life is sacred from conception to natural death. The life and dignity of every person must be respected and protected at every stage and in every condition. The right to life is the first and most fundamental principle of human rights that leads Catholics to actively work for a world of greater respect for human life and greater commitment to justice and peace. The Respect Life Program is aimed at helping Catholics understand, value, and become engaged with supporting the God-given dignity of every person—which naturally leads to protecting the gift of every person's life.

Today’s First Reading presents the anguished cry of one who struggles with God’s commands for his people—they protest the unfairness of the Lord's ways. The Church’s teaching about respecting the dignity of every human life until its natural end may at times seem unfair. But how God’s law seems is not how it is in reality—Ezekiel tells us that God is always on the side of life: following his ways can seem difficult at first, but in the end, those who turn away from sin “shall surely live.”

A Christian life of charity and faith is the most effective way to spread the Gospel. Christ challenges us to follow the “way of righteousness” in today’s Gospel. It is our deeds, not simply our words and good intentions that count in following him. That is why Christ’s words to the Pharisees are so strong: “Amen, I say to you, tax collectors and prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God before you.” Today’s Gospel shows us that the way of righteousness is marked by humility and obedience. We can be channels of God’s compassion and mercy through this same humble obedience, which God’s love can transform into a manifestation of his glory. Through our humble words and actions, we are called to help build a culture of life out of a culture of death.

Building a culture of life will always require the Christian to go out into the world, to cultivate around himself what Pope Francis calls a “culture of encounter,” having, as St. Paul teaches, “the same attitude that is also in Christ Jesus.” This is not something we can do by ourselves—Christ himself makes it possible. We need not be discouraged when, like the elders whom Christ chastises in the Gospel reading from St. Matthew, the culture does not immediately “change its mind and believe.” God will “guide the humble to justice”; we only must follow where his voice leads, knowing that his plan is always triumphant in the end. So, "Be Not Afraid" to preach the Gospel of Life!

In Christ,
 

Pastor 

 

For Information, please contact the Parish Office at  info@st-cyril.org or phone 818.986.8234


 

 

St Cyril of Jerusalem Parish
15520 Ventura Boulevard
(mail: 4601 Firmament Ave)
Encino, CA  91436
818- 986.8234
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Image of artwork in header - Used with permission (one-time use only)  from: Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe, La Crosse, WI.
Title: "St Cyril of Jerusalem" - Artist: Anthony Visco, Atelier for the Sacred Arts, Philadelphia, PA - Shrine’s website: guadalupeshrine.org


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