By Archbishop Jose H. Gomez
Archbishop of Los Angeles
January 9, 2018
We have no idea about it. That’s what I sometimes think when I leave the Gospel after having read and prayed with him. I just shake my head in amazement and I think we have this idea.
In the pages of the Gospel and the stories of the early Church, we are offered this beautiful sense that something new and surprising has penetrated the world and in the lives of people. Something is happening and people do not know what is.
Few stories about Jesus end with words like this: “All were amazed and glorified God, saying, ‘We’ve never seen anything like this . ‘”
The encounter with Jesus makes all things are renewed. The early Christians expected what they called the new heavens and new earth. They believed that they had been turned into a “new creation”.
They also felt that things were in the process that the “novelty” brought by Christ was in progress, and continued to develop. “Beloved, now are we the sons of God , ” wrote San Juan. “And it has not yet revealed what we will be after.”
This is the land from which flows living faith. It is the realization that life is one and that our life is part of this great mystery of creation. And that everything that is created is alive and connected to the one Creator.
This is the joyous inspiration that is at the origin of our annual celebration of onelife LA (UnaVida LA).
This weekend, on January 20, we will celebrate our fourth procession and festival UnaVida LA in downtown Los Angeles.
To be honest, when we started UnaVida LA, I was not sure how people would respond. We are used to hold public demonstrations to protest things that are wrong. This will always be important. One way to defend is the right thing openly oppose what is wrong. One way to show people what “defend” is showing them that “against” what we are fighting.
We keep doing that, especially with regard to abortion, which has been a “bad everyday” in this country and, indeed, in all countries for too long.
As Pope Francis said in Rome, in his New Year diplomats: we have to defend “the right of every person to life”. We have to move forward in this fight for life. As the Pope said, we can never accept a world in which there are “innocent children discarded even before birth, unwanted sometimes simply because they are sick or malformed, or as a result of the selfishness of adults.”
To serve this great cause, we wanted UnaVida LA was something different.
We wanted it to be a day when he is remind people why life is sacred and precious. We wanted to celebrate the dignity and beauty, and even the glory of human life as created by God and made new and bigger in Jesus Christ.
Our theme for this year ‘s celebration is “made for something bigger.” And really, that was the vision of UnaVida LA from the beginning.
“The book of nature is one and indivisible , ” said Pope Benedict XVI, using words that later would cite the Pope Francisco in “Laudato Si”.
The cause of life is more than a political change. The cause of life has to do with the nature of things and the beauty and purpose in the world.
We are working for the kingdom, the new heaven and the new earth.
To fulfill our mission, we need to help our society see the “connections” ties that can never be broken between the Creator and every aspect of their creation.
We need to help our neighbors see that each creature has a purpose in God’s creation, all things speak of God, and that the Creator is reflected in everything he creates, and especially in the human person made in his image and likeness.
Jesus promised his disciples: “You will see even greater things.”
And each of us, and everything we see in creation is “made for something bigger.” Paul said that all creation will be liberated and will share the glorious freedom of the children of God.
And back again, this awareness that “we have no idea” that we have not seen anything yet.
And it’s true, Paul also said that we have not seen anything yet, we have no idea what God has prepared for those who love him. So we move forward on this journey of love, seeking the greatest things that we have promised and for which we are made.
Pray for me this week and I’ll be praying for you. And please join me Saturday for a VIDALA. Together Praise to God and celebrate the beauty and sanctity of human life and creation.
May our Blessed Mother Mary, Queen of All Creation, help our society to have a new awareness of these larger things and precious love that God has for every life. VN
The Archbishop Gomez encourages people to visit and share their new website: TheNextAmerica.org, a resource for information on immigration reform and participate.
Writings, homilies and speeches of Archbishop can be found in ArchbishopGomez.com
To receive a free copy of the new Pastoral Letter from Archbishop Gómez, “You were born for greater things”, write to email@example.com
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The new book by Archbishop Jose H. Gomez, ‘Immigration and the future of the United States of America’, is available in the store of the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels. ( www.olacathedralgifts.com ).
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