Our Bishop gets it! It’s about dignity this advent season…

4 min read

Marys-magnificatBy Brian Flagg

It kinda feels like our Bishop Gerald Kicanas has been hanging out with the Holy Father! He sounded just like the Pope when he wrote in this month’s Catholic Vision:

“Advent awakens in people a sense of urgency to become involved in addressing the challenges and issues of our day that rob people of their dignity and that make the world unlike the world God intended for people. Advent invites us to address the widening gap between the world as it is and the world Chirst came to bring about. Advent calls us to open our eyes to the suffering still so prevalent in people’s lives. In our community, many among us lack food, a decent place to live and an opportunity to work that gives them a sense of dignity.”

From where I sit, especially at this time of the year, I see many people obsessed about doing charity. They want to feed the homeless etc. But charity by itself does not lead to people having dignity. In fact charity often tends to be condescending and is more for the alleviation of people’s guilt or self-pride than it is about actually being part of a process (the Kingdom) that could bestow dignity on people who are poor or exploited or low-income or unemployed or underemployed.

Our Bishop and our Pope have the right idea. But the trick is to take the idea and have it manifest into reality. The quality of peoples lives are at stake.

That is why we all need to become economists and not just in thought or word but in struggle too!

This means not settling for anything less than a full employment economy, with an income for those whom for whatever reason cannot work.

This is getting down to what dignity really means in the real world. More than anything else its about access to meaningful employment.

To make this actually happen would involve being prophetic and specific with rich people and their bought and paid for politicians, chambers of commerce, media whores, etc. who shrug their shoulders and tell us that there is no money.

There is money! This is the wealthiest, most powerful country in the history of the world.

There really is money to fully fund public education, first class mass transit and single payer healthcare. This kind of economy would create jobs that provide dignity to human beings.

It comes down to priorities. Catholic Social Teaching prioritizes the common good. A society moving toward the common good would mean that rich people would have to pay more taxes, war profiteers would become less rich off of wars, and downtown developers might have to forego tax giveaways also known as “incentives.”

To further the process of turning dignity into reality, we Catholics and Christians need to learn to be prophetic (kinda like Pope Francis, but more specific). We need to learn to be fearless and joyful, like the mama of Jesus when she sang the Magnificat (today’s gospel reading):

“My soul glorifies the Lord

and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior

for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant.

From now on all generations will call

me blessed

for the Mighty One has done great things for me –

holy is his name.

His mercy extends to those who fear him

from generation to generation.

He has performed mighty deeds with his arm,

he has routed the proud of heart.

He has brought down rulers from their thrones

but has lifted up the humble.

He has filled the hungry with good things

but has sent the rich away empty.”

Luke 1 (46-53)

Merry Christmas to all.


Nuestro obispo lo dice! Este tiempo de adviento es acerca de dignidad.

Traducido por Alicia Nunez

Parece que nuestro obispo Gerald Kicanas a pasado tiempo con el Santo Padre!

El se escucha como el papa cuando escribió en el Catholic Vision este mes:

“El adviento nos despierta a la urgencia de ser participes en la búsqueda de soluciones a los retos y dificultades que hoy en día despojan a la gente de su dignidad , y eso hace que el mundo sea diferente al mundo que Dios concibió para nosotros. El Adviento nos invita a abrir los ojos al sufrimiento que prevalece en la vida de tanta gente. Muchas personas de nuestro medio carecen de alimentos, de un sitio decente donde vivir, y de una oportunidad de conseguir un trabajo que les de la dignidad que merecen.”

Me doy cuente que en esta época del ano mucha gente se obsesiona con hacer actos de caridad, pero la caridad no lleva a la dignidad. Ayuda a aliviar la conciencia de las personas mas que ayudar en el proceso de restaurar la dignidad de los que son pobres, explotados, o desempleados.

El papa y el obispo tienen la idea correcta.

Lo ideal seria que esa idea se convirtiera en realidad. La calidad de vida.

Debemos luchar por un mundo mejor; mejores empleos y asistencia para los que no pueden trabajar.

Para eso, necesitamos ser específicos cuando hablamos con los ricos. Para que no se encojan de hombros y nos digan que no hay dinero.

Hay dinero! Esta país es el mas rico, y poderoso del mundo.

Hay dinero para ayudar a las escuelas, camiones y seguranzas de salud. Ayudaría mucho si lo usaran apropiadamente para crear trabajos que ayuda a la dignidad de las personas.

Es la prioridad, la enseñanza social católica de prioridad al bien común, y eso seria que los ricos pagaran mas en taxis, eso los haría menos ricos, y no querrías mas guerras o remodelar el centro.

Para continuar el proceso de la dignidad en realidad. Los católicos y cristianos necesitamos ser profetas, tener menos miedo y mas alegres. Como la madre de Jesus, cuando canta el magnificat:

“Proclama mi Alma la grandeza del Señor

Se alegra mi espíritu en Dios mi Salvador,

Porque a mirado la humillación de su esclava

Desde ahora me felicitaran todas las generaciones,

Porque el poderoso ha hecho obras grandes por mi

Su nombre es santo y su misericordia llega a sus fieles

de generación en generación

El hace proezas con su brazo:

dispersa a los soberbios de corazón,

derriba del trono a los poderosos

y enaltece a los humildes a los hambrientos los colma de bienes

y la los ricos los despide vacíos

Auxilia a Israel, su siervo;

acordándose de su misericordia

como lo había prometido a nuestros padres

en favor de Abraham y su descendencia por siempre.”

Lucas 1; 46-55

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