Sunday, September 9, 2012

Twenty Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

In today’s Gospel (Mark 7:31-37) Jesus opens the ears and loosens the tongue of a man who could not hear or speak. We pray that the politicians of our world, and in particular of our nation during this election year, may hear the voice of God and speak the truth. Our reflection is from Blessed John Paul II’s homily for the Jubilee of Government Leaders and Politicians, November 5, 2000 in which he announced that he had made St. Thomas More the patron saint of government leaders and politicians.

Distinguished Government Leaders, Members of Parliament, Politicians, Public Administrators: at the beginning of the new century and the new millennium, those responsible for public life are faced with many demanding responsibilities. It is precisely with this in mind that, in the context of the Great Jubilee, I have wished, as you know, to offer you the support of a special Patron: the martyr Saint Thomas More.

Thomas More’s life is truly an example for all who are called to serve humanity and society in the civic and political sphere. The eloquent testimony which he bore is as timely as ever at an historical moment which presents crucial challenges to the consciences of everyone involved in the field of governance. As a statesman, he always placed himself at the service of the person, especially the weak and the poor. Honor and wealth held no sway over him, guided as he was by an outstanding sense of fairness. Above all, he never compromised his conscience, even to the point of making the supreme sacrifice so as not to disregard its voice. Invoke him, follow him, imitate him! His intercession will not fail – even in the most difficult of situations – to bring you strength, good naturedness, patience and perseverance.

This is the hope which we now wish to strengthen with the power of the Eucharistic Sacrifice, in which Christ once more becomes nourishment and direction for our lives. May the Lord help you to become politicians after his own heart, emulators of Saint Thomas More, courageous witnesses of Christ and conscientious servants of the State.

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