In the Heartland With Bishop Pates: Do We Need Jesus?

by Bishop Pates | February 18, 2019

Bishop Richard Pates

Central to the vision,The New Moment is Jesus. He is the center of history. He is the Father’s revelation of love. He provides the guideposts to our ultimate destiny of salvation.

On the personal level with each of us, he is the source of peace. It is the assurance of his unfailing companionship that we manage the disappointments, the struggles, the complexities of life. At the same time, rooted in a mutual relationship, he sparks the joy, the hope that emerges as we embrace the revelation that constantly unfolds before us in the Gospel. We recognize how essential his presence is at all moments. We do need Jesus.

This same dependent spirit generated in Jesus engages the immediate circle we associate with. We are encouraged by the support and sacrifice of those who constitute our personal community. When we are sick or in trouble, their compassion, their selflessness and outreach in true human solidarity touch us deeply. We need these friends because they point the way to that which is truly meaningful. Through our coming together in faith with them, we build God’s kingdom. We do need Jesus.

In the broader community eventually expanding to embrace the entirety of the human family, we benefit from the vision that comes from the teaching of Jesus – that which recognizes each individual as created in the image and likeness of God. All are our brothers and sisters requiring assurance of their life and dignity.

Within the social fabric so many of the “signs of the times” are discouraging.

  •  How many of our fellow humans suffer from hunger, exploitation, violence, corruption, extreme poverty?
  • So many of our school children live in fear and uncertainty in the era of mass shootings caused by the availability of weapons to those unfit for their possession.
  • Traced to the very roots of our country, the plague of racism remains to be overcome. We are yet called to fully implement the truth of the founding documents of our country and its ongoing legislation. We assert the fact that all people are equal. Our consciences, hearts and minds have yet to fully actualize this reality.
  • 90% of the worlds’ scientists attest that there is climate change owing to human behavior. An epidemic of universal suffocation is now anticipated within decades, if the present activity remains unabated . . .

As we reflect on these and other signs of the times, it seems ever so evident! We do need Jesus!

Very recently, the signs of the times have become even more distressing. In response to the liberalizing abortion legislation recently enacted by the New York State legislature and signed into law by Governor Cuomo, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York wrote: “I’m thinking of, for example, the ghoulish radical abortion bill . . . This chilling law, if you have not heard, insists on the demand for an abortion up to the moment of birth, drops all charges against an abortionist who allows an aborted baby, who somehow survived the scissors, scalpel, saline and dismemberment, to die before his/her eyes; mandates that to make an abortion more convenient and easy, a physician need not perform it . . .”

No longer does there exist a so-called justifying argument of a certain time in gestation as to when life begins. In fact, all of us began our journey of life at conception. Moreover, around every corner in the United States there are lines of loving couples eagerly desiring to open their homes to adoption. There will never be a shortage. Light conquers darkness. Life overcomes death.

No one, neither Bishop Pates nor Governor Cuomo, has the power to legislate the death of a vulnerable human being depriving that individual of the foundational human right: The right to life.

Do we need Jesus?

Bishop Pates

Since his installation on May 29, 2008, Bishop Pates' priorities have been to build up an inviting vocation culture, reach out to newcomers and the Spanish-speaking community, educate and experience evangelization, and to engage youth and young adults as vibrant and valued members of the faith community.