Our Parish Theme for 2012-13

You Are Light To The World

You Are Light to the World:
We Remember, We Celebrate, We Believe

Christ is the light of the nations! These are the opening words of the Second Vatican Council's Dogmatic Constitution on the Church. In this document the ardent desire of those gathered at the Council was “to bring to all humanity that light of Christ which is resplendent on the face of the church, by proclaiming his Gospel to every creature.” On this 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council we take inspiration from this proclamation for our parish theme for 2012-13: You Are Light to the World: We Remember, We Celebrate, We Believe.

Because of the Second Vatican Council we no longer think of the Church as a clerical institution. Instead we understand the Church as the People of God. We no longer view the Church as a fortress with walls to keep the world out. Instead we are a Pilgrim Church called to be in the world; healing, reconciling and celebrating the love of God for all people.

Jesus gave us a mission to be light to the world (Matt. 5: 14-16) and called us to live as children of the light (Eph. 5:8). Our call is to bring the light of compassion, tolerance, understanding and love into those places where the darkness of fear, ignorance and hardness of heart still hold sway. There are many places where we need to witness to the light of Christ:

  • We are called to be the light of Christ in these difficult times when much of our political leadership seems unwilling to come together around the shared values of compassion for the poor and vulnerable, care for creation and shared sacrifice for the common good.
  • We are called to be the light of Christ by rising above the self-centeredness that hinders our nation's efforts to form “a more perfect union” from the many ethnic, racial and religious communities that make up the tapestry of America. We see an urgent need to move beyond the culture wars, public rudeness and the erosion of respectful political discourse in order to build communities of compassion in our city, our nation and our world.
  • We are called to be the light of Christ by honestly and humbly facing the challenges within our Church; the decrease in attendance at mass; the increased disaffection of our young adults; and the growing disconnect between our institutions of authority and parishioners in the pew. At the same time we resist the temptation to grow overly defensive by viewing the world only with suspicion and fear.

It is Jesus who is our light, “a light that shines in the darkness and no darkness has overcome.” (Jn. 1:5) And it is Jesus who promises, “Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (Jn. 8:12) And so we embrace our mission to be light to the world as we embrace Jesus' promise to be our light.

On this 50th anniversary we remember, we celebrate and we believe in the legacy of the Second Vatican Council expressed by Pope John XXIII who convened the Council with a hopeful challenge that still resonates with us today, Distrustful souls see only darkness burdening the face of the earth. We, instead, like to reaffirm all our confidence in our Savior, who has not left the world which he redeemed. Indeed, we make our own recommendation of Jesus that one should know how to distinguish the 'signs of the times,' and we seem to see, in the midst of so much darkness, a few indications which argue well for the fate of the Church and of humanity.

Please see our interactive timeline for a detailed schedule of events related to our theme.

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