Enjoy the 4th of July USA Birthday. Many will have family picnics, parades and fun. Others will go the shore. Our parish will begin the day celebrating Mass at 9:00 AM.
Since it promises to be a hot day, as well as a "day off" I may just read a book in the coolness of air conditioning. Archbishop Chaput has written a book very relevant to the 4th of July: "Render Unto Caesar" on the role of the Christian in political life. Archbishop Chaput just returned from Rome where he received the pallium, a stole which is made as a wide collar and is given to Archbishops. It is made from lambs' wool.
At a recent meeting of Philadelphia's archbishop and his auxiliary bishops with many of the priests, a non-Catholic worker in the meeting space asked a priest "Who are those men with the hats?" The priest replied, "They are the successors of the Apostles." The man seemed to understand well the responsible charge the bishops carry out. As a successor to the Aposltes. each bishop fills that role, to teach, to lead, and to sanctify the people of God. That's an awesome task! Yet the Lord promised them and us, that He would be with us until the end of time.
Returning to the theme of July 4th, I thank God for the freedom we have in these United States to worship God and to proclaim the gospel. On the ma facing Independence Hall there are granite signs which spell out the Bill of Rights. At the recent Freedom Rally I was struck that the First Amendment sign was next to the crowd that gathered to declare our right to worship and to serve all people as an expression of our religion.
Here it is: