Pastor's Corner Feb 3 2019

Formal thank you. I wish to express thanks to our financial donors for responding generously to the appeal which the Finance Council made to you this Fall. We don't take this response for granted. We appear to be in a much healthier condition. We are able to conduct our regular operations securely, manage our special projects efficiently, and practice our parish charities with greater generosity. These charities include the Poor Box, the St. Bernadette Fund (parishioners helping parishioners) and even our homeless outreach. Thank you for creating this stronger position.

That said, we remind ourselves the finances of the parish are not the end, but only a means to the end. The end is the service of God. Which? All kinds of service: personal service, social service, liturgical service. In addition, appreciation is due to all who aid the parish is other ways too. May God receive all your sacrificial gifts with pleasure and reward you richly!

Charitable Donation Receipts have now been mailed out. (We have tried to be as accurate as possible -- please let us know if you believe there is an error of some kind.)

Cooperation in Evil: Last week we discussed that which is called material and remote. We move on to material and proximate. Baking a rainbow cake for an illicit 'wedding' is cooperating in evil. If the baker does not 'agree with' or 'consent to' the illicit quality of the wedding, his cooperation is only material. Since there's nothing essentially evil about a cake, or about rainbow colors, there's nothing essentially wrong with baking it. Since the cake is important for the celebration, supplying this cake may be called proximate material cooperation in evil. Are we allowed to cooperate in this way? Yes, if the reason for doing so is proportionately serious. If, for instance, refusing to bake a single cake would result in unemployment, that would be a disproportionately grave consequence and therefore proximate cooperation would be justified.

Does this sound like a capitulation or compromise or lack of courage? Perhaps. Remember that our Lord cooperated in this way. If you charge Him with a crime, you stand with the Pharisees—not the company you want to keep. They asked: "Why does your master eat with publicans and sinners?" Jesus replied to them: "They that are in health need not a physician, but they that are ill. Go then and learn what this meaneth, I will have mercy and not sacrifice. For I am not come to call the just, but sinners." (Mt 9:11-13). When the physician says he is busy with the ill, he is giving a proportionately serious reason to materially cooperate with sinners. When he says, "I will have mercy, and not sacrifice" he is correcting the Pharisees and answering a question in our minds. Both sacrifice and mercy are good. Which is a high-er good? Mercy. This priority applied to the case of our baker means cooperating can be justified and the right thing to do.

Bad impressions. Did the "publicans and sinners" think that Jesus was supporting their sinful lifestyle? Unlikely. Nevertheless, He was willing to risk having his cooperation be misconstrued, in order to affect a greater good (or goods). Could the rain-bow cake be misconstrued as consent to an illicit wedding? Sure. The impression can be corrected, however, and a greater good accomplished at the same time. So far, we've covered remote and proximate material cooperation in evil.

God love you.

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