Bridges

 

“Bridges” discusses the importance of repairing all that is broken in our world. It is vital not only to be merciful to those who are in need but also to address the structural factors in society that oppress and harm others. Confronting the evil around us is an essential responsibility for the followers of Jesus. Yet Christians do not work alone. They are called to cooperate with all people of good will to build a better society.

I invite you to comment on the video below.

REFLECTION QUESTIONS FOR “BRIDGES”

1) Is your own experience of life defined more by walls or bridges? Why do you think so?

2) Have you ever been successful in building a bridge with others? What was accomplished by your effort? How satisfying was the work?

3) People often build a wall out of fear. What word would you choose to explain why people would build a bridge? Explain your answer.

4) This video reflects the teaching of the 1971 World Synod of Catholic Bishops who stated: “Action on behalf of justice and participation in the transformation of the world fully appear to us as a constitutive dimension of the preaching of the Gospel.” Does it surprise you that working to change the world is seen as an essential aspect of following Jesus? Why or why not?

13 Comments

  1. Well done, again Fr. George. How timely a messagen, not only with our parish Advocacy initiatives but with the broader world scope. Indeed “bridges” are exactly what immigrants and refugees need in both the literal and metaphorical sense today.

  2. I received this response from Chris (GMS):

    I saw your Bridges video on facebook and all I can say is ‘wow!’. The points you make about the choices we have to either go within or to be creative and put ourselves out there – they were certainly words I needed to hear. For the last several years, Ive been sort of becoming more and more a ‘within’ person but reading Ive been doing lately and watching what is going on in the world, I’m realizing that we need to reach out whenever and wherever we can. Your video really brought home that point to me today so thank you – for taking the time to reflect and write and then present it in such a beautiful way (BTW – the cinematographer is superb – for example where the background is blurred in some cases and the focus is on you. The photography is crystal clear and the music just added such a nice, relaxing, peaceful tone to you message. These are clearly professional artists.)

  3. Hi Fr. George,

    This was a particularly thought-provoking video for me. I’ve been thinking a great deal about Edgar Allen Poe’s “Mask of the Red Death”, of late. As you probably know, Poe imagines a world where a terrible plague has beset the citizens of some mythical country, and a wealthy prince attempts to lock out the pestilence from his castle, where he cavorts with others of his royal class. When the prince hosts a masked ball, Death arrives as a mysterious, masked guest, and all within the castle perish. Poe’s point mirrors your own. Looking inward when evil rises is a fruitless exercise and can invite greater disaster than if we attempt to engage the outside world, warts and all. There’s plenty more food for thought in your video, but space prevents me from delving into it here. Keep up the good work!

  4. I have thoroughly enjoyed your website and the videos in particular. I am not catholic, but the messages you present are done in a way that all Christians can benefit from them. Having lost my wife of 40 years less than a year ago made the “Heartbreak” video extremely relevant and enlightening to me. It was the thought of having friends that support us that brought new meaning to my problem of heartache and loss. Thank you for your wisdom and talent in bringing these to everyone . The “Bridges” video (the most recent) is very meaningful in today’s world. And like the others it is extremely well done. My cudos to all involved in the production of these videos!!

  5. Mary Pat Frey says:

    What a wonderful explanation and call to all people – regardless of religion or any kind of classification we use to divide ourselves. The only way we can ever hope to “beat” evil is to join with one another and be a bridge builder – on this we should all be able to agree. Thank you, Fr. George, for the good and hard work on creating these messages that are engaging to view and thought-provoking in consideration.

  6. Kathleen Barr says:

    Thank you so much for another video in a wonderful series. It is, as always, very well done. How good to reach out with your messages to all of us and to include presenting to those who may not go to experience a homily in a church building.

  7. You wrote an article for “Give Us This Day” for Dec 27-31 Within the Word, Violence at Jesus’ Birth, where you wrote about the slaughter of the Holy Innocents. “Fortunately, it is unlikely that the massacre is an actual historical occurrence.” as it is only told in the gospel of Matthew and not mention in Jewish or Roman sources. Others have said there would only have been
    10 or 20 infants for a small town the size of Bethlehem and this event could very well have not had a historical reporting. We know there are atrocities committed in the modern times that probably have not been reported. And this would seem to negate the need for the flight to Egypt of Mary, Joseph, and Jesus. And didn’t Herod kill his own sons for fear they would overthrow him?

    • When it comes to historical judgments, we can never have complete certainty. That is why I used the word “unlikely.” As Catholics we are free to use the historical sources that are available to us in order to come to reasonable historical conclusions. Most modern biblical critics conclude that the slaughter Matthew describes (although characteristic of Herod) would have been recounted in his well-documented life. What is certain is the “meaning” of the event–that is its theological purpose. This is what I tried to emphasize in the Dec issue of Give Us This Day.

  8. Dear Fr. Smiga,

    Thank you for nourishing us! Keep it up. We live in a desert in Denton, Texas where we are starving for good scriptural food. God bless your ministry and God bless you! Ruth and Bill Anderson

  9. Hi Father George!

    Thank you so much for the article How to talk to God in this month’s Living with Christ. We had a Holy Hour on the first Saturday of this month, and I read this article as our reflection. It touched all of us. Many times we look at Saints and Biblical figures as having it all together, but the prophet Jeremiah showed us that they are human too.

    Thank you for such a beautiful insight to this prophet and showing us that we all get upset with God at times and that it is OK.

    Wishing you the best from Raleigh, NC.

    Have a wonderful day!

    Loretta

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