UP Catholic 12 08 2017 E Edition Page 4

4 December 8, 2017 THE U.P. CATHOLIC www.upcatholic.org Congratulations and best wishes to you Bishop Emeritus James H. Garland on the 25th anniversary of your installation as the 11th Bishop of our diocese. The parishioners of + Church of the Resurrection in Hancock, & + St. Francis of Assisi in Dollar Bay are grateful for your continued ministry. Pope: Are you afraid of God? If so, you don't really know who he is BY ELISE HARRIS CNA/EWTN NEWS Pope Francis cautioned against having a mistaken idea of God as harsh and punishing, saying this fear will end up paralyzing us and preventing us from do- ing good, rather than spreading his love and mercy. Fear always immobilizes and often leads us to make bad choices, the pope said Nov. 19. Fear discourag- es us from taking the initiative, and encourages us to seek refuge in safe and guaranteed solutions, and so we end up doing nothing good. Pope Francis turned to the days Gospel reading from Matthew, which recounts the parable of the talents. In the passage, a master goes on a long trip and entrusts three servants with different talents, but when he returns, only two have gained profit from it, while the third buried his out of fear. This parable makes us understand how important it is to have a true idea of God, he said, noting that the third servant didnt really trust his master, but feared him, and this fear prevented him from acting. We shouldnt think that God is an evil, harsh and severe master who wants to punish us, the pope said, explaining that if we have this mistaken image of God, then our lives cannot be fruitful, because we will live in fear and this will not lead us to anything constructive. Fear, he said, paralyzes us and so is self-destruc- tive. So when faced with the unfaithful servant in this parable, each of us is called to reflect on what our idea of God really is. Pope Francis said, in the New Testament, Jesus always demonstrated that God is not a severe and intolerant master, but a father full of love and ten- derness, a father full of goodness, Pope Francis said, and because of this, we can and must have immense trust in him. Jesus, he said, shows us his generosity through his words, actions, and his welcome towards all espe- cially toward sinners and the poor and vulnerable. But also with his admonishments, which show his inter- est in us so that we do not waste our lives uselessly. This, the pope said, is a sign of the great esteem God has for us, and having this knowledge ought to help us to take responsibility for our every action. Concluding, Pope Francis said the parable invites us to have a personal responsibility and fidelity which become capable of continually placing ourselves on new roads, without burying the talent, which is are the gifts that God has entrusted to us and of which he will ask us to account for. DANIEL IBEZ CNA Pope Francis waves to pilgrims Oct. 15, at the Vatican.

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