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Bishop Speaks
April 19, 2007 Edition

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Under the Gospel Book (en Español)
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Bishops' Schedules:
Bishop Robert C. Morlino

Sunday, April 22, 2007
11:15 a.m. -- Attend St. Paul's University Catholic Center, Madison, 100th anniversary Mass and luncheon following

Wednesday, April 25, 2007
10:30 a.m. -- Speak at Staff Catechesis, Preside and Preach at Mass, Bishop O'Connor Catholic Pastoral Center, Madison

Bishop William H. Bullock

Saturday, April 21, 2007
5:00 p.m. -- Preside and Preach at Sacrament of Confirmation, St. Francis Xavier, Cross Plains

Sunday, April 22, 2007
10:00 a.m. -- Preside and Preach at Sacrament of Confirmation, St. Patrick, Benton

Monday, April 23, 2007
12:00 noon -- Preside and Preach at Celebration of the Eucharist, Bishop O'Connor Catholic Pastoral Center, Madison

Thursday, April 26, 2007
Priest Fellowship Day, Bishop O'Connor Catholic Pastoral Center, Madison

Divine Mercy: Offers hope and joy of Resurrection

illustration of Gospel Book being held open over bishop's head

Under the
Gospel Book

+ Bishop Robert
C. Morlino

(en Español)

The following text was adapted from Bishop Morlino's Divine Mercy Sunday Homily given to the Catholic Daughters of America on April 15, 2007 at the Bishop O'Connor Catholic Pastoral Center in Madison.

Jesus said "Peace be with you" and then He showed them His hands and His side. He showed them His wounds. And then a week later when He came, He said "Peace be with you," and then He said to Thomas, "take your finger and put it into the wounds on my hands, take your hand and put it into the wound in my side and don't be an unbeliever, but believe." "Peace be with you" and then He shows His wounds. What is the connection there? It happens twice in a very short passage in Scripture.

The wounds of Christ were not destined to be healed. That's interesting and that has always interested me. When Jesus rose from the dead, you would think that the glorified body surely would not show any trace of His suffering. You would think it would be made perfectly whole. If I were in charge of creating a glorified body, that's how I'd create it, there would be no wounds.

But God is far wiser than I could ever be and the glorified body that He prepared for Jesus didn't have wounds that were healed; it had wounds that were glorified. So that no one would ever forget. And when we see the Risen Lord, please God someday in heaven - if I get lucky after a long time in purgatory - we will see those glorified wounds. The point being, never to forget the cost of mercy. We lead a "risen" life, we lead the life of the Resurrection, but we can never forget the cost of mercy - the Crucifixion.

And this is why when our Holy Father, John Paul the Great, came up with the idea that there should be Divine Mercy Sunday, it was so perfect. When Jesus says "Peace be with you," the peace that he offers is the peace that comes from knowing that there is mercy for the world. The world looks pretty merciless, but there is mercy for the world.

And when we know that, and when we know the price that Christ paid for that peace and that mercy, when we see His glorified wounds, then we have the hope and the joy of the Resurrection. Jesus says "Peace be with you!" The world is pretty merciless; the world is not peaceful, obviously!

The only way there can be peace is if there is mercy, and we are sure, because Jesus is raised from the dead, that there has been and will be mercy, even if we don't see it right now.

So those glorified wounds are the assurance of mercy, and the assurance that there will be mercy allows Jesus to say "Peace be with you" because that peace is upon us only when we know that mercy is possible and will be realized. And that is the whole point of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, to assure us that the mercy won on the Cross, by those wounds, not only is possible but will be realized. "Peace be with you," and then He showed His hands and His side. That's the connection.

Wake-up call on culture of cruelty

The second point has to do with the buzz these days about Don Imus. Don Imus has been saying very crude things on the radio and television for well over 20 years. A few weeks ago he trained his sights on a group of African American women basketball stars, and just made comments that were so degrading to them, that it was unbelievable - such degradation of women, who are exceptional athletes, who are intelligent college students at Rutgers University.

When these radio and TV people go after the politicians, or when the Cap Times goes after the Bishop as though he were some kind of a politician, that's okay. And it is; that's what happens to you. But it is not okay when you have great young women, who are stars and should be enjoying their achievements, to have to go home and deal with the comments he made that ruin one of the best times in their lives. And of course that, in the end, cost him his job.

I find in this tremendous hope. I don't wish anyone ill, even Don Imus. But I find hope because what I'm thinking and what's being said is, that for years we have taken for granted a culture of cruelty, in particular toward women, or African Americans, or Hispanics, or whomever. We have taken for granted a culture of cruelty and meanness, frequently directed toward women, but now Imus crossed the line, there has been a wake-up call and we'll have to reevaluate this culture of cruelty. I find that very hopeful.

Wake-up call on culture of death

This has not only been a culture of cruelty, this has been a culture of death, and Imus' comments about these champion women are terrible, and he's paid the price, but they don't compare to the destruction of innocent human life, through abortion and embryonic stem cell research. The ultimate cruelty to women, not some nasty language, is the very harm to their womanhood, through causing the harm to their motherhood. And that's what abortion is, that's what in vitro fertilization is, and that's what embryonic stem cell research does. It harms the womanhood of women, by harming their motherhood.

I'm hopeful that if the culture got a wake-up call and said "we've become a culture of cruelty and meanness, and now look at what Imus did, and he got what he deserved." I have hope that if we could get a wake-up call about the culture of cruelty, if we keep speaking out and praying hard, maybe we can get a wake-up call about the culture of death, which is far more harmful to womanhood and to motherhood than Don Imus' comments could ever be - as bad as they are.

A wake-up call regarding the culture of cruelty will lead to, I hope and pray, a wake-up call to the culture of death. Only if we have that wake-up call will the dignity of women and the dignity of motherhood be restored to reflect and to glorify the Risen Lord Jesus.

I won't be silent about these matters, but I need your help. A wake-up call to put aside the culture of cruelty, especially with regard to women, and a wake-up call to put aside the culture of death, especially with regard to women, so that the glory of the Risen Lord, as it is reflected in Our Blessed Mother, may also be reflected in all women, with Mary, like Mary. Praised be Jesus Christ!

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Diocese of Madison, The Catholic Herald
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