Catholic Social Teaching
LENTEN SEASON YR. B
Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida
9 Then the Lord said to Cain, ‘Where is your brother Abel?’ He said, ‘I do not know; am I my brother’s keeper?’ – Genesis 4:9 New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised (NRSVA)
As we come to a hollow anniversary during this Lenten Season marking the tragic passing of 17 high school students who were brutally murdered by a gunman – one of their peers – whose horrific act of senseless violence will forever call out to our nation that something indeed is wrong with our Gun Laws. However, my brothers and sisters as tragic as this mass shooting is there has risen a small ray of sunshine as the dust settles a little. This ray of sunshine I would like to direct everyone’s attention to is incredible considering the age group we are talking about. In their reaction of what they personally lived through – that no teenager, child, parent, or anyone should ever have to live through; have answered the question posed by Cain after he killed his brother Abel, “YES WE ARE OUR BROTHER’S KEEPER!”
The high school students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida have gotten together to organize a movement with a very poignant message which rings clear and should shame those in Government who refuse to do anything to protect our youth, who refuse to be the adults in the room, and refuse to act like our Brother’s keeper. Thousands of young people in unison loudly and bravely declare – ‘We are going to be the last mass shooting!’ To the Federal Government, ‘You are either with us or against us!’ – Cameron Kasky – Junior Class, February 18, 2018. The movement that has started according to this young brave man is called March for Our Lives – Protest planned to occur is scheduled for March 24, 2018, in his own words, “My message for the people in office is: You’re either with us or against us. We are losing our lives while the adults are playing around.” Echoing this call to action is Emma Gonzalez, a senior who bravely publically announced, “Every single person up here today should be at home greaving but instead we are up here getting together because if all our government and president can do is send thoughts and prayers then its time for victims be the change we need to see.” Sat February 17, 2018. These students rightly blame the lax gun laws and chief among this issue is the National Rifle Association (NRA) for protecting profits rather than peoples lives. I urge all of you, my brothers and sisters – join this protest, support these students, show through your actions that you too are sick of the laws that protect money instead of human lives!
We can’t ignore the issues of gun control that this tragedy raises. And so, I’m asking — no, demanding — we take action now. – Cameron Kasky
Catholic Social Teaching in Action
For many of you who may not be Catholic but may have seen this title before as it relates to Catholic Social Teaching, I say to you it is a human issue, this is a personal, moral, even Godly issue! People of faith in every corner of the globe should be able to hold each other’s hands on this one! For we all have a duty to stand up and campaign for those weaker than us and those who cannot stand up for themselves! We as children of God cannot just turn a blind eye to this one, and out of the mouth of babes (Matthew 21:16) ‘We can’t ignore the issue of gun control that this tragedy raises.’ In good conscience the 17 students who lost their lives and all other students in every mass shooting in America and anywhere this violence has occurred we can not look away, rather we need to look this evil in the eye and do something about it! Part of the response should be to tax the HELL OUT OF GUNS! Tax them out of business – make owning a semi-automatic weapon illegal – go for the money – give it to the victims – educate, educate, educate – be a responsible citizens and vote out any lawmaker refusing to be on the right side of this movement – be our Brother’s keeper and protect all life here on planet earth! JUST DO SOMETHING ABOUT THIS ISSUE! FOR THE LORD, THY GOD IS WATCHING! 12 ‘This land that the Lord your God looks after. The eyes of the Lord your God are always on it, from the beginning of the year to the end of the year.” – Deuteronomy 11:12 (NRSVA)
Teachers resources – Catholic Social Teaching
- Alyssa Alhadeff, 14 -student
- Scott Beigel, 35 – Geography Teacher and the school’s Cross-Country Coach
- Martin Duque Anguiano, 14 – student
- Nicholas Dworet, 17 – student
- Aaron Feis, 37 – graduated from Douglas High School in 1999 and had been an assistant football coach at the school since 2002, the Sun-Sentinel reported. He had worked as a security guard at the school for at least eight years.
- Jamie Guttenberg, 14 – student
- Chris Hixon, 49 – was fatally injured after he raced to the scene of the shooting to try to help students, the school’s head football coach told NPR.
- Luke Hoyer, 15 – student
- Cara Loughran, 14, student
- Gina Montalto, 14 – student
- Joaquin Oliver, 17 – student
- Alaina Petty, 14 – student
- Meadow Pollack, 18 – student
- Helena Ramsay, 17 – student
- Alex Schachter, 14 – student
- Carmen Schentrup, 16 – student
- Peter Wang, 15 – student
Prayer for Life and Dignity
‘Eternal God, creator, and sustainer of life, bless us with the courage to defend all life from conception to natural death. Bless us with the strength to respect all peoples from east to west, from north to south, so that we may truly follow the call of Jesus to be neighbor. We ask this in the name of Jesus, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit.
– (From Being Neighbor: The Catechism and Social Justice, USCCB, April 1998)
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever.
May the Lord bless you, protect you from all evil and bring you to everlasting life.
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Saint Joseph, Pray for us. ~ Sancte Ioseph – ‘ora pro nobis,’
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