Webster event helps conclude celebration of St. Paul jubilee year - Catholic Courier

Webster event helps conclude celebration of St. Paul jubilee year

In speaking to his contemporaries and to modern-day readers, St. Paul calls all to be ambassadors for Christ, said Father George Heyman, speaking during a June 29 evening prayer event to conclude local celebrations of the Year of St. Paul.
 
The yearlong jubilee was celebrated worldwide and marked the apostle’s approximate 2,000th birthday. The local closing event was held at Webster’s St. Paul Church and featured music from the parish’s Adult Choir Ensemble and cantor Maura Slon.
 
The event also featured St. Paul’s pastor, Father Stan Kacprzak, and the participation of priests and religious leaders from a variety of Catholic churches in the northeastern region of Monroe County.
 
Father Heyman, director of continuing education and assistant professor in Biblical studies at St. Bernard’s School of Theology and Ministry in Pittsford, spoke on 2 Corinthians 5:16-21 in a homily titled “Paul’s Economic Stimulus Package = Look! All Things are New.”
 
The priest said St. Paul helped his Greco-Roman contemporaries understand Jesus’ death in terms of wiping away sin and called them to be ambassadors for Christ.
 
While the U.S. runs on a market economy that deals in dollars, purifying the chaotic, sin-filled Earth was paramount to St. Paul’s Greco-Roman contemporaries, Father Heyman said. For instance, the high priest’s annual sacrifice of a goat in the temple on the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur), as is described in Leviticus 16, purified the Jewish people from sin, he said.
 
St. Paul helped his contemporaries understand Christ’s death by putting it in that context: as a sacrifice to take away the sins of others, Father Heyman said.
 
“God allowed Jesus to become more like us so that he might take upon himself humanity and sacrifice himself on the cross so we might be reconciled to God forever,” he said.
 
But the saint’s words do not stop simply with noting how Christ washed away our sins, Father Heyman noted.
 
“There is a clarion call to the ancient world that you have been baptized; you’ve got to be the ambassador for Christ,” he said.
 
He encouraged participants to consider how they will carry Christ with them as they go about their daily lives.
 
“I think it inspired me to take a more active role as an ambassador,” said participant Joe Perham, a parishioner of St. Jerome Church in East Rochester.

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