Richmond cathedral hosts Virginia Vespers

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By growing to know more about the person and personality of Jesus, many Christians get involved in work that helps others attain those basic needs - such as food, clothing and shelter - to which every man, woman and child has a right by virtue of being created by God.

Richmond Bishop Francis X. DiLorenzo gave this heartfelt message as homilist at "Virginia Vespers: Evening Prayer for the Commonwealth," part of the Liturgy of the Hours Feb. 17 at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Richmond.

Arlington Bishop Paul S. Loverde led the Evening Prayer. The event was the first of its kind and was prepared by the Virginia Catholic Conference.

With Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe and his wife, Dorothy, present along with other state legislators, Bishop DiLorenzo was clear about why they had been invited to the service.

"It is important to be transparent, we're not here to discuss an agenda or sell you an idea," he said.

Asserting that Catholics have a communal belief in Jesus Christ as a person and His personality, he said that Jesus touched hearts, and this helped establish discipleship.

"What is this personality?" Bishop DiLorenzo asked. "Jesus is someone who has compassion. He saw people who had a need and he tried to address it.

"Jesus was loving. He tried to show love to every man, woman and child."

Jesus' death on the cross brought salvation to all humanity.

"When He was on the cross, He forgave those who crucified Him and for the sins of others," the bishop continued.

"He was gentle. He loved people, and kids obviously loved Him.

"He was patient. He had a message, and He was a Savior who ran right into the religious establishment at every turn.

"He was self-controlled. He was humble and wasn't interested in power and seeking glory."

With this personality, Jesus invited all of humanity to have a relationship with Him, Bishop DiLorenzo said.

"He had a pure heart and right motivation," he said.

Acknowledging that Christians will not always be successful in accomplishing all that they hope to do, Bishop DiLorenzo said, in the final analysis, legislators should ask themselves "Did you have the right motivation?"

He suggested that those who seek to address the needs of the Commonwealth of Virginia should "have a pure heart and right motivation to solve sometimes what appear to be unsolveable problems."

"For us as Catholics, we want to be in a right relationship with Jesus," Bishop DiLorenzo said. "We want to be partners with whoever will join us to move forward.

"When we are judged, we will have to own up. Did we enter into a relationship with Jesus?

"He wants us to have a pure heart and work to help the needs of others."

Neill is editor of The Catholic Virginian.

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2016