Bishop Martínez: “From the commitment of the people we can have hope”

The Bishop of Posadas, Juan Rubén Martínez, remembered in his Sunday homily José Manuel Estrada, who died on September 17, 1894. “He was a professor, punctilious historian and practicing Catholic. He is a writer, journalist and politician, all of which made him one of the most faithful exponents of Argentine thought at the beginning of modernity in our Nation». Many times we reflect on the role of the laity and the need for a compromise between faith and life, criteria and culture”, he expressed.


Letter from Monsignor Juan Rubén Martínez, Bishop of Posadas,
for the 25th Sunday of the year
[18 de septiembre de 2022]

These days we have especially had our teachers and professors in mind. We want to do
memory of a great man in our history: José Manuel Estrada, who passed away on September 17
1894. «Estrada was a professor, a punctilious historian and a practicing Catholic. Writer, journalist and
political, all of which transformed him into one of the most faithful exponents of Argentine thought in
the beginnings of the modernity of our Nation». Many times we reflect on the role of the laity and the
the need for compromise between faith and life, criteria and culture.

In Estrada and many other men and women of yesterday and today, we can find testimonies that
They indicate that fundamentally from the commitment of the people we can have hope.

But it is also true, and we must point it out, that at this time we find ourselves with the need to
overcome the causes that cause so many ruptures between the faith and piety of Christians on the one hand, and the commitment to life and daily criteria, on the other.

Unfortunately, this brings serious problems to the evangelizing action of the Church. some of those
causes are found in erroneous statements of spirituality. There are not a few Christians who
enclose the religious dimension in the mere practice of acts of piety and in daily life they feel
freed to act in any way, without any ethical criteria. Since this is a vision
erroneous and even ritualistic and pagan of religiosity.

We Christians must know that spirituality needs piety, personal prayer,
community and sacramental life, but all this should lead us to understand what is the will of
God and put it into practice in our daily work.

The text of the Prophet Amos that we read this Sunday can help us [Am 8,4-7]. The prophet enumerates
a list of infidelities and injustices that the chosen people committed, violating the Alliance made with
God: «You say, when will the new moon pass so that we can sell the grain, and on Saturday,
to give way to wheat? We will decrease the measure, we will increase the price, we will falsify the scales
to defraud, we will buy the weak with money and the pauper with a pair of sandals, and
we will sell even the waste of the wheat”. The Lord has sworn by the pride of Jacob: Never
I will forget none of your actions” [Am 8,5-7].

Christian spirituality needs faith to be embodied in life, as James tells us in his
letter: “Put the Word into practice and do not be satisfied with just hearing it, so that you deceive
yourselves” [Sant 1,22]. Although spirituality involves all of us who are baptized, in our days it is fundamental for the laity to understand this challenge, which is the vast majority of the
God’s people. Evangelizing the culture will imply putting God’s will into practice in the family, at work, in politics, at school and in the media.

It is important to remember a text of the conclusions of the Aparecida document, where
He pointed out regarding the laity: «Their own and specific mission is carried out in the world, in such a way that, with their testimony and their activity, they contribute to the transformation of realities and the creation of just structures according to the criteria of the Gospel.

The proper sphere of his evangelizing activity is the same vast and complex world of politics, of
the social and economic reality, as well as that of culture, science and the arts, international life, the mass media, and other realities open to evangelization, such as love, family, education of children and adolescents, professional work and suffering.

In addition, they have the duty to make the faith they profess credible, showing authenticity and coherence in their
conduct” [DA 210]. In this context and in the need to evangelize culture, they acquire special
relief exemplary figures such as José Manuel Estrada. We do not doubt that our country is gone
building with men and women with ideals. The mediocrity of pragmatism that is always
materialistic, is one of the causes of the crisis in which we are.

This Sunday’s Gospel [Lc 16,1-13]tells us that “no server can serve two masters.
You can’t serve God and money.” Christians must have God in our hearts and
also his teachings, assuming daily life, as we do, but avoiding serving idols.
Greetings and until next Sunday!

Bishop Juan Rubén Martínez, Bishop of Posadas

Bishop Martínez: “From the commitment of the people we can have hope”