Los Angeles Archbishop Jose H. Gomez delivers the homily before thousands of young Catholics during a youth day celebration Feb. 23, part of the annual Religious Education Congress at the Anaheim Convention. (CNS photo/Victor Aleman, Angelus News)
LOS ANGELES (CNS) -- The answer to society's dysfunctions can be found in one person: Jesus Christ.
That message is at the core of a new pastoral letter by Los Angeles Archbishop Jose H. Gomez -- "For Greater Things You Were Born" -- released March 1, Ash Wednesday.
The letter is a 16,000-word meditation on human nature, which the archbishop maintains can only be understood in relation to God.
"Jesus Christ alone knows who we are and he is the one teacher of life," he writes. "He alone shows us the way to live in order to lead a truly human life."
The elections revealed rifts in American society. The archbishop notes in particular "the persistence of racist thinking," class divisions, "cruel indifference to the sufferings of immigrants" and efforts to "normalize" abortion and euthanasia.
"In place of a coherent national spirit and ethos, we see in our society new expressions of radical individualism and new forms of domination by the strong against the weak," he writes.
The "divisions and dysfunctions" in American society expose unanswered questions about the meaning of life, Archbishop Gomez writes. By forgetting God, society has lost a common foundation on which to build, he says.
"So many of our neighbors seem to be not really living but only existing," the archbishop writes. But, recalling that human beings are created in the image of God, he writes "God made us for greater things!"