Saturday, April 30, 2016

2016 Provincial Chapter

Provincial Chapter assesses province’s condition, sets direction for next three years
If you’re wondering why these men look so happy, it’s because 
they’ve just come from the final session of a provincial chapter!

After sitting for nine days—a lot of sitting!—the Province of St. Philip’s 2016 Provincial Chapter concluded on Wednesday evening, April 27, with Mass and dinner.

42 SDBs—37 priests and 5 brothers—took part as capitulars: Fr. Tim Zak presiding in the absence of Fr. Provincial; 4 other provincial councilors; 17 directors; 14 elected community delegates; and 6 at-large delegates.
Fr. Tim Zak, vice provincial, calls the chapter into session
 on the first day of meetings, April 20.

Your humble blogger was the chapter secretary without being a member of the chapter. Unlike his previous experiences in that role, this time he was invited to take part in the discussions in both the small groups (but didn’t) and the plenary sessions (he did, about half a dozen times, sometimes with an opinion, once with a question intended to provoke thought, at least once with information responding to a question asked in discussion). As secretary I was busier than almost any member of the chapter; all most of them had to do was talk, vote, and fill a liturgical role now and then. And that's why I haven't posted for while!

(In addition, I was acting as reporter, taking notes for use in the province newsletter, where most of this post was originally published, and taking photos for the same purpose as well as archives.)

The chapter met mainly in plenary session, but there were several occasions when the members divided into six smaller groups (committees, as it were), including when members of the Salesian Family were present and took part.

Another angle on the chapter.
The chapter began with a day of retreat on April 19 led by Fr. Tom Rosica, CSB, and included the annual Province Day celebration on Saturday the 23rd and a short break on Saturday evening-Sunday morning that allowed local priests to return to their communities and provide their usual weekend Masses.

Each day began with the Liturgy of the Hours and most days also with Mass; on other days, Mass was in late morning, except the last day’s evening Mass. There was prayer to open each session, meal prayers, and Evening Prayer too.

On April 20, the chapter was given the customary report on the state of the province, which it spent a lot of time reviewing and reflecting upon, and which provided an important base for almost all the discussions that took place in the following days. There were a detailed presentations on province finances, youth ministry, and safe environment matters, which likewise generated considerable response.

The DeSales Room small discussion group (clockwise from left): Fr. Matt  DeGance, Fr. Bill Keane, Bro. Tom Sweeney, Fr. Tom Provenzano, Fr. Rich Authier,
Fr. Tom Ruekert, and Fr. Tom Brennan. Maybe this should have been called the St. Thomas Group?
On the afternoon of Friday the 22nd, Bro. Paul Bednarczyk, CSC, executive director of the National Religious Vocation Conference, presented a detailed summary of a recent NRVC/CARA study on vocations to the religious life, which stimulated many questions and much comment. He posed a key question: “What are we willing to sacrifice to get new vocations?” Almost all the SDBs in formation were present for this session, and most of them took an active part. An optional evening session followed up discussion of vocation animation in our province.

There were three sessions concerning the Salesian Family. Two were evening options, one on working with lay collaborators and one specifically on the Salesian Cooperators. The last was a session of prayer, fellowship, and dinner with Salesian Family members.

One afternoon session was given to reflecting on the vocation of the Salesian brother in the light of the recent Vatican document on the vocation of religious brothers. The brothers at the chapter, and four others present for the session, offered their thoughts on the document and their Salesian experience, and then some of the priests present voiced their appreciation for the brothers they live or have lived with, especially a marvelous example of holiness and Salesian presence.
At one optional evening session, local Cooperator delegates met 
with Sr. Denise Sickinger and Fr. Dennis Donovan (at Sister’s 
left in photo), the delegates of their respective SDB and FMA provinces.

Other optional evening sessions dealt with missionary animation, an example of going out to the peripheries to evangelize (the SDB work in Port Chester), and our schools.

In formal sessions, the chapter:

1. reviewed sections of the Province Handbook on formation, finances, and aging and retirement, and formally ratified the entire Handbook (including other sections) except the unfinished part on aging and retirement;

2. assessed how the province has been putting into practice the various indications of GC27;

3. marked out directions for the province and the local communities in the next three years in the areas of

  • vocation and formation;
  • community life;
  • belonging to an international congregation;
  • missionary identity;
  • mission to the young and the poor;
  • communications;
  • Salesian Family and Salesian Youth Movement;
  • formation of and collaboration with laity.

            4.  finally, proposed steps the province should undertake to advance our fraternal life and our mission to the young and the poor through our witness as mystics, prophets, and servants in areas concerned with:

  • the quantity and quality of confreres in each community;
  • the Salesian presence in New Rochelle; 
  • reshaping the presences in the province; 
  • young adult campus ministry; 
  • a province-level lay formation plan; 
  • communications; 
  • unity of residence within a community.

Fr. Bill Bucciferro presided over and preached at one of the daily Masses.

A committee composed of Frs. Rich Alejunas, Mike Conway, and Mike Pace labored long and hard after sessions, and at times during sessions, to produce the various segments of the chapter’s written output, which will soon be published for the province.

One of the regular evening socials—this one with ice cream 
and many trimmings, and cheese and crackers.   
There were beverages, too, of course.
Our vice provincial, Fr. Tim Zak, not only led the preparations for the chapter, a task he was given many months ago (and on which he was ably assisted by the preparatory commission), but he also presided over the chapter’s deliberations with equanimity, suitable firmness, and good humor. The capitulars were very grateful to him, and the entire province ought to be.

At various sessions some confreres and other members of the Salesian Family sat in as observers, as did some members of the province youth ministry team for the YM presentation, and at appropriate moments contributed to the discussions.

Each evening also had time for socializing with one another over food and liquid refreshments, and with entertainment when the youths of Port Chester came. There were a couple of special celebrations: Fr. Rosica’s 30th anniversary of ordination and Fr. Joe Santa Bibiana’s birthday (he recently celebrated his 50th anniversary of ordination, so you guess his age!).

Fr. John Serio made one of the most emphatic interventions 
of the entire chapter on the last afternoon.
The chapter members experienced wonderful days of fraternity, frank opinions, laughter, Fr. Jim Heuser’s efficiency, and prayer. They’ll try to bring the experience back to their communities, which now are charged with walking the course that the chapter has marked out.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Homily for 3d Sunday of Easter

Homily for the
3d Sunday of Easter
April 9, 1989
Rev 5: 11-14
St. Theresa, Bronx

This Sunday (April 10) I celebrated Mass for Scouts doing the NYLT course at Putnam Valley, N.Y., and preached on the gospel from an outline.  Here's a written-out homily on the 2d reading from "olden days."

“I heard every creature … saying, ‘To him who sits upon the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!’” (Rev 5: 13).

The Revelation of John uses many symbols to convey the Christian message.  In today’s 4 verses, e.g., we have a throne, living creatures, elders, and a Lamb.

John’s vision pictures heaven as an imperial court where God the Father rules the universe.  All the angels and every bodily creature pay him homage.

The living creatures mentioned here ch. 5 are described more fully in ch. 4.  Their imagery is borrowed from the OT prophets.  There are 4 creatures, and each of them has a different visage.  One appears like a lion, one like an ox, one like and eagle, and one like a man.  They represent the wild and the domestic animals, the birds of the air, and human beings—the whole of earthly creation.  In a slightly different interpretation, they represent certain qualities:  nobility (that’s the lion), strength (the ox), swiftness (the eagle), and wisdom (the man); in this interpretation, these are the most outstanding qualities of living creatures.  In either case, the whole of earthly creation and all its qualities are at heaven’s throne worshiping God.

The 4 living creatures and the elders worship the Lamb (source unknown)
The elders—again, according to ch. 4, there are 24 of them—represent all of God’s chosen people.  Jacob’s 12 sons became the patriarchs of the 12 tribes of Israel in the OT.  Jesus’ 12 apostles are the patriarchs of the new Israel, the Church.  The new Israel of Christianity grows from the old Israel of Judaism.  Both are God’s people.  Both worship the living God and sing his praises in a way unique among all of earthly creation.  And the elders represent us who are here this morning.

The Lamb that had been slain has a prominent place in the heavenly court.  Like God the Father, it is worshiped.  This, of course, is the Lamb of God that was sacrificed in atonement for the sins of mankind.  This is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.  This is the Lamb whom “God exalted at his right hand as Ruler and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins” (Acts 5:31).

When you listen to the final parts of Handel’s Messiah, you hear some beautiful renditions of the hymns from Revelation, including these from ch. 5.  Every creature in heaven, on earth, and in the sea sings these hymns to God the Father and to Jesus Christ, the Lamb that was slain for us.  Every creature acknowledges the sovereignty of God and the Lamb over all of us.  We shout joyfully:  “Blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever.”  Heaven, if you like, has become a giant pep rally.

Our liturgy attempts to echo the heavenly liturgy.  The scene painted by John is a liturgical one, one of public worship.  Ideally, crowds of grateful Christians would fill our churches and sing out God’s praises, communing heart and soul with their Lord and Savior each resurrection day, each Sunday.

There’s a little story about conversion of the people of Ukraine to Christianity.  It seems that Vladimir, prince of Kiev, wanted his subjects to adopt the most sublime religion they could find.  He sent deputations far and wide to see how his neighbors worshiped God.  They visited the Moslems along the Volga, and the Khazars of the Crimea, who had adopted Judaism.  In Germany they found Latin Christianity—that’s our kind.  But when they met Byzantine or Greek Christianity in the great cathedral of Holy Wisdom in Constantinople, with its clouds of incense, its chanting and ritual, its mosaics, icons, and vestments, they thought they’d surely found heaven:  “We did not know,” they reported, “whether we were in heaven or on earth.  It would be impossible to find on earth any splendor greater than this, and it is vain to attempt to describe it….  Never shall we be able to forget so great a beauty.”[1]  So Prince Vladimir and the people of Kiev became Christians with Eastern liturgy and laws.  And so the Ukrainians and the Russians remained until the persecutions of Lenin and Stalin, and so many of them have remained despite Communist persecution, like the apostles of old.

I doubt that many non-Christians entering a Catholic church today would think they were in heaven.  But if heaven on earth isn’t here around the altar of the Lamb, around God’s living Word, then where shall we find it?  We won’t, until we become convinced that God loves us and desires our presence; until we desire his presence and want to be part of those “thousands and tens of thousands” of creatures shouting and singing before him, thanking him for our sisters and brothers, our community, our local church, thanking him for wiping out our sins, thanking him for Jesus.  Isn’t that why we came out in this miserable weather this morning?

Our weekly worship, our weekly communion with Jesus, is a dress rehearsal for eternity.  In heaven, of course, our love will be perfected.  In the meantime, we love and we worship as best we can, and we try to turn the world around us—all of it, not just this building—in to a little bit of heaven by our faith, our hope, our love, and our worship.

      [1] Quoted by Stephen Neill, A History of Christian Missions (Baltimore: Penguin, 1964), p. 89.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Fr. James Marra, SDB (1952-2016)

Fr. James Marra, SDB (1952-2016)

Fr. James Robert Marra, SDB, former director of advancement and treasurer of Don Bosco Prep in Ramsey, died unexpectedly on April 6 at Hackensack University Medical Center, Hackensack, N.J. He had collapsed the previous evening, but the proximate cause of death was not immediately known. Fr. Jim had been in declining health for several years, including several hospitalizations. He was 63.

Fr. Jim was born in Brooklyn on June 28, 1952, to the late Vincent Marra and Catherine Fay Marra. The family belonged to St. Michael’s Parish in Brooklyn, and there Jim was baptized and confirmed and attended the parish school.

Jim went on to St. Augustine High School and then Bishop Loughlin High School, both in Brooklyn. He started college at Hunter College in New York City in 1970 before deciding to pursue a priestly-religious vocation, which brought him to Don Bosco College in Newton, N.J., in September 1972. He was admitted to the novitiate at Ipswich, Mass., on August 31, 1973, and made his first profession at Newton on September 1, 1974.

Bro. Jim earned a B.A. in philosophy from Don Bosco College in 1977 and an M.Div. and M.A. in moral theology, summa cum laude, from the Pontifical College Josephinum in Worthington, Ohio, in 1983. He was ordained on May 21, 1983, in Columbus.

During his student years in Columbus, Bro. Jim ministered as a chaplain for the mentally ill at Columbus State Institute for one year and counseled seventh and eighth graders at St. Cecilia’s Elementary School for two years. During his deacon year he was assigned to St. Leo’s Parish, where he also counseled in the school and moderated the youth group.

Fr. Jim taught at Salesian Junior Seminary in Goshen (1977-1978), Don Bosco Prep in Ramsey (1978-1979), and Salesian High School in New Rochelle (1983-1984). Certified as an English teacher in New Jersey in 1979, he also taught math, history, and biology at various times. He was program director of Salesian summer camps in Newton, New Rochelle, and Elizabeth. He served as treasurer at Don Bosco Tech in Paterson (1984-1994), moderator of the Salesian provincial chapter (1994-1995), director designate of Salesian Missions in New Rochelle (1995-1996), director of Salesian Missions (1996-1998), and pastor of Corpus Christi Church in Port Chester (1998-2007) before his assignment to Don Bosco Prep in 2007.

Fr. Jim was admired for his combination of pastoral sensitivity and financial acumen.

His director, Fr. Jim Heuser of Don Bosco Prep, noted in Fr. Jim “a remarkable blend of the acumen of a good finance manager with the compassion of a good shepherd.  In both Paterson and Ramsey he obtained financial aid for many boys so that they could get a Salesian education.”

Fr. Heuser continued:  “Over the years, he showed an interest in promoting vocations, and indeed was instrumental in inviting and accompanying young men to become Salesians.  In these last years, he bore the darkness of pain and illness with remarkable faith and love.”

Former Rector Major of the Salesians Father Pascual Chavez, SDB, wrote:  “I have a wonderful memories of him and am very grateful to him for what he did for the Congregation in his Eastern U.S. Province.”

Jay Gambino, a parishioner of Corpus Christi in Port Chester who met Fr. Jim in 1975 as a day camper in New Rochelle, said: “I was always impressed with Fr. Jim’s pastoral and administrative gifts. His contagious piety and inviting approach made him loved by so many.” When Fr. Jim was Corpus Christi’s pastor, he called upon Mr. Gambino in 1999 to plan the parish’s 75th anniversary celebration the following year, and “I agreed and he was such an inspiration to me,” including the way he bore various illnesses that already affected him. “He carried this heavy and difficult cross as a humble son of Don Bosco and would never complain,” Mr. Gambino writes.

Employees of Salesian Missions are equally appreciative of Fr. Jim.  Missy Tai-Fatt recalls how Fr. Jim helped her one Christmas get to North Carolina to be with her dying brother, regards him as “a special man,” and remembers a long friendship.

Kenny Potter of Salesian Missions liked how Fr. Jim “always listened to what you had to say” and “was very understanding.”

Diane Barone of Salesian Missions has “one vivid memory of Fr. Jim. [It] was on his last day here at Salesian.  There was a line from his office all the way to the elevator of people wanting to say good-bye and thank you to him for everything he did for us.  He made coming into work fun. He was approachable and very easy to speak too.  I haven’t ever seen a priest who was so missed by the people he worked with.”

Another Salesian Missions employee, Brenda McClain, called Father Marra “truly a man of that helped the needy and the poor.  He showed love to everyone. He truly touched my life.”

Luis Ruiz, a former employee of Salesian Missions who remained in almost daily touch with Father Marra, called him his teacher, best friend, confessor, and “a saint among us.”
Fr. John Nazzaro, Fr. Jim’s classmate all the way through seminary, wrote:  Jimmy was my best friend, my brother….  We did our whole formation together. His example of compassion and love for everyone, especially the underdog kids, made him the Salesian we loved.”

Fr. Abe Feliciano met Fr. Jim when he was a student at Don Bosco Tech in Paterson.  He mourns the passing of his one of his “spiritual fathers”:  The Word of God took on a deeper meaning today as one of my spiritual fathers went to Heaven: RIP Fr. Jim Marra, SDB. John 3:16 was my scriptural motto for ordination to the priesthood. It first took flesh in my life when Fr. Jimmy came in search of this once-wayward son of God to bring him back home to the Father. He showed me the loving face of Jesus that called and carried me back to the path of eternal life.”

Fr. Roy Shelly writes from California that Fr. Jim “was the personification of generous hospitality.”

Dobie Moser, executive director of Catholic Charities in Cleveland and a Salesian Cooperator, calls “his life and faith a shining witness of the spirit and charism of Don Bosco.”

Fr. Jim is survived by his mother, Catherine, of Brooklyn, his brothers Frank of Brooklyn and Vincent of Sayreville, his sister Louise of Staten Island, and several nephews and nieces.  He was predeceased by his twin brother Michael.

Fr. Jim will be waked in the chapel of Don Bosco Prep on Sunday, April 10.

      Reception of the Body St. John’s Hall                               1: 30 p.m.

      Wake                         Mary Help of Christians Chapel 2:00-5:00 p.m.

                                                                                    7:00-9:00 p.m.

      Rosary                       "                       "                            5:00 p.m.

      Prayer Service             "                       "                           7:30 p.m.

The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated in the school’s gymnasium on Monday the 11th at 10:00 a.m.  A luncheon will follow in the school cafeteria.

Fr. Jim will be buried in the Salesian Cemetery, Craigville Road, Goshen, N.Y., on Monday at 1:30 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Fr. Jim’s memory to Don Bosco Prep for student assistance.

Don Bosco Prep is located at 492 North Franklin Turnpike, Ramsey, NJ 07446.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Homily for 2d Sunday of Easter

Homily for the
2d Sunday of Easter
April 18, 2004
John 20: 19-31
Nativity, Brandon, Fla.
St. Clement, Plant City, Fla.

Troop 40's intended camping trip this weekend was cancelled, leaving me without a Mass assignment or a homily to complete (I had started outlining one based on the Collect). So here's one a dozen years old, on the gospel reading.

“Jesus said to them, ‘Peace be with you.  As the Father has sent me, so I send you” (Jn 2: 21).

The Church concludes its 8-day-long celebration of the day of the Lord’s resurrection on this 8th day or octave day of Easter.  For another 6 weeks—until Pentecost—we’ll continue to celebrate, but in a slightly lower key than in these 8 days.

Today we hear how Jesus appeared to his disciples on the same day that he rose from the grave, following their discovery that the tomb was empty, following his appearance to Mary Magdalene near the tomb (Jn 20:11-18), and, according to St. Paul (1 Cor 15:5), following also an appearance to Peter that isn’t otherwise attested.  We hear, further, how Jesus appeared again a week later, which would coincide with today, and so convinced doubting Thomas that he was truly risen, that he is truly our Lord and our God (20:28).

Thomas acknowledges Jesus as Lord and God
That Jesus is our Lord and our God is awesome, literally.  That a man could be raised from the dead and live immortal is awesome.  The power of God is the only explanation for such a fact.  Our faith affirms the fact, on the testimony of Peter, Thomas, and the rest of the apostles; for we are those to whom St. John writes, “Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed” (20:29).

Our faith, tho, can ask why.  Why has Jesus, our Lord and our God, been raised from the grave?  Why has he returned to his cowardly, faithless disciples?

In 2 words:  for us.  St. John quotes Jesus earlier in the gospel proclaiming that he came in order that we might have life, and have it in abundance (10:10).  And so the 1st words he speaks to his not so reliable friends are, “Peace be with you” (20:19,21).  While this was a conventional Jewish greeting—shalom—it takes on a new meaning for Christians hearing it from their risen Lord:  you are now at peace, in harmony, reconciled with God.  What Adam did, what you have done personally by your sins, has been undone, atoned for, forgiven.  The world is made new and made whole again.

The octave day of Easter has come to be designated Divine Mercy Sunday.  God’s mercy toward us sinners is indeed offered to us in Christ’s bestowal of peace.  Jesus makes possible the endless renewal of that peace be giving to his disciples—to the nascent Church—the commission to go forth in his name:  “As the Father has sent me, so I send you.”  He sends them with the Holy Spirit—this is John’s version of Pentecost, quite different from Luke’s in timing and external display, but the same in effect.  And thru that Holy Spirit they are to carry on Jesus’ own mission of reconciliation and mercy, forgiving sins—and also “retaining sins” (20:23), i.e., not forgiving them.  To the Church Jesus is giving his own power of spiritual healing and forgiveness, a power exercised by admission to Baptism and to Penance; as well as the duty to deny these sacraments of mercy to people who aren’t truly repentant, aren’t willing to commit their lives to following Jesus in the power of God’s Holy Spirit.

Certainly it’s merciful of God to give people a chance to repent, a chance to respond to the Gospel thru the Church’s preaching and to commit ourselves to Christ and to Christ-like behavior by being baptized.  In Evangelical Christians terms, this is accepting Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior.

Early in her history Holy Mother Church realized that a lot of people don’t make a once-and-for-all commitment to Christ, an irrevocable self-giving.  That’s one reason why the Church so highly regards martyrdom, which obviously is a total self-offering to God in Jesus’ name.  “No one has greater love,” Jesus himself said, “than to lay down his life for his friends” (Jn 15:13)—for our friend Jesus, in the case of Christian martyrs.

But in the face of arrest and the confiscation of one’s home, lands, and wealth, of torture and death, many Christians chickened out before the Roman courts and burned incense before the pagan gods.  In the Nazi death camps some Catholics were beaten to death or shot for refusing to trample upon a crucifix or a rosary.  How many of their fellow inmates did stomp on a sign of their faith to avoid a beating?
Blessed Joseph Kowalski, SDB, in his Auschwitz prisoner's ID
He was executed on July 4, 1942, for refusing to trample on his rosary.
Last week’s Our Sunday Visitor had a story about a 19-year-old Russian soldier named Yevgent Rodionov—Orthodox, not Catholic—who was captured by Chechan rebels in 1996.  The Chechans are Moslem, and some are as fanatical as Hamas and Al Quaeda.  These noticed the cross the young private was wearing and demanded he take it off and renounce his faith.  He refused.  They beheaded him.  Now he’s widely, if unofficially, venerated in Russia as a saint.  How many of his comrades would have done the same?  How many of us would have said, “Yes,” like 17-year-old Cassie Bernall, an Evangelical Christian, when one of the Columbine killers pointed a gun at her in the school library and asked her whether she believed in God?  She said yes, and he shot her.

Of course many Christians’ faithfulness falters not when they’re threatened but when they’re tempted:  a ruler or a soldier to murderous behavior, a spouse to adultery, a CEO to larceny, an inner-city youth to pushing drugs, a distraught young woman to abortion.

And so the Church understood by the end of the 3d century, after considerable debate and soul-searching, that even baptized Christians, people who’ve eaten of Christ’s body and drunk his blood, are capable of serious failure, of mortal sin.  And in her exercise of the Lord’s mercy—of carrying out Christ’s commission to bring peace to humanity, the Church developed a ritual of public penance.  This was a severe ritual for major sins like murder, adultery, and apostasy, and it was offered only once after Baptism.  If Baptism was one’s 1st chance at God’s mercy, public penance was the 2d and last.  Christianity was perhaps the 1st edition of 3 strikes and you’re out.

Public penance meant confessing one’s failure in public before the bishop and being given 5, 7, 10, or more years of hard penance—e.g., fasting on bread and water 3 times a week, making a long and dangerous pilgrimage; in the worst cases, a lifetime of penance, with reconciliation and holy communion available only on one’s deathbed.  Until the requisite time was fulfilled, the penitent was treated like a catechumen and had to leave the liturgy after the homily; he was cut off from praying with the faithful and from the Eucharist.  Well, naturally, that wasn’t very inviting.  People postponed Baptism till late in life, risking a sudden and unprovided death, rather than risk serious sin after Baptism, and its consequences.

Thomas Cahill’s book How the Irish Saved Civilization (Doubleday, 1995) recounts how the Irish preserved the learning of the ancient world and of Christianity in their monasteries during the so-called Dark Ages, then returned that learning to Continental Europe.  I doubt that it’s part of Cahill’s story, but the Irish monks also saved Christian penance.  Apparently out of the monks’ practice of spiritual direction, including the confession of their faults, a practice of private confession and forgiveness developed—and, as you might expect, it proved wildly popular outside the monasteries, too, in contrast with the ritual of public penance.  And so it seems our familiar sacrament of Reconciliation evolved.  The main point of it, of course, is that it exercises the compassion, the mercy, the forgiveness of Christ for us weak and sinful believers—continuing his mission from the Father to restore us to divine peace.

Blessed are those who believe Jesus our Lord is risen, who know his mercy, and who “have life in his name” (20:31).