The disaffection of many Americans with the Catholic Church includes many of its own members whose faith in the church seems to be repeatedly assailed by scandals and the less than noble behavior on the part of some of its leaders. Despite the corrective emphases of the Second Vatican council with concepts like the church being the “People of God,” many Catholics still equate the church with its clergy and hierarchy. The truth, of course, is that all of us—clergy and laity alike—are the church. This denotes both ownership and responsibility—it is our church and we are all implicated in its spiritual vitality, authenticity, or lack thereof. Our task is to ensure that our membership of the church is enhancing its vitality and holiness and not think that this is the task of the pope, bishops, and priests. On this Independence Day surveys indicate a decline in those describing themselves as “proud to be American.” However, here too, America cannot be equated with its leaders and politicians—all citizens are integral parts of America and we are all challenged to ensure that our lives assist the process of America being a land that we’re proud to be a part of. Amos, in our first reading gives us a very simple, though difficult, recipe for doing this: Seek good and not evil, that you may live; then truly will the Lord, the God of hosts, be with you as you claim! Hate evil and love good, and let justice prevail at the gate; then it may be that the Lord, the God of hosts, will have pity on the remnant of Joseph [and on this beloved country we are privileged to call our home].