Hopefully your week was filled with God’s grace and His presence.
Today’s readings invite us to surrender our lives to God with a humble and generous heart by serving others lovingly and sacrificially.
The first reading and the Gospel today present poor widows who sacrificially gave their whole lives and means of livelihood to God, foreshadowing the supreme sacrifice Jesus would offer by giving His life for others. In the first reading, taken from the First Book of Kings, a poor widow who has barely enough food for herself and her son welcomes the prophet Elijah as a man of God. She offers all her food to him and receives her reward from God in the form of a continuing daily supply of food. In the Gospel, Jesus contrasts the external signs of honor sought by the scribes with the humble, sacrificial offering of a poor widow and declares that she has found true honor in God’s eyes. The poor widows in both the first reading and the Gospel give away all that they possess for the glory of God. The sacrificial self-giving of the widows in the first reading and the Gospel reflects God’s love in giving His only Son for us and Christ’s love in sacrificing himself on the cross. That prepares us for the second reading which tells us how Jesus, as the High Priest of the New Testament, surrendered His life to God His Father totally and unconditionally as a sacrificial offering for our sins.
Today’s liturgy of the word shows us that God always looks for the inner motives and the intentions hidden behind our actions. He evaluates us on the basis of the sacrifices we make for others and on the degree of our surrender to His holy will. The offering God wants from us is not our material possessions, but our whole hearts and lives. The hardest thing to give, is ourselves in love and concern, because that gift costs us more than reaching for our purses. Let us, like the poor widows, find the courage to share the wealth and talents we hold. Let us stop dribbling out our stores of love, selflessness, sacrifice, and compassion and dare to pour out our whole heart, our whole being, our “whole life” into the Hands and Heart of God and so into the hidden, love-starved coffers of this world.
NOVEMBER, MONTH FOR THE FAITHFUL DEPARTED AND HOLY SOULS IN PURGATORY
The month of November is traditionally dedicated, by the Church, to offer a special prayer for all the faithful departed and holy souls in purgatory. Through the communion of saints, we here on earth could “expedite” the entry into heaven of all our faithful departed brothers and sisters who are still in purgatory, purifying themselves from the temporal punishment left by their sins which were already forgiven in the Sacrament of Confession, by praying for them. As the Compendium of the Catechism teaches us: “Because of the communion of saints, the faithful who are still pilgrims on earth are able to help the souls in purgatory by offering PRAYERS in suffrage for them, especially the EUCHARISTIC SACRIFICE. They also help them by almsgiving, INDULGENCES, and works of penance.” (Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, n.211)
Dear parishioners, let us live the virtues of solidarity, justice and charity with all our faithful departed brothers and sisters and with the Holy Souls in Purgatory during this month by praying for them, especially the Holy Mass, so that they may enter God’s glory as soon as possible. You are all invited for the Rosary for that intention, every Thursday at 7 pm in the church (except last week of November, which is Thanksgiving, so we gather on Wednesday, November 24th). Let us have the noble desire to “EMPTY” purgatory this month of November, pleading for God’s abundant mercy for our faithfully departed brothers and sisters in need. Our Lady, Queen of Heaven, intercede and pray for your suffering children in Purgatory so that they may quickly be purified and enter into the heavenly vision of the Most Blessed Trinity!
Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May they rest in peace. Amen. And may the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.
Have a blessed week.