Dear brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus:
It seems incredible, but we are already in November, and that indicates that everything has begun to change; autumn is becoming more visible, an indication that winter is approaching, and with it, the great family holidays, such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the end of the year.
In today’s gospel, the Lord gives us a portrait of the notables of Israel (Pharisees, teachers of the Law). These live in a superficial situation; they are nothing more than appearance: “All their works are performed to be seen” (Mt 23, 5). Furthermore, falling into incoherence, “For they preach but they do not practice” (Mt 23:3), they become slaves to their deception by seeking only the approval or admiration of men. Its consistency depends on this. They are nothing more than pathetic vanity, absurd pride, emptiness, and foolishness. The disciples of Jesus do not have to be like that; quite the opposite. We must seek to live in the presence of God in transparency and sincerity and, above all, help our brother because we must not forget that we have only one Father; they are all brothers. As always, the gospel clarifies that we cannot separate the vertical dimension (Father) and the horizontal dimension (our brothers).
The tenderness and demand of filiation and fraternity permeates the entire liturgy of the Word this Sunday. Those words of Saint John easily resonate in our hearts: “If anyone says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar” (1Jn 4:20). The new evangelization – increasingly urgent – asks us for fidelity, trust, and sincerity with the vocation we have received in baptism.
On another note, it gave me great joy to see the enthusiasm and joy with which we celebrated the Solemnity of All Saints last Wednesday, a holiday that inspires us to dream and work to earn heaven to seek God in the small things of our daily lives. The school children did a fantastic job, especially the second graders; each participated in the mass representing a saint. I was impressed to see that everyone knew the virtues and qualities of each saint. Congratulations to them for their love and dedication to faith, and I hope this saint inspires them to be holier every day.
Next Friday, the 10th, we celebrate Veterans Day. It is a day to honor our veterans who are still living and to pray for those who are no longer with us. Let us pray for our veterans who have faithfully protected our freedom and our country; on that day, the parish offices will be closed, and we will only have one mass at 9:00 a.m. God bless our Veterans!
Finally, this weekend is the beginning of the week dedicated to praying for vocations (Vocations Awareness Week). I invite you to pray for the seminarians of our diocese and the increase in vocations. One of our seminarians will be with us to share his vocational experience and help us reflect on the call that God may make to one of our children. Let us ask the Lord for workers for his harvest.
Have a happy week.