On this last weekend of October, the liturgy centers us on the love and justice of God, and this message should make us reflect very deeply in this time when it is very fashionable to speak of brotherly love, Christian justice, among other things. But there is hardly any talk of the love of God. Instead, Jesus gives a very profound answer to the Scribe, who, with the best intention in the world, says to him: “What is the first of all the commandments?” (Mk 12,29), which was not surprising, because among so many laws and norms, the Jews sought to establish a principle that would unify all the formulations of God’s will; Jesus reminds him of the “Shema” or better known as the creed of the Jews, as an allusion not to forget the fundamental thing, the love of God, and with this, he reminds us that, first of all, we must proclaim the primacy of love for God as the fundamental task of man; something logical and fair, because God has loved us first. Jesus is not entirely pleased to remind us of this primordial and primary commandment, but he also adds that we must love our neighbor as ourselves. And it is that, as Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI says, “Love of God and love of neighbor are inseparable, they are a single commandment. But they both live on the love that comes from God, who loved us first.”
This following Monday, November 1, is the Solemnity of All Saints, a celebration so important for the whole church; at the same time, it is a feast of obligation. That is why I invite you to celebrate it with joy and participate in the Eucharist. It is a special day to meditate on our sanctification; this day, we will have two additional Masses to the daily ones, 5:00 pm in English and 7:00 pm in Spanish. Also, I invite you to participate in the Eucharist next Tuesday, November 2, when the church celebrates the commemoration of All the Faithful Departed. It is a propitious day to pray for the souls of our family and friends who have already departed but have left an emptiness in our families. Let us ask God to have mercy on their souls. This day we will also have two additional Masses, at 5:00 pm in Latin as it has been celebrated in previous years and at 7:00 pm in Spanish.
Also, as you all know, next Tuesday, November 2, is Election Day. It is an important day for our state; I encourage you to go and exercise the right to vote. It is our duty as citizens, logically those who are American citizens will do so; for those who are not, I ask you to join in prayer. The bishops of Virginia have written a letter regarding the duty that we as Catholics must exercise. I encourage you to visit the Virginia Catholic Conference website: www.vacatholic.org, where you can find more resources on this duty and in case you have any questions about it.
Finally, on behalf of Bishop Oswaldo Escobar, I thank all of you for the support given to his diocese in the projects he explained last week and for your warm welcoming and generosity towards him and his diocese. May God bless you for all this generosity towards him.
I hope you have a blessed weekend.
God bless you!