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Wednesday, October 28, 2020

We Matter The Thirty-First Sunday of Ordinary Time 2020

                                                        We Matter

The Thirty-First Sunday of Ordinary Time 2020

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November 1, 2020

Revelation 7:2-4, 9-14; Psalm 24; 1 John 3:1-3; Matthew 5:1-12



In our calendar, we celebrate all the saints today and we remember all the faithful departed souls tomorrow and each day this month. It is a day when we feel heaven and earth are drawn very close together, to a thin space, to a liminal existence where earth and heaven are held together by our threads of affection for one another through God’s grace. We experience the nearness of our deceased loved ones through our memories of kindnesses and cares, and we let God know how much we miss those no longer with us. Our communion of saints is comforting and it gives us strength to pass along our goodwill to others. The Beatitudes are God’s way of saying to us that God cares for us, that we matter, even when we may not feel we are respected in the world by those who are meaningful to us.


We have a basic human need to matter to someone meaningful to us. We crave acceptance, appreciation, connection, and belonging. We also want intimacy, mutuality, warmth, and trust because loneliness is the suffering of our time. We hunger for love but do not know how to generate love in order to feed ourselves with it. Though we may be around many others, we can still feel isolated. In our prayers, we may hear Christ’s beautiful words spoken through the Beatitudes and respond to it in different ways. The Beatitudes are God’s way of saying, “your lives matter.” It becomes meaningful when the words are personally spoken to us.


Scripture has to lead prayer to become personal. While it is okay to read the Beatitudes to say “All Your Lives Matter, especially the most vulnerable,” while it is true, it misses the mark. We want to hear from God, “Your life matters to me a great deal.” It is equivalent to someone saying to you, “I love you,” and you respond back, “I love all people.” While it may be true, it is so much more enriching to reply, “I love you as well. I’m glad you are in my life.” The personal expression of love is much more than words for you cannot truthfully say those words without being changed.


Allow yourself to hear these words from God, “I care for you, you matter to me, I want the best for you, and I love you.” Can you allow yourself to be loved? Can you allow God to gaze upon you in astonishment and wonder so God can just behold who you are? God doesn’t see you as you see yourself. Be that noble person God intends you to be, the one who is called to be your very best, the one who is supported by a love that impels you to give all that you have to make your life and the lives of those around you better. God’s love perfects you. God’s love changes you. God’s love connects, and once we see those connections, we build a world of possibilities that are otherwise unseen by us.


Today and this month, we can feel our world’s connection with God’s realm. The thin places are held together by this mutual love, for the longing for greater meaning, to still matter to those who have gone before us in the faith, to be seen, heard, and known in an intimate embrace that gives solemn meaning to our existence. Heaven and earth touch today so we can give and receive this love. Dear friends, rest in God’s personal love for you today. You certainly matter. Blessed are you for receiving God’s warm kiss.


Scripture for Daily Mass


First Reading:

Monday: (Wisdom 3) The souls of the just are in the hand of God, and no torment shall touch them. They seemed, in the view of the foolish, to be dead; and their passing away was thought an affliction and their going forth from us, utter destruction.


Tuesday: (Philippians 2) Have among yourselves the same attitude that is also yours in Christ Jesus, Who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God something to be grasped. Rather, he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave.


Wednesday: (Philippians 2) Obedient as you have always been, not only when I am present but all the more now when I am absent, work out your salvation with fear and trembling. For God is the one who, for his good purpose, works in you both to desire and to work.


Thursday: (Philippians 3) We are the circumcision, we who worship through the Spirit of God, who boast in Christ Jesus and do not put our confidence in flesh, although I myself have grounds for confidence even in the flesh.


Friday (Philippians 3) For many conduct themselves as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their end is destruction. Their God is their stomach; their glory is in their “shame.” Their minds are occupied with earthly things.


Saturday (Philippians 4) I know indeed how to live in humble circumstances; I know also how to live with abundance. In every circumstance and in all things I have learned the secret of being well fed and of going hungry, of living in abundance and of being in need.



Monday: (John 6) Everything that the Father gives me will come to me, and I will not reject anyone who comes to me, because I came down from heaven not to do my own will but the will of the one who sent me.


Tuesday: (Luke 14) One of those at table with Jesus said to him, “Blessed is the one who will dine in the Kingdom of God.”


Wednesday (Luke 14) Great crowds were traveling with Jesus, and he turned and addressed them, “If anyone comes to me without hating his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.


Thursday (Luke 15) The tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to listen to Jesus, but the Pharisees and scribes began to complain, saying, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.” So Jesus addressed this parable to them.


Friday (Luke 16) A rich man had a steward who was reported to him for squandering his property. He summoned him and said, ‘What is this I hear about you?
Prepare a full account of your stewardship, because you can no longer be my steward.’


Saturday (Luke 16) Make friends for yourselves with dishonest wealth, so that when it fails, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings. The person who is trustworthy in very small matters is also trustworthy in great ones.


Saints of the Week


November 1: All Saints Day honors the countless faithful believers - living and dead - who have helped us along in our faith. Our liturgical calendar is filled with canonized saints, but we have many blesseds and minor saints who no longer appear on it. We have local saints across the world. We have many people who live Gospel values who we appreciate and imitate. We remember all of these people on this day.


November 2: All Souls Day is the commemoration of the faithful departed. November is known as All Souls Month. We remember those who died as we hasten towards the end of the liturgical year and the great feast of Christ the King. As a tradition, we have always remembered our dead as a way of keeping them alive to us and giving thanks to God for their lives.


November 3: Rupert Mayer, S.J., priest (1876-1945), resisted the Nazi government and died while saying Mass of a stroke. In 1937, he was placed in protective custody and was eventually released when he agreed that he would no longer preach.


November 3: Martin de Porres, religious (1579-1639) was a Peruvian born of a Spanish knight and a Panamanian Indian woman. Because he was not pure blood, he lost many privileges in the ruling classes. He became a Dominican and served the community in many menial jobs. He was known for tending to the sick and poor and for maintaining a rigorous prayer life.


November 4: Charles Borromeo, bishop (1538-1584), was made Bishop of Milan at age 22. He was the nephew of Pope Pius IV. He was a leading Archbishop in the Catholic Reformation that followed the Council of Trent. During a plague epidemic, Borromeo visited the hardest hit areas so he could provide pastoral care to the sick.


November 5: All Saints and Blessed of the Society of Jesus are remembered by Jesuits on their particularized liturgical calendar. We remember not only the major saints on the calendar, but also those who are in the canonization process and hold the title of Blessed. We pray for all souls of deceased Jesuits in our province during the month by using our necrology (listing of the dead.)


This Week in Jesuit History


  • Nov 1, 1956. The Society of Jesus was allowed in Norway.
  • Nov 2, 1661. The death of Daniel Seghers, a famous painter of insects and flowers.
  • Nov 3, 1614. Dutch pirates failed to capture the vessel in which the right arm of Francis Xavier was being brought to Rome.
  • Nov 4, 1768. On the feast of St Charles, patron of Charles III, King of Spain, the people of Madrid asked for the recall of the Jesuits who had been banished from Spain nineteen months earlier. Irritated by this demand, the king drove the Archbishop of Toledo and his Vicar General into exile as instigators of the movement.
  • Nov 5, 1660. The death of Alexander de Rhodes, one of the most effective Jesuit missionaries of all time. A native of France, he arrived in what is now Vietnam in 1625.
  • Nov 6, 1789. Fr. John Carroll of Maryland was appointed to be the first Bishop of Baltimore.
  • Nov 7, 1717. The death of Antonio Baldinucci, an itinerant preacher to the inhabitants of the Italian countryside near Rome. 

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