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Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Fall in Love The Thirty-First Sunday of Ordinary Time 2021

                                                                 Fall in Love

The Thirty-First Sunday of Ordinary Time 2021

October 31, 2021

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Deuteronomy 6:2-6; Psalm 18; Hebrews 7:23-28; Mark 12:28-34


Each time I pray this passage, I see Jesus smiling at the scribe who answers rightly because the faith is rooted and grounded in love alone. The scribe has reasoned his way towards the answer, but to declare obedience to God is rooted in love takes a leap of faith. Love is the quality that changes the equation because it adds something more, something greater to belief. Love of God entails loving neighbor and loving oneself. 


For a Christian, loving one’s enemies is essential, and I am dismayed when I fail to do it. Often I read about or witness someone’s impatience with others and a lack of tolerance and understanding. We see examples of poor behavior while driving, with wearing masks, with talking about moral issues or any social issue. It is disheartening to hear Christians speak with that lack of compassion and not even have remorse about one’s words or actions. We even have factions within the church in which some people are openly hostile to another fellow believer. We are not kind to our closest believers in the faith. Somehow we have to let today’s commandments to love our neighbor as we love ourselves sink into our consciousness. 


In our prayer, it is helpful if we ask for a deepening love of God. Prayer is simply about letting this love grow and flourish. If our love becomes warmer and richer, we will naturally love our neighbor or friend genuinely. In other words, we have to learn to fall in love with God again, and let God fall in love with us. Personal prayer is about loving God and letting God warmly gaze upon us in wonder and admiration. As the Scribe saw Jesus smile, we want to see God smile at us, just as we are right at this moment. This love is necessary for the healing of our souls and the betterment of the world. 


I’ll leave you with a quote from Fr. Pedro Arrupe, Superior General of the Society of Jesus from 1965-1983. We use it often for vocation promotion, and it can be used for many other areas of discernment. I hope you like it, for love is the answer to all our questions. 


Nothing is more practical than finding God, that is,
than falling in love.

In a quite absolute, final way,
what you are in love with,
what seizes your imagination,
will affect everything.

It will decide
what will get you out of bed in the morning,
what you do with your evenings,
how you spend your weekend,
what you read, who you know,
what breaks your heart,
and what amazes you with joy and gratitude.

Fall in love, stay in love,
and it will decide everything.


Scripture for Daily Mass


Monday: (Revelation 7) “Who are these wearing white robes, and where did they come from?” I said to him, “My lord, you are the one who knows.” He said to me, “These are the ones who have survived the time of great distress; they have washed their robes and made them white in the Blood of the Lamb.”

Tuesday: (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.


Wednesday: (Romans 13) The commandments are summed up in this saying, namely, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. Love does no evil to the neighbor; hence, love is the fulfillment of the law.


Thursday: (Romans 14) None of us lives for oneself, and no one dies for oneself.
For if we live, we live for the Lord, and if we die, we die for the Lord; so then, whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s.


Friday (Romans 15) For I will not dare to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me to lead the Gentiles to obedience by word and deed, by the power of signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God, so that from Jerusalem all the way around to Illyricum I have finished preaching the Gospel of Christ.


Saturday (Romans 16) Greet Prisca and Aquila, my co-workers in Christ Jesus,
who risked their necks for my life, to whom not only I am grateful but also all the churches of the Gentiles; greet also the Church at their house.



Monday: (Matthew 5) Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the land.


Tuesday: (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.


Wednesday (Luke 14) 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. Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after me 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) I tell you, 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; and the person who is dishonest in very small matters is also dishonest in great ones.


Saints of the Week


October 31: Alphonsus Rodriguez, S.J. (1532-1617) was widowed at age 31. When his three children died, Alphonsus joined the Jesuits as a lay brother at age 40 after attempting to complete the rigors of study. He was sent to the newly opened college in Majorca where he served as a porter for 46 years. His manner of calling people to sanctification was extraordinary. He served obediently and helped others to focus on their spiritual lives.


October 31: All Hallows Eve (evening) owes its origins to a Celtic festival that marked summer's end. The term was first used in 16th century Scotland. Trick or treating resembles the late medieval practice of souling when poor people would go door to door on Hallomas (November 1) receiving food in return for prayers for the dead on All Souls Day (November 2.)


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


  • October 31, 1602. At Cork, the martyrdom of Dominic Collins, an Irish brother, who was hanged, drawn, and quartered for his adherence to the faith. 
  • November 1, 1956. The Society of Jesus was allowed in Norway. 
  • November 2, 1661. The death of Daniel Seghers, a famous painter of insects and flowers. 
  • November 3, 1614. Dutch pirates failed to capture the vessel in which the right arm of Francis Xavier was being brought to Rome. 
  • November 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. 
  • November 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. 
  • November 6, 1789. Fr. John Carroll of Maryland was appointed to be the first Bishop of Baltimore.

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