Today we hear a very familiar Gospel passage, the one recalling when Mary and Joseph take the Christ child to the Temple in order to fulfill the mandate of the law. Even though they knew their child was the messiah who had been conceived through the Holy Spirit and not by normal means, they did not sense that they were above the law. They submitted with their full free will, and made the offering of the poor.
There in the hustle and bustle of the Temple, the only one who recognized the Christ child was Simeon and Anna.
Herod “the great” was a brutal king in Judea. As one connected to the Romans, he was very insecure governing the Jews. Among his pursuits, he killed his wife, his brother and his sister’s two husbands, to name only a few. Today we hear about the slaughter of the innocent boys, two years and younger. I was blessed to be able to travel to the Holy Land last spring, and in Bethlehem is the church of the nativity. In one of the underground rooms is a spot where tradition says that the holy innocents were buried. I prayed there for an end to the slaughter of innocents in our day in the demonic slaughter of abortion.
It is hard to believe, but here we are at the end of October. In just a few short weeks we will begin Advent and the beginning of the new Liturgical year as we prepare for Christmas. The month of November is about to begin, and that is the month we pray for the poor souls in purgatory. Here we have the beautiful and profound story of Zacchaeus the tax collector.
First homily to seminarians and formators… To be a priest of Jesus Christ. That is why we are all here. Each of us has heard that unique call of our Lord in our lives to leave everything to follow him. This is a truly awesome thing! To be prophet, priest, and King, and to share in the redemptive work of Christ for our souls and the souls of those we encounter.
We must be always vigilant, awaiting the day when we will be called from this life to meet our Lord to be judged. This Gospel reading is from Matthew 24 (42-51), which is full of such warnings. It’s a good idea to read this chapter to get a good sense of the importance of doing what our Lord tells us today: “Stay awake! For you do not know on which day your Lord will come” (Matthew 24:42).
We are fighting a spiritual battle. The devil wants nothing more than to drag us into the pits of hell, and he will begin that by making us forgetful of the call of our Lord. He will do it slowly, of course.
Today we celebrate a great doctor of the Church, Saint Bernard of Clairvoux. He is called the “last of the Fathers of the Church” because in the 12th century he brought to the forefront the teachings of the Fathers of the Church. He was born in 1090 in France. By the time he was 25, he was sent to found a new abbey in Clairvoux. There he established a monastery he called for a sober and measured life, and recommended the support of the poor.
Today is the feast of Saint John Eudes who was a priest who lived in the 1600s in Normandy, France. Two years after his ordination to the priesthood, a plague struck and he cared for many of the sick. In order to prevent his co workers from becoming infected he slept in the middle of a field. He administered the sacraments and buried the dead. He founded a religious order to help former prostitutes reform their lives and lead lives of penance and prayer. These became known as the Sisters of the Good Shepherd. He founded the Congregation of Jesus and Mary, a group of priests dedicated to parish missions and education of priests. Read More