From Father Steven - October 31, 2021
Dear Brothers & Sisters,
Throughout these past weeks we were looking into the different aspects of being Pro-Life. We saw that it is not another activist movement such as those around us nowadays. We also saw that it is not a matter of judging people or being anti something. We are called to pray and to serve the defenseless, especially the unborn babies, those in need, whether it’s a single mother, an elder, or a homeless person, but also those who are in need of spiritual help. But really, if we could summarize what is at the core of being Pro-Life, one can say that is to be PRO-CHRIST.
This weekend’s Gospel we will hear, we are first called to LOVE GOD. However, unfortunately, the word “Love” gets used more and more over anything. It is almost a cliché or just something that we should say for others to feel better. We can love anything and anyone, but without truly loving. We say that we love the Patriots, Red Sox…we love dogs, cats, parrots…we love summer, snow, fall, spring…we love travelling, staying at home, going on vacation, visiting family…we love running, knitting, watching TV, fishing….and we love God. We simply cannot place God in the “same category as everything before.” However, when we use our language like that, we can love God as we love other things that are limited/temporal. When we look at how Jesus loved the Father and has loved us, there we can see a self-giving-love, one who abandons himself completely into the hands of another. Ultimately, Jesus has loved with “all his heart” by being pierced on his side where water and blood was poured out. He has loved with “all his soul” by giving up his life completely on the cross. He has loved with all his mind by crucifying his reason and entering in the will of his Father. He has loved with “all his strength” by carrying all our sins represented on him carrying the cross up to Calvary. Lastly, he has loved “his neighbor” by redeeming us from our sins and offering us a way to salvation. THAT’S LOVE!!!
Therefore, by having (the love of) Christ at the center of our lives means all of the above. We will not judge the others as he did not judge the woman caught in adultery. We will forgive others as Christ forgave his apostles when they all abandoned him on his passion. We will help others as he has helped many who came up to him. We will be compassionate as Christ was compassionate for the people who followed him before the multiplication of bread. We will break bread with strangers as Jesus broke the bread with the disciples of Emmaus. By being Pro-Christ, we will have the good of others always in front of our own.
Lastly, by loving others as God has loved us, we fulfill all the vocations that we have. As we are called to be holy, to be the good Samaritan, to be a parent, religious, priest, single person, WE ARE CALLED TO LOVE, and love without limits. Sometimes we feel that the Church is a church of “we can’t do this or that.” The truth is quite the opposite! St. Augustine says that “if we love, we can do anything.” That’s because if we love, we will only seek the good of others.
This is the “last week” of Pro-Life Month. As we continue through the year, there will be other opportunities to advance this cause, such as Holy Hour for Life and hopefully we will be able to bring a group down to Washington for the March for Life. So please stay tuned!!!
I would like to say a quick word about the upcoming Feast of All Saints and All Souls. On November 1st the Church celebrates all the brothers and sisters who have persevered in the path of God and have accepted the salvation from God and are in heaven. From there they intercede before God for all of us. It is like having a bunch of friends “buddies” with God who are all rooting for us and hoping that we one day we will join them. That’s why it is so important to ask for their intercession. On November 2nd we pray for all the souls of the faithful departed. We pray that their sins will be forgiven or their faults purified (those in purgatory) so that they purifying suffering can be transformed into the joy of heaven. I invite you all to attend both masses. ON BOTH DAYS WE WILL HAVE MASSES AT 7:30am; 12:10pm; 6pm in English; 7:30pm Upper Church in Portuguese, and 7:30pm in the Chapel in Spanish. Also, on Saint Joseph’s altar, we have a book to write the name(s) of our loved ones who have been called by God so that we can pray for all of them throughout this month.
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Father Steven Clemence