31st Sunday in Ordinary Time

November 3, 2019

Today we celebrate the 31st Sunday in Ordinary Time. This week’s scriptures draw our attention once again to the wideness of God’s mercy. No matter how expansive our view of God’s merciful love may be, it will still fall short of the actual breadth of mercy God continually displays. Our first reading from Wisdom is a literary portrait of the character of God before whom creation is but, “a grain from a balance.” The author describes God first as merciful, but His mercy derives from power, “because You can do all things.” God exudes love for all things, because all of creation is the work of His hands. St. Paul in the second reading echoes the desire that God, “may make you worthy of His calling.” The community to which he writes is undergoing suffering on behalf of their faith. Paul writes to encourage them to remain steadfast. In today’s Gospel St. Luke tells us of the encounter of Jesus with Zacchaeus, a wealthy tax collector who comes to conversion. Jesus reveals His mission. He has come, “to seek and save the lost.” Whether our sins be great or small, when God comes into our lives with His merciful forgiveness and love, all can change. God has an unconditional love for us, His sons and daughters. When we go to great lengths to meet God, like climbing a sycamore tree, we can hear Jesus say those powerful words, “Today I must stay at your house.” Maybe hearing those or similar words addressed to us will elicit an offer of amends as strong and thorough as that offered by Zacchaeus.

Did you notice the doors of Church as you entered Church? Our maintenance man, Amir has completed sanding and refinishing the exterior of all the doors. These beautiful old oak doors take a beating from the sun and the elements. They were beginning to look a tad shabby, so we put it on the list for this year to make sure they were restored. Thanks Amir.

This first weekend of November we celebrate our traditional Mass of Remembrance. We remember our fellow parishioners who have left us this past year and all members of family, our friends, and neighbors whose loss still lingers in our hearts. Grieving is not an easy process, but as St. Paul reminds us, we grieve with hope. Following the Feast of All Saints this past Friday, we then celebrated the Feast of All Souls on Saturday. In a sense this Sunday’s Mass is an opportunity for us to remember all our faithful departed, (all Souls), to pray for them that they may be in the light, happiness, and peace of heaven. Throughout November there will be a “Book of the Dead” near St. Joseph’s Altar for you to inscribe your departed loved ones.

Mark your calendars! After a “wrap-up” meeting and discussion with the Parish Council last week, we planning to have another Parish Celebration next year on the 4th Saturday of September. It probably won’t be “McMahon Fest,” as people commented that only older parishioners knew who McMahon was. Could be “Luke Fest”, or simply St. Luke Homecoming. In 2020 our celebration will be on September 26th.

Finally today I want to encourage all parishioners to consider the Catholic practice of having masses said for departed loved ones, or in celebration of birthdays, anniversaries or other milestones. As we enter this month of remembrance, what better gift than to have mass in honor of our parents, a sibling who has passed, to celebrate an anniversary milestone, or to have it for a special intention. Mass is the highest form of prayer. To request a Mass, please contact Donna in the Parish Office.

God Bless! Have a good week!

Remember those 3 Hail Marys (Fr. Pete)