This weekend we celebrate the Thirty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time. However, November 4 is also the feast of Saint Charles Borromeo. This was and continues to be a special day at our Seminary for obvious reasons. This is also the time of the year for the annual Seminary Appeal. You most likely received a packet in the mail already. Seminarian Andrew Clark, Diocese of Arlington, who is studying at our Seminary and joins Anthony Albanese on Thursdays working at our parish will speak at all the Masses on the weekend of November 17-18.
Saint Charles Borromeo lived at the time of the Protestant Reformation. He became the Archbishop of Milan and was a driving force in the renewal and reform of the Church, education of the clergy by founding seminaries, driving out corruption, and restoring the integrity of the Catholic Church. He lived in tumultuous times. In our own time of pain, suffering, tumult, we ask his intercession for healing, renewal and a sure path to reform.
Our second reading from the Letter to the Hebrews tells us, “…Jesus, because he remains forever, has a priesthood that does not pass away.” Jesus is our high priest and by His power as God continues to be the One who ministers to us in the Sacraments, in Sacred Scripture, in our personal and quiet moments of prayer with Him. Before His ascension into heaven, He promised, “And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.” Even in our darkest moments, Jesus does not withdraw from us. He gave everything by His passion and death on the Cross, so that we might receive forgiveness, mercy and healing from His pierced Heart. May we continue to turn to Him, to trust Him, to wait on Him, and to accept and surrender to His grace, which brings us a share in His divine life.
In the Gospel Jesus shows us the way to live fully our human lives. When asked about the greatest commandment, “Jesus replied, "The first is this: Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is Lord alone! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. The second is this: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Jesus is showing us the blueprint for becoming saints.
We know these words of His inside and out. We know how difficult it can be to fulfill them entirely. And yet, we do not grow discouraged but persevere because Jesus told Saint Paul and tells us ““My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.”” Let us turn to Jesus every day and by the power of the Holy Spirit continue to live the fullness of redemption in our lives as we give witness to our brothers and sisters of His presence and love.
God bless you, God love you,