Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Day Approaches

It is now the hour for you to wake from sleep. The night is far spent; the day draws near. Let us cast off deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.
Romans 13:11,12

This passage is taken from the Morning Office of prayer in the Liturgy of the Hours. It speaks of new beginnings. Now that we are in Christ, it is time to put away the sinful works of darkness and embrace the ways of Christ who is our Light.

Today's Gospel Reading for the Mass is taken from St. Luke's account of Zacchaeus. He was a tax collector, a very sinful man, who wanted to see Jesus. Jesus went to his house for dinner and forgave the man. His gratitude was evident in his resolve to live very differently from what he had before. This is true conversion; the reception of divine love and grace, and the corresponding transformation that follows.

Every moment of our lives provides us with such an opportunity. Whether we have been very religious, or not religious at all, God's grace abounds to the sinner in every place. No matter what you have done, this opportunity is available.

The night draws to a close. The day of our Lord's appearing is at hand. It is time to put away the works of darkness. Don't wallow in the failings of yesterday. Look forward to the life of Grace being offered to you in this moment. Let it be the moment of conversion. Let the day dawn and the Morning Star rise in your heart. Receive the warmth of the new day in Christ and go and sin no more!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

All Saints Day

Today is the Feast of All Saints. It is the time we remember all those who have died and are now in the Presence of the Lord. It is a very special feast in the Catholic Church.

Why do we venerate saints?

We do so to honor those who have lived holy lives. We want to hold them up as examples to be followed.

We also do so to glorify God. We realize that saints have attained such holiness only by the grace of God as given to us through our Lord Jesus Christ. To honor them is to glorify the One who has changed them.

Saints were every day people like us. They shared our circumstances and struggles. However, they chose to walk in the way of the cross and pursue holiness rather than give in to their own desires or the pressures of the surrounding society.

On this Feast of All Saints, I yearn ever more to truly be holy. I am so far from such a thing. But I trust in the Lord who has promised His power to all who call on Him in faith. By His grace I believe that I will indeed be holy and that I will be granted the gift of seeing Him face to face, if I endure to the end.

May the Lord grant us all such grace and may the prayers of all the saints aid us in our endeavor. Amen!