World Day of the Poor
In his Apostolic Letter, Misericordia et Misera, released on November 20, 2016, Pope Francis designated the Thirty-Third Sunday of Ordinary Time "World Day of the Poor." We join the universal church in becoming a witness to mercy by working toward mitigating poverty in our country and the world at large. It is evident in the gospels that Jesus identified with the poor. We, too, like our Lord and teacher, should be attentive to the cry of the poor and act to cut off the web of poverty in our community. As we get closer to winter, we shall notice more vividly the plight of the homeless, the hungry, the sick, and the impoverished in our society. As people of the Kingdom of Christ, we cannot afford not to bear witness to mercy as we see people in misery. As Pope Francis wrote, "as long as Lazarus lies at the door of our homes (cf. Lk 16: 19-21), there can be no justice or social peace."
On this note, I want to emphasize the importance of the ministry of the St. Vincent de Paul society. As I have noted, SVDP society is the face of our parish in reaching out to the poor and finding ways to help them live with dignity. In supporting with housing, feeding, health, and other areas, we do what Jesus asked us to do for him in the poor. Please let us continue to be generous to the poor through SVDP society. They support, among other things, in the forthcoming Christmas season, children without means of enjoying the cheers of Christmas through the Angel of Hope program and other events. Please support this program and ministry in cash and kind.
Also, do not forget to offer prayers for the dead this November. As we read in this Sunday's liturgy of the word and as we shall read for the next few weeks, the last things always matter: death, judgment, heaven and hell. It is an act of charity to offer prayers for your loved ones who have passed on. We have their names inscribed in our books, and I have their names laid on the altar to call my attention to pray especially for them at every mass I celebrate in our churches.
We will return to the historic church tomorrow to celebrate weekday masses. Then, we would have completed the repair of the broken slabs in front of the church and constructed a new walkway, and we could look forward to a more welcoming pathway to that beautiful church.
Next Sunday is the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, the last Sunday of the church's liturgical year. So let's come with a joyful spirit to celebrate Jesus' Lordship over our world before we begin the more somber Advent season.
In His Joy, Fr. Bernard, OP