Voices of Faith

The Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time

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Dear Friends:

“Master, I want to see.” The prayerful request of blind Bartimeus in today’s gospel (Mark 10:46-52) is not only a plea to heal his ailment but to give him what he needs to be a disciple. Once healed, Bartimeus immediately followed Jesus on the way. When we identify what is holding us back from following Jesus more completely, maybe we should bring that to our prayer and ask the Lord’s help. As the Lord calls us to follow him, so he also gives us what we need to get up and do so.

This week we celebrate both the Solemnity of All Saints (a holy day of obligation) and the Commemoration of the Faithful Departed (“All Souls’ Day”). Together these days help us fix our vision on the ultimate goal and destination of the Christian life, which is, simply put, heaven.

We see something of heaven in the lives of the saints, those we honor for their dedication and holiness of life. We believe the saints are in heaven because of their words and their deeds but also because we see the effects of their intercession here in our lives. The process of canonization includes both the scrutiny of the person’s life on earth and discerning some sign of the fruits of their intercession for us through attested “miracles.” Both elements (their earthly life and their heavenly prayer) teach us something about our path to heaven through a life of holiness.

We also pray for all the faithful departed because we believe we are still connected to them in a prayerful communion. This, too, tells us something about heaven and about eternal life. We assist them with our prayers as they are on their way, and we know they continue to look after us with their prayers. I encourage all, especially those who feel the pain of grief over a lost loved one, to join us on Friday evening at 6:30 pm for a special Mass for All Souls’ Day. We will begin outside in the cemetery with a prayer and blessing followed by a procession to the church. All are invited to bring a photo of a deceased loved one to place on a table in the sanctuary for the Mass.

God’s peace,

Fr. Rick