Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Today in the Gospel of St. Mark we read a particularly instructive teaching of the Lord. The First Great Commandment is the “Shema” of Deuteronomy 6:4, (the second account of the Law or Torah and the third book of the Bible). The Second Great Commandment reflects Leviticus 19:18. These are the foundation of our response to God and neighbor and when we daily examine our conscience we do so with these Commandments before our mind’s eye. The Lord has certainly made our self-reflection quite simple for us, but do we use it? Have I loved the Lord with my whole being, have I loved my neighbor as myself? Both our personal lives and the world revolve around these essential questions and how readily we see the consequences of how these questions are answered.
When we surrender ourselves to the mercy of God we more acutely respond to these challenges from Christ. First we recognize the unfathomable mercy we have received from Him and then we know in justice how merciful we must be towards others.
This year All Saints Day falls on a Monday and therefore it is not a Holy Day of Obligation. Nonetheless, three parish Masses will be offered on that day. Please refer to the bulletin schedule for times. Likewise, the following day is All Souls and three Masses will be offered for our Beloved dead. These two days remind us of the great Communion of Saints of which we are a part: The Church triumphant wherein the holy souls partake of the Beatific Vision and bask in the glory of the Lord; the Church in Purgatory where the saved are not yet ready to present themselves before God as they are being purified they depend upon our prayers and sacrifices most especially the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass to unshackle them from the consequences of sin; and the Church Militant or in pilgrimage here on earth as we struggle to love God and neighbor with every fiber of our being. In our struggles we call upon the saints in Heaven to assist us as we make our journey to our everlasting home.