COMMUNION OF SAINTS
29th Week in Ordinary Time
RCIA Session, October 26, 2017
Isaiah 45:1, 4-6
Psalm 96:1, 3, 4-5, 7-8, 9-10
1 Thessalonians 1:1-5b
"We give thanks to God always for all of you, remembering you in our prayers, unceasingly calling to mind your work of faith and labor of love and endurance in hope of our Lord Jesus Christ, before our God and Father, knowing, brothers and sisters loved by God, how you were chosen. For our gospel did not come to you in word alone, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with much conviction." -cf. 1 Thessalonians 1:1-5b
"The Pharisees went off and plotted how they might entrap Jesus in speech." -cf. Matthew 22:15-21
ANNOUNCEMENTS: Family/Small Group Week in RCIA
This week the RCIA Families will meet in their small groups, parents with children - rather than in class groups. Adult inquirers will meet as usual in St. Augustine and Holy Family Rooms.
PRACTICE THE FAITH: Fr. Todd/Fr. Kyle CHALLENGE!!!!!
- The CHALLENGE for the next week, should you choose to accept it, is to...
- PRAY 15 minutes every day from Thursday, October 26 through Wednesday, November 1
- AND, if you are younger than 12 years, to wear a SAINT COSTUME to one of the evening Masses on November 1 - at 6:00 pm or 7:30 pm
- IF YOU DO BOTH parts of the challenge, you will receive a small PRIZE at Mass on November 1 - just find Anne or Daniel in the Narthex of Church to get your prize
- ADULTS, if you pray 15 minutes every day from October 26 and November 2, AND come to the RCIA Session on November 2 knowing about a favorite saint, YOU will also receive a small prize
FEASTS THIS WEEK:
Oct 28 - Feast of Saints Simon & Jude; Nov 1 - Holy Day of Obligation, Solemnity of All Saints; Nov 2 - Feast of All Souls
CONNECTIONS: About "saints"
Saint Paul addressed all members of the Church as the "saints" or "holy ones" of God. Every baptized person is called to be holy. Holiness, like prayer, is a gift of the Holy Spirit; yet, as in prayer, we have to open ourselves and let the Spirit take over our lives if we wish to be holy - we are not holy because of something we do or achieve on our own, but by our ability to set all else aside to let God reign in our hearts. We can help each other in holiness; we help others by our prayers, by assisting them in their attempts to listen to God, encouraging them in virtue, being honest and loving with them their shortcomings. This is the Communion of Saints: those living, those in Purgatory, and those in Heaven, interceding on behalf of each other, all ONE with each other by the ONE communion in Jesus Christ. Recalling our faithful ancestors of the Old Covenant, St. Paul writes to us who live now in the New and even greater Covenant in Christ:
"Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us rid ourselves of every burden and sin that clings to us and persevere in running the race that lies before us while keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, the leader and perfecter of faith." -Hebrews 12:1-2
Similar to our "cannon" of Scripture, the Catholic Church has "canonized" certain persons, testifying that they are among the blessed in Heaven. We can be sure that these persons live in eternal communion with God, and we know that we can benefit from their love for us, their prayers for us, the example of their lives, and their care for us now.
Even now, we are invited to live in the Communion of Saints, the Kingdom of God.
"I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit, because without me you can do nothing. ...By this is my Father glorified, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples. As the Father loves me, so I also love you. Remain in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and your joy may be complete. This is my commandment: love one another as I love you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you."
"I call you friends because I have told you everything I heard from my Father. It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you. This I command you: love one another."
-John 15:5, 8-14, 15b-17
"If the world hates you, realize that it hate me first."