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Thirty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time

November 7, 2019

November 10, 2019

Second Book of Maccabees 7:1-2, 9-14

Psalm 17

Second Letter of Saint Paul to the Thessalonians 2:16-3:5

Luke 20:27-38

The inspiring tale of Eric Little was made famous in the 1981 movie “Chariots of Fire.”  It is the story of a young athlete who preferred to honor the Lord than to be honored by the Olympics.  He would eventually loose his life as a missionary in China.

Early in the movie there is a scene as crowds gather around the victorious Eric Little after winning an important race.  He takes this moment not only to speak but also to preach.  This is what he said, “You came to see a race today and to see someone win.  But I want you to do more than just  watch a race.  I want  you to take part in it.  Faith is like running a race.  It’s hard and requires concentration of will and energy of soul.  And where does the power come from to see the race to completion.  It comes from within.  Jesus says, ‘Behold the kingdom of God is within you.’  If you commit yourself to the love of God, that is how you run a great race.”

Friends, “living faith,” not just professing faith, is the call of today’s readings.  The seven brothers in the book of Maccabees witness to the faith as they refuse to worship a false god.  They stood by their faith to the end.

Saint Paul prays that his readers may have the faith that strengthens them for every good work.  And Jesus, in response to a group of hypocritical Pharisees, makes it clear that faith teaches us that only in God do we find true life.

Many of us have heard others say how much they admire and love Pope Francis.  But if all we do is admire the man then we have missed what the man is all about.  Over and over again he has begged us to do more than listen to the Word of God.  He has encouraged us to not just “watch the race” but also to “take part in the race.”  He has taught us that to live in God is to  live for others.

The Word of God and our Holy Father beg us to become a “Culture of Good Samaritans,” of living witnesses to the faith.  We live the faith by the compassion we show to others, the forgiveness we give to each other, and our willingness to serve the needs of the poor and those who have so much less than we have.  We must become the voice for those who experience the injustice of today’s world, especially those who are prevented from worshiping God regardless of their faith tradition.  We must leave the shallow waters of just taking care of ourselves and plunge into the deeper waters of concern for bringing Christ to the world in which we live.  

To live the faith, to run the race, is easier said than done.  But the strength to do this comes from the power of God the Holy Spirit that lies within each one of us.  To live the faith, to be witness to the faith, is to live for God and to act for others who are in pain and who seek our help.  It’s our pathway to heaven. 

Question of the Day:  Do you have the endurance to run the race of faith and urge others to do the same?

Prayer:  Father, help me to die with You, so that I may live with You for all eternity.

Prosit

Deacon Anthony J. Cincotta

Assistant Director for Retreat Ministry

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