English Español Mary Immaculate
Catholic Church / Pacoima, CA

Looking to the Last Day

The Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed

Today the Church remembers all who have walked the way of Christ and passed from this life. The readings all look to the last day, when we shall all rise from the dead and be reunited. The prophet Daniel announces words of warning and welfare. He cautions us against the judgment to come, but he also comforts us and assures us that all who live a life of virtue and justice will find life eternal. The reading from Romans reminds us that, because of Christ’s passion, death, and resurrection and our entrance into that paschal mystery through baptism, we now share in the new life won by Christ. This recognition has repercussions: we need to live righteously now, that we might rise to life forever with Christ on the last day. In the Gospel Jesus pledges that all the Father has given him will not be lost. All the faithful will be raised to joy and live forever in the presence of God.


Greeting from Fr. Cesar and Fr. Walter

On this Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time we will reflect about a “labor of love”. The first reading from Exodus: “If the poor implore me, I listen, for I am compassionate.” How many people do you know that you can describe with the word compassionate? … The second reading from the Letter of Thessalonians: For your sake, do you know what kind of people surround you … Is there someone who you owe gratitude or prayers?

Gospel of Matthew: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind.” How many ways have you expressed your love today? Who are the beneficiaries of your love? We thank all the people that throughout the Fiesta in honor of St. Jude Thaddeus displayed a labor of love to God, their community, and their church. May the Lord of life, continue to bless you with abundant graces.

Reflecting on God’s Word

A friend told me she had been the last in her family to stop going to Mass on Sundays. Her siblings had long since given it up. The reasons had a great deal to do with the quality of church leadership they experienced. Too much outward show of authority, too little indication of inner sanctity. Dispensing official teaching is not enough; living humbly and as a servant is the heart of ministry. The harsh words of the prophet Malachi seem more relevant than ever in our day. When we priests fail to walk in the way of Christ, fail to give glory to God’s name by what we do, we become unworthy of our calling to serve God’s people. Of course, this kind of behavior is not limited to clergy. Jesus is speaking to the crowds and disciples about the Pharisees, the lay leaders who saw themselves as “separate” from the rest because of their outward signs of piety. He also calls them to authentic lives. “The greatest among you must be your servant,” Jesus says, a message he repeats again and again in the Gospels. His followers are as resistant to it now as they were then. But the faithful follower is not about titles, or ecclesiastical dress-up, or posturing in selfimportance. Discipleship in the kingdom that Jesus came preaching is about being brothers and sisters who gather around Jesus Christ, the one Master, who humbled himself and waited for God to exalt him. May the same goal be ours.

Living God’s Word

We pray for all who hold positions of leadership and authority in the Church, that they not only speak but embody the gospel in their lives. We can ask God to raise up more men and women who will instruct by example and words and who will walk humbly in the way of the Lord.

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Readings for the Week

Monday: Phil 2:1-4; Ps 131:1bcde-3; Lk 14:12-14
Tuesday: Phil 2:5-11; Ps 22:26b-32; Lk 14:15-24
Wednesday: Phil 2:12-18; Ps 27:1, 4, 13-14; Lk 14:25-33
Thursday: Phil 3:3-8a; Ps 105:2-7; Lk 15:1-10
Friday: Phil 3:17 — 4:1; Ps 122:1-5; Lk 16:1-8
Saturday: Phil 4:10-19; Ps 112:1b-2, 5-6, 8a, 9; Lk 16:9-15
Sunday: Ez 47:1-2, 8-9, 12; Ps 46:2-3, 5-6, 8-9; 1 Cor 3:9c-11, 16-17; Jn 2:13-22

Saints & Special Observances

Sunday: The Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed (All Souls’ Day); Daylight Saving Time ends; National Vocation Awareness Week
Monday: Thirty-first Week in Ordinary Time; St. Martin de Porres
Tuesday: St. Charles Borromeo; Election Day
Friday: First Friday
Saturday: Blessed Virgin Mary

Treasures from Our Tradition

For those of Mexican heritage, November 2 means celebration of el Dia de Los Muertos, or “the Day of the Dead.” One of the most important days of the year for many, they join All Saints and All Souls together, visiting the graves of babies and children on All Saints, since they are santitos (little saints) or angelitos (little angels). Flowers, their favorite toys, favorite music, and so on, are taken to them. The following day, people spend time—some of them all day—at the cemetery with their loved ones who have died. From the ancient customs of the Indians the families pray, talk with them, and take them their favorite food. It is a most solemn but joyful day. It is a day to celebrate Christ’s victory over death: “Death, where is your sting?” There is a mocking of death as people make skeletons, candy that represents death, and Pan de los Muertos (bread of the dead) and consume them in a kind of role reversal. One of the customs is to build an altarcito (little altar) where one places mementos and pictures of those who have died. There are also favorite foods, candles, statues or pictures of favorite saints, books, and Bibles. Some parishes have begun to build an altarcito where all parishioners can join in honoring the deceased. A remembrance book can be placed to write names in. The altarcito is traditionally left up for the month of November.

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