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Catholic Church / Pacoima, CA

Why Am I a Catholic? – Part V

Thirty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time

Welcome back to our Why am I a Catholic series! Two weeks ago, I mentioned about the ever presence of God in our lives. A God who is always close to us and never abandon us. Really? Is He with you and me right now, as write this message and you read it? Yes, indeed my friend, HE IS. Remember his name? “Aye, asher, Aye” (from here the short form of Yahweh). “The one who is.” As I also mentioned to you, God makes himself present in many different ways creation, prophets, healings, even through our hardships in life. However He makes himself present in Jesus, the incarnated word. That is, Jesus is the ultimate manifestation of God in our lives, Emmanuel, God within us. Ok, but Jesus came over two thousand years ago, what about now? We find the answer to this question at the end of the gospel of Mathew when Jesus said:

“Go, therefore, and make disciples from all nations. Baptize them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit… I am with you always until the end of this world.” Matthew 28:19-20

From here we received the name Catholic which means universal. Jesus sends his disciples to all nations. Then he leaves his disciples with this beautiful promise, I am with you always. He does not say I am with you sometimes, or I am with you if you are with me. No, he says always. It is not me who is saying these words. Don’t believe me, believe Him: I am with you always. I am with you in good times and bad times; I am with you in the morning, I am with you at night; I am with you in sickness I am with you in health. Even when we are unfaithful he remains faithful, since he cannot change. He is with us always. Now, before this promise, Jesus gave Peter a different promise:

“You are Peter (or rock) and on this rock I will build my Church; and never will the powers of death overcome it.” Matthew 16:18

On Peter Jesus had built his Church, therefore when Jesus says I am with you, He is saying that He is present in the Church he founded which is the Catholic Church. Yes, Jesus came to the earth over two thousand years ago but He is still present, here and now through His church and its sacraments. If you would like to have a more extensive and profound formation regarding our Catholic faith and the sacraments, I strongly encourage all of you to get the DVD series of Catholicism which is an excellent production by the Word On Fire media ministry directed and hosted by Bishop Robert Barron. You can learn more visiting www.wordonfire.org.

May God Bless you,

Fr. Abel Loera, Pastor

Readings for the Week

Monday: Rom 11:29-36; Ps 69:30-31, 33-34, 36; Lk 14:12-14
Tuesday: Rom 12:5-16b; Ps 131:1bcde-3; Lk 14:15-24
Wednesday: Rom 13:8-10; Ps 112:1b-2, 4-5, 9; Lk 14:25-33
Thursday: 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
Friday: Rom 15:14-21; Ps 98:1-4; Lk 16:1-8
Saturday: Rom 16:3-9, 16, 22-27; Ps 145:2-5, 10-11; Lk 16:9-15
Sunday: Wis 6:12-16; Ps 63:2-8; 1 Thes 4:13-18 [13-14]; Mt 25:1-13

Saints & Special Observances

Sunday: Thirty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time; National Vocation Awareness Week; Daylight Saving Time ends
Tuesday: Election Day
Thursday: The DedicaƟon of the Lateran Basilica
Friday: St. Leo the Great
Saturday: St. Martin of Tours; Veterans Day