Holy Cross Catholic Church

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31st Sunday in Ordinary Time - November 5, 2023

Dear friends,

Today’s readings bring to light two attitudes which need a crucial and fundamental choice in the lives of the followers of Jesus Christ. But before getting there, the first and the third readings are related to those in position of authority within their community, namely the priests offering unworthy sacrifices and the Pharisees and Sadducees who care only for their own privileges and recognitions.

We may be tempted to think that these readings do not concern us because we are lay people who do not have to lead in the celebration of the sacrifice of the Eucharist. This would be really misleading and approached as a deep misunderstanding of the point being made here. Let us remember that as disciples we learn from the Lord to lead others to Him. Specifically, disciples learn and lead. Therefore, all of us are here concerned with these two attitudes: looking good and being good.

The priests and pharisees are challenged because they are mostly concerned about looking good rather than being good. Jesus calls us to go beyond the false appearances we offer to others to be the manifestation of true disciples whose lives are an ongoing reminder of the true joy which we must long for. Each one of us here at Holy cross, we have a portion of authority as disciples, because we strive to build up a community of disciples called to be witnesses to glorious victory of the Cross. Starting by myself, today’s readings stand as an ongoing challenge for me to always strive to disappear in front of Jesus Christ and let Him be seen as he leads us as the Faithful Servant. I am challenged to go beyond the way I may want or like people to see me and to demonstrate who I really am and should always be. Likewise, everyone in the position of leadership in our different ministries should ask the following question: what is my main concern as leader? Am I obsessed with giving a good image of myself, thus just looking good, or with being good, which is displaying my identity as disciple? Just tells us that what leads others to Him is BEING GOOD but not LOOKING GOOD. Therefore, as disciples, we are meant to strive to be good witnesses and messengers of his love and compassion. Because looking good leads to self-satisfaction instead of being a quality of discipleship.

Let us continue to pray for one another and for our parish family.

Fr. Emery


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