Fall Back

November 5, 2017 | N W | Commitment, Father Salvador, Healing, Prayer, Self-Reflection, Strength

Thirty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time
November 5, 2017 – Year A
Readings: Mal 1:14B-2:2B, 8-10 / Ps 131 / 1 Thes 2:7B-9, 13 / Mt 23:1-12
by Rev. Salvador Añonuevo, Pastor

It has been said that the “fall back” day, when we turn our clocks back an hour, is one of the days of the year that people look forward to. It’s pretty much like Thanksgiving Day and Christmas, because who wouldn’t want an extra hour of time to rest?

As we gather here together this morning, we all know the reason why we pray: because we “fall back” to God. I googled the meaning of “fall back,” because somehow English words tend to change meanings over the years, and I wanted to make sure that I still had the correct idea of what these two words, “fall back,” mean.

The standard definition hasn’t changed, and one of the meanings is “retreat.” As part of our Christian life, our Holy Mother Church asks us to have periods when we can have precious moments with the Lord, in what we call a spiritual exercise or retreat.

In a battle, our military personnel (for whom we pray) may retreat. It doesn’t mean that they are going to surrender. They are just gathering ideas, resting, so that they can make their strategy for winning the battle.

We are in spiritual warfare in this life as we all know. We will have trials. We will have tribulations. For part of our lives we will have problems and difficulties. If we continue to focus on them, we will be overwhelmed.

The good news is that we have a God who asks us to fall back into His teachings and His promises. Jesus said, “Come to Me all you who are weary and find life burdensome, and I will give you rest.” Not only rest, but peace beyond all telling. And this is found in our response in today’s psalm: “In You, Lord, I have found my peace.”

This Sunday, our Christian family here at Holy Name of Mary, has what we call “Commitment Sunday.” For the past 143 years (our foundation was in 1874), Holy Name of Mary has been a home for Catholics. We have been serving as a light in this part of the Blue Ridge Mountains. We have been a place where people could be reminded of the Lord’s promise: “Come, all of you who are weary and find life burdensome, and I will give you rest.”

I am always honored when my brother Bedford pastors, with whom I have coffee almost every Tuesday, tell me, “We are so impressed by Holy Name. Every time we pass by along Oakwood, there are always cars parked. It doesn’t really matter what time of the day or night.” And of course on Sundays, on Oakwood they’re always parked during our Masses. They always see the people parking. You make us look good. We look like a very busy parish.

But the reality is, we are indeed a very busy church. In fact, overnight, our church was open. We have overnight adoration. We have people coming in at one in the morning, two in the morning, spending time with Jesus, falling back on Him, so they and we could have the strength to move on. And you made this possible.

So on behalf of our Christian family, I would like to thank you for your support. Let us pray together from the prayer card in your pew: “Give and gifts will be given to you.”

Send Your Spirit upon us, Lord, to teach us to be grateful and generous, with praise, kindness, and love for Your every blessing in our lives. You have blessed each of us in many ways: family, friends, gifts, talents, and so much more. You are the source of our joys and the provider of all things good. Guide us, through the Holy Spirit. Help us share a portion of our gifts, so that we may, as a parish, realize our mission to walk as followers of Jesus Christ, dedicated to peace, respect, generosity, and humility. Grant this through Our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, Who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever.

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