It’s the month of November when we experience the changing of seasons marked by the onset of cold weather, falling autumn leaves, and shorter days. If you’re like me, you’ll take these somber days as opportunities to reflect more deeply on life and our Christian faith, spending more time in quiet prayer, spiritual reading, and meditation.
As a Church, we begin this month by honoring all the men and women who led saintly lives, leaving behind legacies of heroic virtues for us to follow so that we do not stumble in the darkness of these challenging times. We also remember our beloved deceased family members who, despite their flaws, tried their best to show us their love and support.
Later in the month, we will celebrate Thanksgiving Day with our families and friends, giving honor to God and our country for the blessings we have received throughout the year. The world and our country may be plagued by wars, which we never imagined would happen in our lifetime and generation, yet we never fail to acknowledge God’s sovereignty over our lives and trust in His providence and care.
People may be divided in their worldviews and politics; the moral landscape, particularly concerning sexuality and gender, may have drastically changed. But there is one thing that must unite us: our love for God and for one another, which Jesus reminded us last Sunday as the greatest of all commandments.
Our First Reading this Sunday (November 5), taken from the Book of Malachi, reminds us that God is the ultimate authority, deserving reverence and fear from all nations. It’s what we need to pray for in times of war: that nations, their leaders, and citizens may have a fear of God and follow His ways of love, forgiveness, humility, compassion, and peace.
The following words from the Book of Malachi resonate deeply with the troubles of our times:
“Have we not all the one Father? Has not the one God created us? Why then do we break faith with one another, violating the covenant of our fathers?”
Therefore, whether we are Muslims, Buddhists, Jews, Christians, or belong to any other faith or belief, it is crucial that we work towards peace and justice, promoting and respecting the dignity of every human person, and advocating for decent living conditions for all people.
Let us continue to proclaim the Gospel of love, compassion, and mercy. Let us continue to share it with a world filled with hatred and pride. As St. Paul reminds us, the Gospel we preach “is not a human word, but as it truly is, the word of God,” and it is actively at work within us who believe.
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The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by the author do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of the Asian Journal, its management, editorial board and staff.
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Fr. Rodel “Odey” Balagtas is the pastor of Incarnation Church in Glendale, California.