Sunday Reflection: Fr. Stephen Salocks, Rector
The month of November begins with the Church honoring all the saints and praying for all souls. On the first day of the month, we celebrate those who, having committed themselves to Christ and given their best effort to follow his example, now enjoy the fullness of God’s presence, blessing and peace. Whether they are the famous and well-known saints or the humble, little-known men and women who lived their lives faithfully following the Lord and inspired others to do the same, we celebrate them all. So diverse, spanning the centuries, they are now together with Christ, and their communion inspires us and invites us to join their fellowship in heaven by living out and fulfilling our baptismal identity and commitment. Where they have gone, we hope to follow.
In a wonderful way, the scriptures proclaimed on this Thirty-Second Sunday of the Year, show us the kind of attitudes and actions that not only led the saints to heaven but also demonstrate the ways we can follow them. In the First Reading a desperate widow trusts God and generously shares her meager resources with the prophet Elijah. In the Gospel, Jesus draws attention to a poor widow who “contributed all she had, her whole livelihood.”
The self-sacrifice of the two widows resonates well with the portrayal of Christ in today’s passage from the Letter to the Hebrews. For the second week in a row, Hebrews points to the significance of Christ’s “once for all” sacrifice on our behalf. Here is the paradigm of the trust, generosity, and sacrifice to which we are all called. Jesus, who entered the true sanctuary, offered the one true sacrifice of himself, and gave all he had (his blood), once for all - “to take away the sins of many.”
Through baptism, we are joined to Christ who has suffered as we suffer and joined with the one whose sacrifice wins our redemption, takes away our sins, energizes our hope, and strengthens our efforts to wait eagerly and actively for his return.
Today and in the days ahead, may we to strive to follow the spirit of our Lord, Savior, and High Priest. May our efforts reflect the compassion of God and the generosity, sacrifice, and comfort of Jesus. May we continue to care for and about those who share life with us now and remember those who have died and need our prayers as they make their way to full communion with the Lord and all the saints. May we never be afraid or hesitant to share God’s blessings with others.