The presence of the Blessed Mother to Juan Diego echoes her presence in the Scripture readings for today, which remind us of Mary’s role as “first disciple,” always bringing to the Church the Good News of her Son.
We are reminded that Advent and Christmas are first and foremost not about us. This liturgical season is here to remind us that Jesus is asking us to join with him in bringing about God’s Reign of justice and righteousness.
On this Halloween, and as we are about to recall the lives of well-known saints and the souls of recently departed who shined with their “true selves,” let us pray for the ability to take off our spiritual masks, so that we can be the “true self” that God created us to be!
As the pandemic continues, we cannot escape hard questions about our ministry practices. We must strategically plan our responses in order to be effective.
In today’s first reading, the saga of the Job from the Old Testament comes to a close. Having endured great suffering and ridicule from his friends, he has encountered the living God face-to-face and finds God affirming him. Job dared to question God, but did so in faith. That faith – even in the midst of unimaginable sorrow – allowed him a glimpse of God’s bigger plan.