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Oct. 29th, 2023 | The 23rd Times

By October 26, 2023 No Comments

A Message from Fr. Jay

Dear Friends,

In 2017, I attended an Annual Retreat for priests at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Retreat Center in Venice. It was led by Monsignor Bill Hitpas from Belleville Illinois. In one of his talks, he shared that there are three important elements in genuine love.

  • Admiring: In genuine love, there is admiring others’ goodness, gifts, beauty, talents, spirit
  • Caring: that means providing and fulfilling what is needed with consideration of human dignity
  • Enjoying the company of each other:… always no matter where or when.

Last week, I visited the St. Martin De Porres (whose feast is this Friday, November 3rd) Soup Kitchen where some of our parishioners volunteer to cook and serve the poor and homeless of Fort Myers. One of our volunteers was a 99 year old young lady. Dorothy Adams was inspiring everyone with her presence and simple works. When I spoke with her about her motivation and interest to do this work for the poor, she said ‘I am grateful to God for his Love’. She is the mother- in -law of our Deacon, Richard Klish. I can’t wait to celebrate her 100th birthday in April 2024!

In the gospel we find Jesus talking about the Love of God, Love of neighbor and Love of self.

The first reading clearly talks about how a person should care for everyone, remembering the past of the people of Israel. The second reading is talking about how Paul enjoyed the company of fellow Christians in Macedonia and in Achaia. We also find Jesus throughout the gospel books and how he enjoyed the company of his twelve Apostles. When God created man and woman, He admired them and found them good! I would strongly recommend you to consider reading the Responsorial Psalm taken from Psalm 18 as your homework. This is the only place in the Scripture where the human himself says ‘I love you Lord’. This Psalm reflects all the three elements of Admiring, Caring and Enjoying the company of each other. Enjoy reading it again as your personal prayer!

We all know that our human love is always conditional, limited and mostly exclusive. God is asking us to seek ways to become unconditional, unlimited and inclusive in loving everyone. Let’s give it a try!

During this week, as we start November, we cannot forget our loved ones who have gone before us to the heavenly abode. We remember their love, sacrifice and exemplary lives of Faith and pray to them for all the graces for our families particularly on November 2nd “All Souls Day.”

God Bless,

Fr. Jay Raju