November 15, 2020

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15 November 2020
Thirty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time
Twenty-Fourth Sunday after Pentecost

After the week in which the Church Universal celebrated one of the holiest, bravest and savviest Bishops of Rome, Pope St. Leo the Great, and at the beginning of the week that will conclude with Saturday’s celebration of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we can consider two examples of how God intervenes in the darkest of times. Amidst rampant civil malfeasance and widespread religious corruption, good souls can, with the help of Grace, remain pure.

In the decades before Our Lord’s Incarnation, Jerusalem was ruled by the Herodian Dynasty. The first Herod claimed to be “Great”. Few were convinced of his loyalty as a Jew. Although he enjoyed the title of King he was no more than a vassal of the Roman Empire. To him is attributed the Slaughter of the Innocents. During his reign God prepared a faithful Jewish family to bring salvation to the whole world. Mary was conceived immaculately from the loving union of her devout parents Joachim and Anne. As a young girl, according to ancient Christian traditions, the Blessed Virgin Mary was presented in the Temple, the same Temple where sacrifices was offered for her and her Divine Son on the fortieth day after His birth even though they were clean of sin and that very Temple would be cleansed by Jesus in the days leading up to His triumphant death on the Cross.

Purity is neither feeble nor naïve. Rather, purity of soul makes it possible to recognize even more clearly how evil is at work to destroy everything good. Purity born of love of God, coupled with Wisdom and Knowledge, makes one zealous for the Kingdom that seeks the sanctification of all men without falling victim to the false allure of complete earthly success. Apostolic purity knows the difference between submitting to evil and waiting for the right moment to act. Godly purity also begets secure peace, knowing that the Lord has not abandoned us even though the weeds remain among the wheat, and refined hope, looking forward to Our Lord’s return and anticipating the glory of heaven.

Our Lady of the Presentation, pray for us!

Fr. Christopher J. Pollard

“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” James 1,27