St. Valentine Berrio-Ochoa: Saint of the Day for Tuesday, November 01, 2022

Bishop and martyr of Vietnam. A native of Ellorio, Spain, he entered the Dominican Order and was sent to the Philippines. From there he went to Vietnam in 1858, serving as a vicar apostolic and titular bishop until betrayed by an apostate. He was martyred by beheading with St. Jerome Hermosilla and Blessed Peter Amato, by enemies of the Church. He was canonized in 1988 by Pope John Paul II.

Litany of the Saints: Prayer of the Day for Tuesday, November 01, 2022

Lord, have mercy on us.
CHRIST, have mercy on us.
LORD, have mercy on us.
CHRIST, hear us.
CHRIST, graciously hear us.
GOD, THE FATHER OF HEAVEN, have mercy on us.
GOD THE HOLY GHOST, have mercy on us.
HOLY TRINITY, ONE GOD, have mercy on us.
HOLY MARY, pray for us.
HOLY MOTHER OF GOD, pray for us.
ST. MICHAEL, pray for us.
ST. GABRIEL, pray for us.
ST. RAPHAEL, pray for us. …

Monday of the Thirty-first Week in Ordinary Time

Reading 1 Phil 2:1-4

Brothers and sisters:
If there is any encouragement in Christ,
any solace in love,
any participation in the Spirit,
any compassion and mercy,
complete my joy by being of the same mind, with the same love,
united in heart, thinking one thing.
Do nothing out of selfishness or out of vainglory;
rather, humbly regard others as more important than yourselves,
each looking out not for his own interests,
but also everyone for those of others.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 131:1bcde, 2, 3

R. In you, O Lord, I have found my peace.
O LORD, my heart is not proud,
nor are my eyes haughty;
I busy not myself with great things,
nor with things too sublime for me.
R. In you, O Lord, I have found my peace.
Nay rather, I have stilled and quieted
my soul like a weaned child.
Like a weaned child on its mother’s lap,
so is my soul within me.
R. In you, O Lord, I have found my peace.
O Israel, hope in the LORD,
both now and forever.
R. In you, O Lord, I have found my peace.

Alleluia Jn 8:31b-32

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
If you remain in my word, you will truly be my disciples,
and you will know the truth, says the Lord.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Lk 14:12-14

On a sabbath Jesus went to dine
at the home of one of the leading Pharisees.
He said to the host who invited him,
“When you hold a lunch or a dinner,
do not invite your friends or your brothers or sisters
or your relatives or your wealthy neighbors,
in case they may invite you back and you have repayment.
Rather, when you hold a banquet,
invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind;
blessed indeed will you be because of their inability to repay you.
For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”

– – –

Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States, second typical edition, Copyright © 2001, 1998, 1997, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine; Psalm refrain © 1968, 1981, 1997, International Committee on English in the Liturgy, Inc. All rights reserved. Neither this work nor any part of it may be reproduced, distributed, performed or displayed in any medium, including electronic or digital, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

Start Small / Empezando Pequeño

Modern society would have us declare today is Halloween. Costumes, jack o’ lanterns, trick-or-treating, candy. Our Catholic faith, on the other hand, would instead remind us that today is All Hallows Eve, the day before All Saints Day. The Church established All Saints Day to get people’s minds focused away from the minor debauchery and pagan rituals that continue today as Halloween celebrations, and instead focus on something greater and more pure — the men and women, known and unknown, who have been found worthy by God to spend eternity with Him in heaven.

All Saints Day reminds us of our very reason for being and our ultimate goal — to know, love and serve God in this life so we can be with Him in the next. We are called to be saints, plain and simple. But how do we do it? First off, we know we are saved, not by anything we could ever do, but by the sacrificial death and resurrection of our Lord, Jesus Christ. Having that faith in Jesus is more than just announcing our belief and waiting for our ticket to heaven. Our Lord made it perfectly clear in his teachings that faith is participatory. Not only are we to believe, but we are to share it with others by the way we live, love and serve. Remember that “whatever you did to the least of my brothers, you did to me”? That’s straight from Jesus himself. The mandate to love and serve comes right from the top.

Once again, how do we do it? Today’s readings give us a little push in the right direction. Step one: believe. Step two: shrink. Paul explains it to the Philippians: “… humbly regard others as more important than yourselves, each looking out not for his own interests, but also everyone for those of others.”

Ah, of course, humility. Jesus puts it this way in the Gospel today, taken from Luke: “… when you hold a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind; blessed indeed will you be because of their inability to repay you.” Jesus would have us humble ourselves into serving the less fortunate and the outcast. The reward awaits in the heaven we strive to reach.

The Psalm response tells us why we should start small, in humility, on our journey toward God. “In you, O Lord, I have found my peace.” Think of all the saints we do know. Their common trait is their humility, that God is in charge, and they are merely his servants. They testify to the peace and joy we can only find in the Lord, and they did so despite trials, suffering, even martyrdom. May we also find our peace in our reliance on the Lord.

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La sociedad moderna nos declara que hoy es Halloween. Disfraces, calabazas, ir casa por casa a pedir dulces. Nuestra fe católica, por otro lado, nos recuerda que hoy es la víspera de Todos los Santos, el día anterior al Día de Todos los Santos. La Iglesia estableció el Día de Todos los Santos para que las mentes de las personas se alejen del libertinaje y los rituales paganos que continúan hoy en día como celebraciones de Halloween, y en su lugar se concentren en algo más grande y más puro: los hombres y mujeres, conocidos y desconocidos, que Dios ha encontrado digno para pasar la eternidad con Él en el cielo.

El Día de Todos los Santos nos recuerda nuestra verdadera razón de ser y nuestro objetivo final: conocer, amar y servir a Dios en esta vida para poder estar con Él en la próxima. La verdad sencilla es, somos llamados a ser santos. Pero, ¿cómo lo hacemos? En primer lugar, sabemos que somos salvos, no por nada que pudiéramos hacer, sino por la muerte sacrificial y la resurrección de nuestro Señor Jesucristo. Tener esa fe en Jesús es más que simplemente anunciar nuestra creencia y esperar nuestro boleto al cielo. Nuestro Señor dejó perfectamente claro en sus enseñanzas que la fe es participativa. No solo debemos creer, sino que debemos compartirlo con los demás por la forma en que vivimos, amamos y servimos. ¿Recuerdas que “cuanto hicisteis al más pequeño de mis hermanos, a mí me lo hicisteis”? Eso viene directamente del mismo Jesús. El mandato de amar y servir viene desde arriba.

Una vez más, ¿cómo lo hacemos? Las lecturas de hoy nos dan un pequeño empujón en la dirección correcta. Primer paso: creer. Paso dos: hacernos menos. Pablo lo explica a los filipenses: “…por humildad, cada uno considere a los demás como superiores a sí mismo y no busque su propio interés, sino el del prójimo”.

Ah, por supuesto, la humildad. Jesús lo expresa así en el Evangelio de hoy, tomado de Lucas: “… Cuando des una comida o una cena, no invites a tus amigos, ni a tus hermanos, ni a tus parientes, ni a los vecinos ricos; porque puede ser que ellos te inviten a su vez, y con eso quedarías recompensado.” Jesús quiere que nos humillemos para servir a los menos afortunados y marginados. La recompensa aguarda en el cielo que nos esforzamos por alcanzar.

El Salmo Responsorial nos dice por qué debemos comenzar de a poco, en humildad, en nuestro camino hacia Dios. “Dame, Señor, la paz junto a ti”. Piensa en todos los santos que conocemos. Su rasgo común es su humildad, que Dios está a cargo, y ellos son simplemente sus sirvientes. Dan testimonio de la paz y el gozo que sólo podemos encontrar en el Señor, y lo hicieron a pesar de las pruebas, el sufrimiento e incluso el martirio. Que también encontremos nuestra paz confiando en el Señor.

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Mike Karpus is a regular guy. He grew up in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, graduated from Michigan State University and works as an editor. He is married to a Catholic school principal, raised two daughters who became Catholic school teachers at points in their careers, and now relishes his two grandchildren, including the older one who is fascinated with learning about his faith. He also has served on a Catholic school board, a pastoral council and a parish stewardship committee. He currently is a lector at Mass, a Knight of Columbus, Adult Faith Formation Committee member and a board member of the local Habitat for Humanity organization. But mostly he’s a regular guy.

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St. Wolfgang: Saint of the Day for Monday, October 31, 2022

Wolfgang (d. 994) + Bishop and reformer. Born in Swabia, Germany, he studied at Reichenau under the Benedictines and at Wurzburg before serving as a teacher in the cathedral school of Trier. He soon entered the Benedictines at Einsiedeln (964) and was appointed head of the monastery school, receiving ordination in 971. He then set out with a group of monks to preach among the Magyars of Hungary, but the following year (972) was named bishop of Regensburg by Emperor Otto II (r. 973-983). As …

Memorare: Prayer of the Day for Monday, October 31, 2022

most loving Virgin Mary,
never was it heard
that anyone who turned to you for help
was left unaided.
Inspired by this confidence,
though burdened by my sins,
I run to you for protection
for you are my mother.


O most gracious Virgin Mary,
that never was it known
that any one who fled to thy protection,
implored thy help or sought thy intercession,
was left unaided.
Inspired with this confidence,
I fly unto thee,
O Virgin of …

Our Patient Father / Nuestro Padre Paciente

People love to make fun of the songs we sang at church in the early 1970s, but I was a little girl then and I remember many of them fondly. Today’s Gospel took me back to that time instantly, to the refrain of a  song written by Medical Mission Sister Miriam Therese Winter in 1965: “There was a man in Jericho called Zaccheus. There was a man in Jericho called Zaccheus. Now the Hebrews, they were tall, but Zaccheus, he was small, yet the Lord loved Zaccheus, better than them all.”

This song was my first introduction to the story of Zaccheus, a story I love because it is so relatable with its inclusion of homely details like the short stature of Zaccheus and even the type of tree he climbed. It is easy to picture and understand because many of us have had the experience of being in a crowd at a parade or a concert where we are jockeying for position to get a better view. Imagine having the opportunity to see Jesus. Who wouldn’t want a front row seat for that?

Now Zaccheus was a sinner, a despised tax collector to be exact. And while he wanted to see Jesus, you have to wonder if he really wanted Jesus to see him! Like many of us, he might have hoped to conceal himself and his shame from the Lord. But of course you cannot hide from God! And when Jesus tells Zaccheus he wants to stay at his house, his shame changes to joy.

Predictably, grumbling from the righteous folk ensues. Why has Jesus singled out this sinner for special notice? The First Reading sheds some light: “[Y]ou have mercy on all, because you can do all things;
 and you overlook people’s sins that they may repent.” Jesus picked Zaccheus out of the crowd to give him an opportunity that perhaps the other onlookers who were more righteous did not need.

The First Reading also suggests what Zaccheus’s response might be: “[T]hey may abandon their wickedness and believe in you.” That is exactly what he does, not only welcoming Jesus into his home with joy but immediately vowing to give half his wealth to the poor and to repay anyone he has extorted fourfold!

It’s a happy story, and it can be our story too, since everyone who is reading this is a sinner. I love this passage from the First Reading: “[Y]ou spare all things, because they are yours .  . .  Therefore you rebuke offenders little by little, warn them and remind them of the sins they are committing.” God WANTS to forgive us! God doesn’t punish us harshly for our sins, nor does He give us only one chance. God is our loving Father, and if you are a parent you know how much you are willing to forgive your children. He is gentle with us, like we would be with a little child, reminding us of our sins, being patient and taking His time, doing whatever it takes to call us back to Him. All we have to do is welcome Him with joy.

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A la gente le encanta burlarse de las canciones que cantábamos en la iglesia a principios de la década de 1970, pero era una niña y recuerdo muchas de ellas con cariño. El Evangelio de hoy me hizo acordar instantáneamente el estribillo de una canción escrita por la Hermana de la Misión Médica Miriam Therese Winter en 1965: “Había un hombre en Jericó llamado Zaqueo. Había un hombre en Jericó llamado Zaqueo. Ahora bien, los hebreos eran altos, pero Zaqueo era pequeño, pero el Señor amaba a Zaqueo más que a todos ellos”.

Esta canción fue mi primera introducción a la historia de Zaqueo, una historia que me encanta porque se relaciona mucho con la inclusión de detalles hogareños como la baja estatura de Zaqueo e incluso el tipo de árbol al que trepó. Es fácil de imaginar y comprender porque muchos de nosotros hemos tenido la experiencia de estar en una multitud en un desfile o un concierto donde competíamos por una posición para poder ver mejor. Imagina tener la oportunidad de ver a Jesús. ¿Quién no va a querer un asiento de primera fila?

Ahora bien, Zaqueo era un pecador, un recaudador de impuestos despreciado. Y aunque él quería ver a Jesús, tienes que preguntarte si realmente quería que Jesús lo viera a él. Como muchos de nosotros, podría haber esperado ocultarse a sí mismo y su vergüenza del Señor. Pero, por supuesto, ¡no puedes esconderte de Dios! Y cuando Jesús le dice a Zaqueo que quiere quedarse en su casa, su vergüenza se transforma en alegría.

Como podríamos imaginar, se producen quejas entre la gente justa. ¿Por qué ha señalado Jesús a este pecador para darle atención especial? La Primera Lectura arroja algo de luz: “Te compadeces de todos, y aunque puedes destruirlo todo, aparentas no ver los pecados de los hombres, para darles ocasión de arrepentirse.” Jesús escogió a Zaqueo de entre la multitud para darle una oportunidad que quizás los otros espectadores que eran más justos no necesitaban.

La Primera Lectura también sugiere cuál podría ser la respuesta de Zaqueo: “se arrepientan de sus maldades y crean en ti, Señor.“ Eso es exactamente lo que hace, no solo dando la bienvenida a Jesús en su casa con alegría, sino que inmediatamente prometiendo dar la mitad de su riqueza a los pobres y devolver el cuádruple a cualquiera que haya extorsionado.

Es una historia feliz, y puede ser nuestra historia también, ya que todos los que están leyendo esto son pecadores. Me encanta este pasaje de la Primera Lectura: Tú perdonas a todos, porque todos son tuyos… Por eso a los que caen, los vas corrigiendo poco a poco”. ¡Dios QUIERE perdonarnos! Dios no nos castiga duramente por nuestros pecados, ni nos da una sola oportunidad. Dios es nuestro Padre amoroso, y si eres padre sabes cuánto estás dispuesto a perdonar a tus hijos. Él es amable con nosotros, como lo seríamos con un niño pequeño, recordándonos nuestros pecados, siendo paciente y tomándose su tiempo, haciendo lo que sea necesario para que devolvemos a Él. Sólo tenemos que darle la bienvenida con alegría.

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Leslie Sholly is a Catholic, Southern wife and mother of five, living in her hometown, Knoxville, Tennessee. She graduated from Georgetown University with an English major and Theology minor. She blogs at Life in Every Limb, where for 11 years she has covered all kinds of topics, more recently focusing on the intersection of faith, politics, and social justice.

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St. Alphonsus Rodriguez: Saint of the Day for Sunday, October 30, 2022

Confessor and Jay brother, also called Alonso. He was born in Segovia, Spain, on July 25, 1532, the son of a wealthy merchant, and was prepared for First Communion by Blessed Peter Favre, a friend of Alphonsus’ father. While studying with the Jesuits at Alcala, Alphonsus had to return home when his father died. In Segovia he took over the family business, was married, and had a son. That son died, as did two other children and then his wife. Alphonsus sold his business and applied to the …

A Seat at the Table / Un Asiento en la Mesa

I grew up with a fairly large extended family. If you combine both my mom and dad’s sides, I have about 30 cousins. As one of the oldest cousins, I know a thing or two about jockeying for places at the table. We always had a “kids” table at holiday meals. When we were younger, we loved this table. It was where the goofy uncle sometimes sat and where you could get away with harmless pranks, extra rolls and whipped cream on noses. But as we got older and more cousins were born, we began to feel like we were being left out of something even more fun…the adult table. That was the place to be! The adult table had the stories, the gossip, even more extra rolls (how many rolls were there!?), fancier place settings and the cool, younger aunts and uncles. I still remember the Thanksgiving where I got to sit at the adult table for the first time as a teenager. It was amazing. 

Where you sit at a meal, in a movie theater, on a plane, pretty much anywhere, matters on some kind of deep level. Jesus observed this in our Gospel reading today as He watched the guests choose their seats. In Jesus’ time, and similarly even in our own time, the proximity to the host at a meal designated a superior standing relative to the others seated further away. Think about weddings especially, where seating is so often a carefully orchestrated thing. Where you sit matters, be it to you or to others around you. 

It makes me wonder where Jesus was sitting at this table. Was He in the place of the guest of honor or somewhere lower down the table? I wonder how the host felt about Jesus’ speech. Do you think perhaps he wanted to reconsider where certain people were sitting? It also makes me wonder about where Jesus would sit in my own home. Where does He “sit” in my life? Have I given Him the place of honor or replaced Him with something less than worthy of that high status?

It seems almost silly to imagine, asking Jesus to step aside in favor of some extra cash, a promotion at work, a completed checklist or the praise of others. But this is exactly what we do when we do not give Jesus His rightful place as the center of our lives. Jesus is the perfect model of humility, both at this meal and in each of our hearts. He does not shove His way to the front, nor does He insist we give Him what is rightfully His. He waits patiently for us to invite Him forward to sit beside us. 

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Crecí con una familia extendida bastante grande. Si combinas los lados de mi mamá y mi papá, tengo alrededor de 30 primos. Como uno de los primos mayores, sé un par de cosas sobre competir por lugares en la mesa. Siempre teníamos una mesa para “niños” en las comidas festivas. Cuando éramos más jóvenes, nos encantaba esta mesa. Era donde a veces se sentaba el tío divertido y donde podías salirte con la tuya con bromas inofensivas, panes extra y crema batida en la nariz. Pero a medida que crecimos y nacieron más primos, empezamos a sentir que nos estábamos quedando fuera de algo aún más divertido… la mesa de los adultos. ¡Ese era el lugar para estar! La mesa de los adultos tenía las historias, los chismes, incluso más panes (¿cuántos panes habían?), cubiertos más elegantes y tías y tíos geniales y más jóvenes. Todavía recuerdo el Día de Acción de Gracias en el que me senté en la mesa de adultos por primera vez cuando era adolescente. Fue increíble.

Donde te sientas a comer, en una sala de cine, en un avión, prácticamente en cualquier lugar, importa a nivel profundo. Jesús observó esto en nuestra lectura del Evangelio de hoy mientras observaba a los invitados elegir sus asientos. En tiempos de Jesús, y de manera similar incluso en nuestro tiempo, la proximidad al anfitrión en una comida designaba una posición superior en relación con los demás sentados más lejos. Piense especialmente en las bodas, donde los asientos a menudo son algo cuidadosamente orquestado. El lugar donde te sientas es importante, ya que sea para ti o para los que te rodean.

Me hace preguntarme dónde estaba sentado Jesús en esta mesa. ¿Estaba en el lugar del invitado de honor o en algún lugar más abajo en la mesa? Me pregunto cómo se sintió el anfitrión acerca del discurso de Jesús. ¿Crees que tal vez quería reconsiderar dónde estaban sentadas ciertas personas? También me hace preguntarme dónde se sentaría Jesús en mi propia casa. ¿Dónde se “sienta” Él en mi vida? ¿Le he dado el lugar de honor o lo he reemplazado con algo menos que digno de ese alto estatus?

Parece casi una tontería imaginarse pidiéndole a Jesús que se haga a un lado a favor de algo de dinero extra, una promoción en el trabajo, una lista de verificación completa o la alabanza de los demás. Pero esto es exactamente lo que hacemos cuando no le damos a Jesús el lugar que le corresponde como el centro de nuestras vidas. Jesús es el modelo perfecto de humildad, tanto en esta comida como en cada uno de nuestros corazones. No se abre camino a empujones, ni insiste en que le demos lo que es suyo por derecho. Espera pacientemente que lo invitemos a sentarse a nuestro lado.

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Kate Taliaferro is an Air Force wife and mother. She is blessed to be able to homeschool, bake bread and fold endless piles of laundry. When not planning a school day, writing a blog post or cooking pasta, Kate can be found curled up with a book or working with some kind of fiber craft. Kate blogs at

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