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Notice During the Covid-19 Outbreak
 
In solidarity, we at the Interfaith Peace Project stand together in these times of heart break and upset. Some of you may have lost friends or family members. Some of you may have lost your job and your income; some may be working overtime to help with the crisis. Some of you may be home and alone and some may be trying to figure out a new way to live. Please let us know how we can help. If you would like a phone appointment with any of us, give us a call.You may call or email Tom at:
 
Tom Bonacci
[email protected]
925-787- 9279
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October 31, 2020
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A REFLECTION FOR THE FEAST OF ALL SAINTS

From the Christian Traditions
Matthew 5:1-11
by Thomas P. Bonacci, C.P.
 
                 The Beatitudes (Matthew 5: 1-11) are beloved by many peoples of different religions and cultures. So inspiriting are these verses, the Church reads this Gospel on the Feast of All Saints (November 1). The Beatitudes speak of the virtues the Saints practiced in their everyday lives. Of course, saints were not perfect people but people seeking to do the best they could for others. As one spiritual tradition so powerfully teaches, we, like the Saints, seek progress, not perfection. Humility prevented the Saints from being self-seeking, greedy, or condemning. Humility, courage, and compassion are virtues we should all strive for in our own time and place. Above all, the Saints were not afraid to be themselves. The Saints inspire people to achieve in their lives what the Saints accomplished in theirs.  

 

              Saints are troublesome people. They will not let us become unconcerned or indifferent. After all, the call to holiness is the call to justice. St. Francis of Assisi would not have us neglect the poor or destroy the Earth. For Francis, the very Word of God is spoken in every leaf of every tree, and every person you might ever encounter. St Theresa of Avila reminds us of the dignity of women. She lamented the voices of women are often neglected or not heard. St. Joan of Arc is an example of heroism, courage, and fidelity. She reminds us of the persistence necessary to accomplish what is right and just. There are other saints, perhaps, never recognized as such by officials or formal institutions.

 

              Think of all the people who come to our assistance to help us cope with life during this worldwide pandemic. Think of all the doctors, nurses, truck drivers, grocery store clerks, and countless people who serve us with great courage and self-giving. They risk their health and lives so we might have some sense of normalcy. They deserve our respect and our support.   Above all, think of the people we know in our everyday lives who do their best to make the World a better place. Think of the Church outreach workers who give food and water to asylum seekers at the Southern Border even though the government could prosecute them for doing what is right and just. Think of all those who hunger and thirst for justice in stacked courts regulated by biased laws. Think of police officers who understand their work as public safety for all people. Think of the Pastor who visits the sick at 3 am to offer comfort and hope. Think of the parents who go without food so their children can eat. Think of those who visit the inmates in prison unfit for human habitation. Think of the countless people who are our Saints long before they die.  

 

              The New Testament called the first followers of Jesus to be Saints because of their willingness to radically give of themselves, following in the Master’s footsteps (for example, see Romans 1:7). We are all called to be saints long before we die so that other people might find relief from their sorrows and peace in their hearts.

 

              Challenging times need self-dedicated saints. Look around and you will be amazed at all the saints you can meet on any given day of the week. What you admire in others is also in your heart. We are all called to be Saints in the here and now of life. Indeed, the Saints are always marching in!
Blessings to you, Holy Community, on this your Feast Day, the Feast of All Saints. Pray for one another.