Still Honoring Souls
People of great soul stir me. We have so many examples in memory and at our fingertips. The glorious windows of the Basilica illumine them with every sunrise and sunset. More recent ones are highlighted who went toward the gunshots and against the crowd to attend the wounded in Lax Vegas and New York City.
Priests and professors find this weekend’s gospel challenging. St. Matthew words tell us to call no one ‘father,” “teacher” or “rabbi.” Ok why do we Catholics still do it? Perhaps Tradition. Perhaps, history with beloved leaders and mentors. Being a person of soul does not need a title. They are tedious soul work. One cannot demand it or work for it. Titles are tempting sometimes, but often they dissipate in the wind. Great souls teach, parent and mentor. They illuminate life with sacred radiance. They en-“cour”-age. I love that word. There is the word heart in the middle of it. “En-Soul-ed” people enable actions of great heart, the very compassion of God.
Nov 2nd was the official “All Souls Day.” We extended it with our “Dia de Los Muertos” celebration carrying into the weekend after the eleven o’clock Eucharist. This Sunday promises to be an annual downtown Phoenix event. The Book of the Dead will be at the foot of our Paschal Candle until Thanksgiving for the names of our deceased loved ones. Continue to support us in the final weeks of the “Together We Go Forth/ Juntos Sigamos Adalante” Campaign with our Bishop Olmsted. Gratitude to every parishioner still considering a gift in loving generosity. Gratitude as well to all who have worked on the details of this “Dia de los Muertos” festival. You know who you are. We are honored. The 89 translation of the opening prayer of this weekend speaks to this lovingly.
Sovereign God, We have no Father but you, no teacher but Christ. Conform our lives to the faith we profess. Preserve us from arrogance and pride. And teach us in Christ the greatness of humility and service.
A gentle week,
Fr. Michael Weldon, OFM