I routinely talk to God about my feelings in spontaneous moments throughout the day. Sometimes I am inspired by a sunrise, my garden, a special moment with my spouse, or my children’s faces to express joy in and gratitude for all I have been given, for life itself. Sometimes I am moved and saddened by the heartache I see in the world. Sometimes I am struggling with negativity and uncertainty in my own life and endeavors.
October 7 is the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, and the entire month of October is dedicated to the Rosary as well. As I told my boys just the other day, the Rosary is a weapon — that’s how powerful it is! In fact, during his Wednesday audience on the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, Pope Francis called the Rosary “a weapon that protects us from evil and temptation.”
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In the Holy Scriptures, angels are often depicted as messengers from the divine, with only three specific angels being named: Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael.
My dear sisters and brothers, today in Luke's Gospel we hear about Herod the Tetrarch. After the death of Herod the Great in 4 BC, the ancient Kingdom was divided into four parts with each part under the rule of a member of the Herodian family. A “Tetrarch” was a “ruler of a quarter” of the kingdom of Israel. Herod Antipas was the ruler of the region of Galilee and Perea during the time of Jesus and is the subject of the story we have just heard in the Gospel. Herod the Tetrarch is the one who beheaded John the Baptist.
In this part of the world, we find ourselves in early autumn. Soon, leaves will produce a celebration of color in anticipation of what I hope will be a mild winter. Seasons unfold on their terms; we adjust. The school year is well underway, and from pre-school through university, the academic life’s challenges, successes, and setbacks have become routine.
How many of you are good at traveling lightly? I must confess I still need to make progress in that area. I have had some good role models in Father John Phalen, Father Willy, and really all my brother priests that I’ve served with here at the Father Peyton Center who never seem to have to check luggage on a flight!