•Congratulations to all of our students on the successful completion of their first quarter oral exams! Report cards will be emailed home on Wednesday, October 26.
•On October 31 the students will have a student-prepared BBQ. All parents are welcome to make a monetary donation to help with the cost of the food.
•Looking ahead: On Sunday, November 13, at 7:00 PM, some of our students will be putting on a musical recital (piano, violin, etc.) in the Perpetual Help Room. All are welcome to attend.
•Cross country league finals are Friday, October 28, at 1:00 PM, at Irvine Park [1 Irvine Park Rd, Orange, California, 92869].
•Congratulations to our football team on their recent victory over LaVergne Lutheran, 56-14! The next football game is on Friday, October 28, at 3:30 PM, at Rolling Hills [1 Rolling Hills Prep Way, San Pedro, CA 90732].
The Lord is not deaf to the wail of the orphan nor to the widow when she pours out her complaint…
These words from the Book of Sirach which we heard in today’s first reading are a sort of afterthought or echo of last Sunday’s Gospel. You might remember that in last week’s Gospel our Lord told a parable about a widow who continually annoyed a judge with her requests. Remember that that parable of the judge and the widow might have seemed (at least at first glance) to be a rather odd way to teach perseverance in prayer and trust in God. The judge, who represented God, was a cold-hearted, stingy man who had no care for anyone. In fact, it was only because he was annoyed by the old widow that he finally answered her plea. Such a parable might not exactly seem to be the best means to inspire confidence in prayer; but we could be sure that our Lord, the wisest of teachers, knew what He was doing when He offered us this parable.
In the 13th Chapter of the Book of Job, Job, that patron of perseverance, cries out to the Lord with words which sum-up perfectly this same lesson: Though He should kill me, says Job, I will trust in Him. Faith and perseverance are relatively easy when we get what we want from God, when all is going well. But when life seems to be just one trial after another, when we are tempted to think that maybe God does not listen to our prayers, especially then do we need to recall this parable and those words of Job. Though He should kill me, I will trust in Him. “Though, because I fail to see the wisdom of Divine Providence, God seems more like a stingy judge than a loving Father, even then will I trust in Him.”
See, our Blessed Lord knows that at times life get can so difficult that we are tempted to feel that God is a stingy judge. And so He reminds us that if even a cruel judge would hear the plea of a widow, how much more would the prayer of a poor sinner be heard by our loving Father, Who is all good and deserving of all our love.
“My ways are not your ways says the Lord.” Amen to that! Most of us will—at least on occasion—go to great lengths not to be pestered: the “do not disturb” button (a great invention!),
the automatic “out of office” email reply, etc. But when you’re an omnipresent God it’s kind of hard to hide; and He does not want to hide. Quite the contrary! Our Lord—hard to believe—
loves it when we bother Him incessantly. In the words of St. Theresa of Avila, “You pay God a compliment by asking great things of Him.”
Think of St. Paul, who tells us in today’s second reading, “…the Lord stood by me and gave me strength.” This is a man who, after his conversion, suffered immensely: beatings, stonings, shipwrecks, imprisonment—the list is practically endless. He even asked God to take away the so-called “angel of Satan” that God allowed to inflict him; and God told him, “My grace is enough for you.” And yet, in all this St. Paul still can say, “the Lord stood by me,” because St. Paul knew so well that God loves us more than we can imagine, and that He does indeed hear our prayers, and He answers them in a way which is truly for our good, but we often cannot understand His ways, but we will when (please God) we get to heaven. We will see that He answered our prayers in a way which is far better than what we can now imagine.
In fact, we might unknowingly be asking all along for something which in the long run will ruin us. Our heavenly Father then, in His great mercy and wisdom, denies us what we think we need, and grants us what we truly need. As an old country song goes (pardon the worldly source): “Some of God’s greatest gifts are unanswered prayers.”
Good is diffusive of itself, the philosophers tell us; that is the good, by its very nature, is inclined to be communicated to others. And God, who is all good, desires to spread His goodness all around—the more the better. He is just waiting for us to ask Him. So we should take Him up on the offer. Ask, beg, plead, annoy and pester our Lord for something good, for something great. If you ask Him for what is truly good, you will see just much He wants to do for us whatever we ask. God is not a stubborn judge, but a mighty King and loving Father. Let us put all our trust in Him and ask Him for whatever we need. Amen.
•For all the benefactors of St. Michael’s Preparatory School, living and deceased.
•For all the students and families of St. Michael’s Preparatory School.
•For all faculty and staff of St. Michael’s Preparatory School.