October 23, 2016 – the 30th Sunday of the Church Year

Saint for the day: John of Capistrano (1385-1456)

Scripture Readings for today’s Liturgy:

Sirach 35:12 … 18   –   Psalm 34   –   2 Timothy 4:6 … 18   –   Luke 18:9-14

“We will ring out our joy at your saving help and exult in the name of our God.

(Today’s “Communion Verse” based on Psalm 20)

St. Dominic’s Church in San Francisco is right at the end of their annual St. Jude Novena. Yesterday there was a huge “Rosary Procession” beginning at the National Shrine of St. Francis a little over 2 miles miles west of St. Dominic’s. I had no idea how many people would be involved in this public sign of our faith in the Rosary and devotion to St. Jude, patron of desperate and impossible cases. Buses were chartered to ferry people from St. Dominic’s to the Shrine of St. Francis and much of the area around the Church compound was cordoned off to handle the large crowds of people that come from as far away as the Central Valley and Los Angeles. I am no judge of crowds so have no ability to even guess at the numbers of people. Judging from how they fit into the Church I would guess that there might have been two thousand participants!

Our first reading from Search fits exactly to the ministry of St. Jude since the “The Lord hears the cry of the poor” and the Lord is not deaf to the wail of the orphan nor the widow when she pours out her complaint.” (Sirach 35:17)

 Yesterday, we were making a public display of our faith and practice. I’m sure there were some people who were annoyed by such a large crowd of people blocking off half the street. You’ve heard me say it many times about how our encounter with Jesus often happens while we are “on the way” and that was certainly the case today. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if there were reports of miraculous interventions with so many people making such a public gesture of their faith.

Before the procession started there was revelry of loud drums as half a dozen dancers – all in traditional costume – danced very energetically down the aisle. Then they led the procession and never slowed down dancing all the way.

The Church where we started was packed to the gills and it seemed like the crowd grew by the time they got back to St. Dominic’s. Our prayers are still with the many people who are struggling with various problems and sickness and ask St. Jude to look kindly upon those who struggle with difficulties of various kinds. Amen!

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