Reflections and Perspectives

Welcome! Reflections, Testimonials, and Perspectives for St. Mary Magdalen are offered by our priests, deacons, parishioners, and others as guest writers. We will offer a Sunday Reflection as well as other topics. 

  • Deacon Anthony Cincotta

Tuesday of the Thirty-First Week in Ordinary time

November 3, 2020

Memorial Feast: Saint Martin de Porres (1579-+1639) Patron Saint of Mixed Races

Readings: Letter of Saint Paul to the Philippians 2:5-11; Psalm 22:26-32;

Luke 14:15-24

Today is the Memorial Feast Day of St. Martin de Porres

When I was in the first grade our teacher, Sister Charles Cathleen, had us line up in order of our class standing to read, recite, and answer questions. Any student that could answer the question, which the person in front them had missed, was moved one step higher in line. I suspect that this little exercise was my first lesson in “survival of the fittest.” We all knew who was smart and who was, well, not as smart. The smart kids received favored treatment. Sadly, the treatment of those who were at the back of the line sent a strong message about success and approval—A message which was alien to the theme of today’s readings.

Today’s Gospel narrative emphatically tells us that God loves us whether we are successful in the world’s terms or not. Our invitation to His kingdom doesn’t depend on whether we stand at the head of the line, make tons of money, or become king of the universe. In fact, the opposite might be true.

The readings should cause us to meditate on what we mean by success, and how we evaluate the success of our own lives. Ironically, the more we succeed the worse we may be doing in God’s eyes. The readings tell us that what God considers successful may be viewed as shameful by the world’s standards.

I suspect that when we look back in our lives, the successes that will mean the most to us more closely mirror those that our readings deem important. We will treasure comments from our children or grandchildren that tell us they want to have lived a life like ours, which is more valuable than any retirement gold watch.

God wants us to successful as long as we don’t define success merely as jumping over others to stand at the head of the line.

Question of the Day: How will you reflect on God’s unconditional love for you regardless of your earthly status?

Prayer: “God of truth, grant that everything I say or do may come from a contrite and upright heart, so that one day I may be worthy to stand before You.” (From Minute Meditations for Each Day by Rev. Bede Naegele, O.C.D.)


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