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Archbishop Aquila’s November prayer intentions: For the dead and for peace in the Middle East  

“Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we shall go into such and such a town, spend a year there doing business, and make a profit.’ You have no idea what your life will be like tomorrow. You are a puff of smoke that appears briefly and then disappears. Instead, you should say, ‘If the Lord wills it, we shall live to do this or that.’ But now you are boasting in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. So, for one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, it is a sin.” (James 4:13-17)

I know people from other cultures who, when they talk about plans, whether it’s an hour, a day, a week, a month, or a year, simply and naturally add: “God willing!” God’s word tells us that this is the right thing to do. We must not be presumptuous before God because our destiny is only in his hands. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways, says the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, my thoughts higher than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8-9)

We must keep these words of God present and meditate on them in our daily lives, knowing that we live in times of great insecurity, wars, violence, and terrorism, which disturb world peace at all levels. In these times, God invites us to put our trust and hope in Him. Let us not allow the fear of wars and disasters to steal away our trust in God. 

Instead, let’s be aware that “we are a puff of smoke that appears briefly and then disappears.” With this certainty and truth of our existence, we can have the peace that comes from faith in God’s word, and we know that he does not lie. “There is an appointed time for everything, and a time for every affair under the heavens. A time to give birth, and a time to die. […] A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1-2,8)  

We know that wars and violence arise not by God’s desires but because of the sins and weaknesses of men such as ourselves who choose to do evil despite knowing what is good. Instead of protecting human life, they choose death. Even though we are going through hard times, we do not lose hope. “Our help comes from the LORD, the maker of heaven and earth.” (Ps.121:2)

This month, our Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila asks us to join him in his twofold prayer intentions: “for the dead and for peace in the Middle East.” Let’s pray for our faithful departed so that, through our intercessory prayers, they may reach the desired heaven where they will rest in the eternal peace of God. From there, they may intercede for us, so that world peace and justice may be established among people of different religions and cultures. We ask these things through the intercession of Our Lady of Peace. Amen! 

  

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