Father Joseph Illo, pastor of Star of the Sea parish in San Francisco, gave a 14-minute homily on Sunday, October 31.
In discussing the two great commandments: “If you do not love God first, you cannot possibly love your neighbor. Most churches today to some degree get it precisely backwards. They focus on social justice. Love of neighbor and then paste the veneer of religion over their secular activism. God – if He exists in the minds of most Americans – is a distant second to the concerns of this world.”
In the context of Halloween: “It’s killing us to fear what the world wants us to fear…. Take away your smart phones from children under 16. Turn off your TVs. You will not hear God. What the pandemic has revealed is our loss of trust in God.”
Father closed with good news. “At the parish, we spent a few hours with saints rather than dressing up like serial killer vampires….
“At our All Saint’s festival yesterday dozens of children, so many families, and so many single people too dressed up as saints. So many nuns yesterday on campus – all these game booths with a nun – a lay person dressed up like a nun. It’s amazing what you can get for $20 on the internet. An exact replica of the habit of St. Clare of Assisi or Mother Cabrini. They were giving out prizes to those children who could identify this or that saint.”
“Resolve this day – Halloween – to stop watching what you know is mostly false and resolve to fill your minds with God’s goodness, truth, and beauty.”