We have a new President and Vice-President, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. May they work together with the new Congress to move our country forward so that the United States continues to be a sign of hope, strength, and freedom for all Americans and all nations around the world. Congratulations to them and to all the newly elected and re-elected officials who were chosen to lead our communities, our states, and our nation. As we continue through this pandemic, there is a real possibility that Governor Murphy will impose further restrictions on New Jersey, if he hasn’t already done so, because the number of cases in our state continues to increase. These restrictions would impact all of our lives, and what happens in our churches, especially as we get closer to the holidays.  Please be vigilant about wearing masks, social distancing and washing hands. These are the ways we can keep safe and prevent the virus from spreading. This is especially true now more than ever because many of our activities are moving inside as the weather becomes colder. Each of us is a gift from God and as such, has been given certain gifts and talents to use for our good and the good of others. Since each person is a unique individual, our talents may be different from those of others. This does not mean they are better, just different. This is one of the characteristics of the church which draws us all together, as varied and different as we are, and joins us together as one Body of Christ who lives with us and among us. Jesus invites us to use these gifts to help build the kingdom of God on earth. This mission requires the participation of all of us, not just a few. Jesus showed us the way, and invites us to follow his example. The man in today’s Gospel entrusted his workers with money, each according to his ability. Two of them invested what he was given and made more money, while one hid it. We invest our talents in the way we respond to the needs of one another and the life of the church. If we hide our gifts, then our life and the lives of those we touch are diminished and we fail to accept the invitation of the Lord to build the kingdom. Sometimes this may seem difficult, but the Lord’s invitation is always given to us so that others may come to believe and experience what we believe and experience: Jesus is Messiah and Lord who has redeemed us by his blood and restored us to a right relationship with the Father by his resurrection. This new life is always worth celebrating, as each of us adds something new and unique to it. HAPPY NOVEMBER!! FR. JOE

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