SOLEMNITY OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST, KING OF THE UNIVERSE – TODAY!
What a long title for this feast day at the end of the Church Year! It used to be simply the Feast of Christ the King. Nevertheless, today we praise Christ, King of the Universe (that is a BIG kingdom!), who has made each of us his own in Baptism and the other sacraments. As we praise Christ today, we are reminded that belonging to Christ and his Kingdom makes claims on us that cannot be ignored.
Our Gospel today about the separation of the sheep and the goats is quite clear: God’s disposition toward us at the time of judgment will be based on our practice of the Works of Mercy. To belong to Christ means that we recognize and serve our Lord as he is found in the here and now in the faces of the poor. This also includes those who are needy emotionally or spiritually, whom we can help by our loving, caring concern. So during prayer this week, seek God’s grace to recognize and serve Christ in those most in need.
This will probably be for each of us the most unusual Thanksgiving holiday that we have ever experienced, with the pandemic and all of its dangers and resulting protocols. Besides whatever you and your family can manage to do together, consider coming to 9:00am Mass on Thursday morning. I often think that Thanksgiving should be an official Church holyday, not just a civil holiday.
The collection for that day will be for our parish St. Vincent de Paul Society and their work with the needy of our neighborhood. There is an envelope in your packet for this good work.
For many Thanksgiving means we think back to the first thanksgiving feast in America with the Puritan pilgrims in Plymouth and the native people of Massachusetts. However, we obviously need to be thankful for the present. Some would say there is not much to be thankful in 2020 with all the various crises and problems, but there indeed is still much to be grateful for to God. Here is a prayer I came across that bears this out:
Thanks be to You, my Lord Jesus Christ,
For all the benefits You have given me,
For all the pains and insults You have borne for me.
O most merciful Redeemer, friend and brother,
May I know You more clearly,
Love You more dearly,
And follow You more nearly.
Amen. ( St. Richard of Chichester)
ADVENT IS COMING! NEXT SUNDAY!
Time to plan ahead! Think about creating your home Advent Wreath this year. This traditional Catholic Advent symbol is a church liturgical ritual that has become well adapted for families in their own home too. Plan this week to get three purple candles and one rose-colored one and some greenery in the form of a wreath. You can look up a variety of prayers to use on-line and we should have some in the bulletin next weekend.
Also we are mailing out to every parish family and booklet about the Jesse Tree with a reflection for each day of Advent. I am sure that this will be helpful for you spiritually during this busy time of year.