November 18, 2018
Today we celebrate the 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time. This week we are just a week away from the end of another Liturgical Year of celebrating the birth, life, death, resurrection, and glory of our Lord. Next weekend we will celebrate the Feast of Christ the King. This weekend our readings focus on the “end times.” Both the Book of Daniel and our Gospel from Mark are drawing us into thoughts of the end. In a way it would be simpler to live out the rest of our lives if we knew precisely when all would come to an end. Jesus, however, calls us to something more difficult: living that way even though we don’t know. Many generations thought they lived during the end times. World War I was the, “war to end all wars.” World War II saw the Holocaust and atomic bombs in Japan. Vietnam gave us Agent Orange. Today we fear terrorism and ISIS. At each of these times, it seems as though , “the powers of Heaven were shaken.” (Mark 13:25b), and it was a, “a time unsurpassed in distress since nations began until that time.” (Daniel 12:1b) Personal events like death, divorce, accusation, or a terminal diagnosis often feel the same. Yet here we are. Life goes on. Jesus says, “Of that day or hour, no one knows, neither the angels in Heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” We don’t know when the end will come, globally or personally. We do know that all life is terminal. An end will come. But we also know that there is no place or thing where God is not present: health and sickness, life and death, terror and peace. God desires our good at all times. Whatever happens, we as disciples of Jesus, must always look to find the Son of Man with us.
Our Parish Festival Choir will begin rehearsals for Christmas this Sunday. We will be practicing to be able to offer a special gift to all those who attend Christmas Eve Mass here at St. Luke. With a few faithful voices and a few new additions we hope more will join us and help us make a glorious sound unto the Lord. Looking for a special way to make Christmas cheerful and bright in your heart this year, join us tonight at 7:00pm in the Choir loft.
This Thursday we will gather as a Parish Family to offer our thanks to God at our Thanksgiving Mass at 9:00am. Before gathering with family, neighbors and friends for the traditional Turkey feast and good times, let’s offer together our thanks to God for all the blessings of the past year. Please remember to bring canned goods for St. Vincent de Paul and your generous offering for their work.
With next weekend’s feast of Christ the King, we will then be beginning a new Church Year the following weekend. Advent begins this year on December 2nd. (This Sunday we are now 36 days from Christmas.) It will be here before we know it. Please join us on Saturday, Dec. 1st to clean the Church. We want the Church to be cleaned for our Christmas guests and also to be ready for us to decorate on the 22nd. (Again, please join us for this too.)
Finally today, as we all pause to think of the blessings we want to thank God for this Thanksgiving, I want to thank each and every parishioner who daily lives their faith, is offering their Time and Talent to St. Luke’s, and is striving to be a disciple of Christ. While St. Luke’s is not what it was 25 years ago, I see so many faithful disciples joining me in loving our parish, looking for ways to be ever more a community where all are welcomed. I am truly blessed to be able to be a part of this faith community and to be your shepherd. In the past year and a half, I can say with honesty that being a part of St. Luke’s Parish, continuing to know many of you by name, at this time in my life, you are a special blessing for which I daily give God thanks and praise. Thank you.
God Bless! Have a good week!
Remember those 3 Hail Marys (Fr. Pete)