Dear Friends, Peace and all Good!
As we near our new liturgical year of Advent, the Church presents us with a narrative of the end times. Speculation about the end-time has been around for a long time. When will it happen? What signs will precede it? People have always wanted certainty about it. In today’s Gospel, Jesus warns his listeners against false prophets and mistaken signs. With some pretty foreboding words, he tells his disciples that before the end comes, they will suffer persecution because of his name—even by members of their own families. But he assures his disciples and all of us that he will always be with us and promised that through perseverance, we will save our lives. As we await the return of the Lord, let us keep our sights firmly fixed on Jesus and our feet firmly planted on the path that leads to eternal life in heaven.
Our Liturgy, this month of November, has signs of death and dying. But the Liturgy also shows signs of resurrection and new life. During this month, we especially remember all those who have died from our parish and also those who died in our families and friends. Today be sure to inscribe the names of those who have passed in our beautiful Book of the Names of the Dead, which has been placed near the baptismal font. May they rest in peace. Amen.
Thanksgiving Day is fast approaching on Thursday, November 28th. Once again, we have an opportunity as a nation and as a Christian community to offer thanks to God for all the benefits we have received and to remember all those in our world suffering for lack even of basic necessities. I am thinking right now of all those men, women, and children caught in the midst of a vicious and violent take over by Turkey of the Kurd territories in Syria. To see those photos of thousands of people on the move and suffering terrible wounds and destruction makes me weep. Let us be aware of these brothers and sisters, especially in prayer, and whenever the opportunity arises to be charitable in giving to organizations providing food and shelter. Remember, “Thanksgiving” has two words: thanks, and giving!
Closer to home, you are invited to bring canned goods and other nonperishable foods to our Thanksgiving Day Mass (10 am, Serra Center) for distribution to the poor and hungry. Thank you.
I would like to invite you to a special event on Saturday, November 30th. The Franciscans from the Basilica of St. Anthony in Padua, Italy, will be here at the 5:00 p.m. Mass bringing with them precious relics of the beloved Franciscan Saint Anthony! We will have an opportunity to ask the prayers of St. Anthony and receive a blessing with the relics. Please see the bulletin for more details.
In closing, I wish to thank all those who worked so hard to make our “Evening with the Friars” such a successfully delightful evening! Many volunteers, committee members, and staff members gave of their time and talent over many weeks to benefit our parish community and to help give a scholarship for a friar at the Franciscan School of Theology. I also wish to thank all who came and supported the event and these worthy causes. Bless you!
Love, Fr. Vince