In the back of church and the parish office you can pick up a copy of The Little Blue Book: six minute reflections on the Sunday Gospels. Each day of the week there is a reflection on a line from the previous Sunday’s Gospel. This book goes from December 1 through January 12, covering both Advent and Christmas. Please take one and use it. There is also an Advent calendar for children. Take one for your children or grandchildren and use it with them. At Christmas, God Bless Us, Every One, a sticker book revealing Jesus as the true Spirit of Christmas, will be available for children.
Please remember to save the evening of Tuesday, December 3rd, for our Advent reflection from 7 to 8 pm in the church. I will share some thoughts on Distractions to a Lifestyle as a Disciple, followed by some quiet time for reflection in front of the Blessed Sacrament and Benediction. Please take advantage of this opportunity to enter into the spiritual season of preparation for celebrating the birth of our Savior.
This Thursday our country celebrates Thanksgiving. For some it is a day to relax, eat, and enjoy football. I hope for us it is a day to give thanks to God for all the many blessings He has given us. I invite you to bring your family to our 9 am Eucharist. “Eucharist” literally means “to give thanks” and there is no better way to start our celebration of this day than by giving thanks to the One who has given us all that we are and have. After Eucharist, we can settle down for the food and football. I
wish each of you a Happy Thanksgiving.
This weekend we celebrate the Feast of Christ the King. It also marks the end of a Church year, a year in which we have been reading the Gospel of Luke.
A major emphasis in Luke, as we have seen over and over, is that Jesus came not just for the Jews, but for ALL people. Luke includes many stories and parables that present an outsider, a non-Jew, having strong faith. The Feast of Christ the King is a fitting end to this year of Luke, for we believe that Christ is King over ALL people, over all creation.
We live in a time when division, fear, name calling, bigotry, hate, etc., etc., seem to be more and more prevalent. There is no place for these things in the life of a true follower of Jesus. Jesus did not close in on Himself or on those most like Him, but reached out to others, especially those oppressed or rejected.
Recently there was an article in the Journal-Sentinel about the increase in the use of hate language and bigotry in schools in the area and administrators discussing how to deal with it. To me that increase is not surprising, given the example our young people are receiving as they hear on social media and the news the words and actions of people in leadership.
As a community which professes to be following Christ the King, we need to make sure we are modeling to our children true Gospel values. Christ clearly modeled for us that each person is made in the image of God and that we cannot dismiss anyone, especially those most in need.
Reflection for the week: when young people listen to what I say or watch what I do, do they see Gospel values of compassion, acceptance, and mercy? How can I do better? Let us pray for each other, and for all Christians, that we grow in our ability to model Gospel values to others.
We also pray in a special way today for the community of Christ King Parish, with whom we work so closely. May the Lord continue to bless and strengthen them as they strive to become more and more vibrant disciples, bringing others to Christ.