By the time the 33rd Sunday of Ordinary Time comes along, we realize by the way we celebrate The Mass that everything comes down to preparation.
With only this weekend and the final 34th Sunday of the year (Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe), we know the “end times” are near and here. All that we experienced through last weekend with our Eucharistic Devotions, we have to admit the month of November certainly is consistent in telling us to remember who we are and not to forget those who have gone before us (The Days of All Saints & All Souls, the annual remembrance of those who have gone before us in the Book of the Names of the Dead, voting and politics, and even Thanksgiving Day). Hopefully you’ve noticed that we have a specific and changing intention that a Priest offers for the Sacrifice of the Mass. Most of these are for the repose of the soul of someone who has died, but do you know why? This practice originates in the early Church. Our Catechism teaches, “From the beginning the Church has honored the memory of the dead and offered prayers in suffrage for them, above all the Eucharistic sacrifice, so that, thus purified, they may attain the beatific vision of God” (No. 1032). Praying for them is rooted in the Old Testament. Judas Maccabees offered prayers and sacrifices for the Jewish soldiers who had died wearing pagan amulets, which were forbidden by the Torah. 2 Maccabees reads, “Turning to supplication, they prayed that the sinful deed might be fully blotted out... he made atonement for the dead that they might be freed from sin” (12:43-46). Sadly, our Non-Catholic Christian brothers and sisters have denied the Books of Maccabees (and six other books from the Old Testament), thus putting a difference with how we view this practice of faith.
I realize that things might be busy in the upcoming days, but please consider coming to Mass on Thanksgiving morning at 9:30 (and if you are able to bring something for our St. Vincent de Paul food pantry to present during the offertory, that would be helpful). Please…just come and you will know the reason to offer thanks!
Pax, Fr. Bline
(P.S. Our new officers for Parish Pastoral Council are David Beitko-president, Denise Enright-vice president, Susie Naragon-recording secretary, Matthew Hutchison-corresponding secretary. Pray for their joyful servant hearts!)