From our pastor, Father Neil Herlihy:
This Sunday, the Feast of Christ the King marks the end of the “Year of Faith” proclaimed by Pope Benedict XVI. Our Church teaches that this “Year of Faith” has been a special time for us to review our personal relationship with Jesus and recommit ourselves to the Church. We also have been called to put our faith into action by caring for the poor and marginalized in our midst. Pope Francis has recently reaffirmed that call.
As we know, as Catholics living in the United States, we have been blessed in many ways. However, as busy people, it is fair to say that we often take our blessings for granted. The impact of the recent typhoon in the Philippines and Viet Nam is a sober reminder of the devastation and poverty that exists in many parts of the world. Many people have died from this typhoon. Many others have been left homeless without adequate food or drinking water. Disaster relief efforts, including those of Catholic Relief Services, are ongoing. We have been asked by Archbishop Gregory to do our part through our prayers and financial support to assist those impacted by this disaster.
As Americans, to a large degree, we have been immune from substantive devastation and poverty. We have so much for which to be thankful. At this time, of the year, as we approach Thanksgiving Day, we are invited to pause and reflect in a special way to give thanks for the many blessings the Lord has bestowed on us. We can thank God for the gift of our life, our health, our family, our friends, and our vocations. As we end this “Year of Faith”, we can also thank Him for the gift of our precious faith.
The word “Eucharist” means “giving thanks” and the Eucharist is the source and summit of our faith. Our Church leaders remind us that the Lord establishes a special bond with His community through the special Eucharistic meal. It is the nourishment that fuels and sustains the spirituality and vitality of our wonderful faith community. We can thank the Lord for the opportunity to bond with each other by nourishing together on the Bread of Life. We can also thank Him for the opportunity to then go forth in loving service of our brothers and sisters, especially our brothers and sisters in need at this time of the year. This Thursday, as we enjoy our Thanksgiving meal, we are prayerfully invited to reflect on our blessings and share our gifts with others in the true spirit of Christian generosity.