FATHER FRANK’S FIRE
We are approaching the end of another liturgical year. The liturgical year begins with Advent as we await the coming of the Messiah and then leads us through Christmas, Lent, Easter, Pentecost and Ordinary Time. The liturgical year ends next week when we acknowledge Jesus Christ as our King.
Today’s gospel focuses on the end times when we shall stand before the throne of judgment. Jesus reminds us that “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away”. The words of Jesus are the words of everlasting life. This is why it is so important for us to listen to the words of Jesus, to pray over them and to reflect on them. So many times we let them go in one ear and out the other. The gospels are not just nice stories – they are meant to inspire and challenge us to change our lives.
A number of years ago a movie simply called 2012 was released. The movie is loosely based upon Mayan predictions that have been interpreted by some to mean that the world will end in December 2012. These unfounded predictions frightened children and adults alike. I remember when many predicted that the world as we knew it would end with the dawning of the new millennium. “Y2K” sparked fear around the world. Today, we can laugh at our fears and concerns of almost two decades ago. Do you remember June 6, 2006? Again many feared tribulation and disturbances of cosmic proportions because it was 06-06-06 or 666. Why do we worry so much about our physical being and not take the necessary time to care about our spiritual being? Jesus today clearly tells us, “But of that day or hour, no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father”. It is interesting to me that so many people have private revelations when the earth will end and yet Jesus tells us that no one knows.
It should not matter to the disciples of Christ when the world will end. If we are faithful to the teachings of Jesus and live our lives like Jesus asked – we have nothing to fear. Jesus will “send out the angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the end of the earth to the end of the sky”. It is not a question of if the world will end – the questions are when will the world end and are you ready? When was the last time you received the Sacrament of Reconciliation? Advent is the perfect time to prepare for the coming of Christ – not as a little child born in Bethlehem, but rather as the King and Judge of the world.
THANKSGIVING – This week we as a nation celebrate Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is a time for each of us to think about the many blessings that we have received from God. Did you know that the word “Eucharist” means thanksgiving? Every time we gather around the table of the Lord we give thanks for the sacrifice of Jesus and for all the blessings we have received. This Thursday we will feast with family and friends may we remember those who will go without this day.
I am truly thankful for you, the people of St, Michael. I feel blessed to be able to minister to you. The past couple of months was one of transition as we both got to know each other. I am grateful for the ways you have welcomed me into your lives – sharing your joys, your sorrows, your dreams, and your disappointments. I am humbled by your honesty and your generosity. Thank you for trusting me and for showing me the face of Christ. I will keep you in my daily prayers and I ask that you keep me in yours.
I will be traveling to Kansas this week to spend Thanksgiving with my family. Our Thanksgiving Day Masses are at 8 AM and 10 AM. Please come to celebrate this great day for we all have something to be grateful for. I will be back for the weekend Masses.
In Christ’s love,
Fr. Frank A. Kurucz – Pastor