Pastor Corner November 17, 2013
As we get ready to celebrate, next weekend, the Feast of Christ the King we are reminded this week that all earthly temples will be destroyed and only the Temple that is the Lord Jesus Christ will be the place of safe haven. This has been graphically demonstrated this past week in the Philippines. The great Cathedral in which Fr. Cosme was ordained a deacon and the place where many gathered to wait out Typhoon Haiyan proved to be an unsafe place and many perished and were injured. Instead of bewailing the loss of their physical cathedral, the bishop gathered the people outside and celebrated a Mass of hope and thanksgiving. They made an act of faith in the midst of unimaginable destruction.
In the scriptures this week Jesus tells his disciples (us) not to be anxious about loss or suffering. Whatever they need to face any crisis will be provided, and he will be with them to guide their understanding and response. In the same way Jesus will guide us to respond to the many who are tragically suffering from a myriad of social and environmental woes.
The end of the liturgical year like-wise reminds us that for every ending there is another beginning. The disappearing sun and colder days of autumn will take us into winter, the ancient harbinger of death. Yet there, when darkness seems to overtake us, we will kindle the first candle of Advent. We too will make an act of faith to live the message of Jesus.
How many times prophets of doom have predicted the end of the world, the collapse of civilization as we know it? Pope Francis is reminding us that change will surely come for many institutions, their impressive structures and claims of divine favor. All we know for sure from the mouth of Jesus is that the essence of what is good, most human and divine within us, will endure in fresh manifestations of the mystery of God in history through every ending and beginning. What Jesus revealed in himself about the future of humanity will endure in us, even when the temples we erect – fall.
Many have asked how we are going to help the Fr. Cosme and the people of the Philippines. As of today, Tuesday, we still do not know and Fr. Cosme has yet to hear any news from his family, we hold them all in prayer. Bishop Sullivan will announce a Diocesan collection in the next few days. If you cannot wait please be careful with your donations, there are many scams already in place. I encourage you to donate to Catholic Relief Services. They are already on the ground in the area and the worldwide Catholic Church is funding their services.
Because of a lack of response we have had to cancel our parish semi-formal dinner. How about a nice pot-luck or covered dish dinner in the Hall. Let me know how you think we can be socially present to one another. So many people in the parish don’t know each other and we need to do something to show our unity and our unity of purpose.
Remember that on Thanksgiving Eve we will celebrate a Mass in the Church at 6:15 followed by the Ecumenical Prayer Service at Mt. Olive Baptist Church at 7:30.