You will be reading this on the weekend of November 19 and 20th, which this year is the Feast of Christ the King. It is also the weekend before Thanksgiving. The following Sunday is the first Sunday of Advent and the following Sunday will be Confirmation, which will be conferred by our Vicar General, Msgr. Thomas Powers. More about that later+..
This past Sunday night, my seventh graders were talking about the readings. The readings speak about the end of the world, when the Son of Man will return on the Clouds of Glory to make his kingdom final and complete. I discovered that most of them do not believe that Jesus will come again at the end (which will also be a beginning of the new heavens and the new earth). Our Creed reminds us that Jesus will come again to judge the living and the dead. But for them, it seems so far off as not to be real. Then I got them to talk about the many, many ways in which the world is not as it should be, nor anything like God planned when he created us. In all of us there is a sense that the world should be better. That inner call is the voice of God calling us to promote the values of the kingdom: justice and peace, holiness and integrity. Our deep desire that the world be what God wants it to be is our inner belief that indeed Jesus will come again to honor our inner longing. How could we have such a universal longing and God not respond to it? I suspect I did not change their minds.
Remember that here at St. Jerome we have two Thanksgiving services. Our official celebration is on Wednesday evening at 7pm. Then as always there is a 9am Mass on Thursday morning. Try and make one of them for as I reminded the children last Sunday, God is the giver of all good gifts and our proper response is thanksgiving. To celebrate the Eucharist is to give thanks and praise to Our God for all he has done for us through Jesus and in the Holy Spirit.
Finally, a word about Msgr. Powers+. His second assignment in our Diocese was to be chaplain at Trinity Catholic High School. That community loved him so much that when he got transferred they gave him a dog as a gift. He will do a great job at Confirmation, teenagers relate to him, he preaches very well and he presides beautifully.