This weekend, we celebrate the 33rd and final Sunday in Ordinary Time. Next weekend, we will celebrate the end of the current church year with the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe. We have been reading from Matthew’s Gospel for most of this church year, and we will conclude that reading over the next two weeks. This weekend, we have another parable challenging us to focus on our ultimate destiny – the Kingdom of God. We are now living in the time between two comings – the Lord’s first coming as one of us and the Lord’s second coming in glory. Today’s parable of the talents teaches us what to do during this time in between, this time of waiting. We are to live in such a way that we grow in our greatest “possession” – the divine life that has been given to us. The Spirit of God that animated Jesus all through his life was given to each of us at our Baptism. We have been given an unmerited share in God’s life. When we are faithful, it will end wondrously – we will enter fully into the “master’s joy.”

“The prayer of thanksgiving always begins here: to recognize that grace precedes us. We were thought of before we learned how to think; we were loved before we learned how to love; we were desired before our hearts conceived a desire.”

Pope Francis

One of the traditional aspects of the month of November is our prayerful remembrance of those who have gone before us in faith. Our parish Book of Remembrance is now at the front of the Church near the Baptistery and the Easter Candle. If you were not able to add the names of your beloved dead in the book for our All Souls Day Masses, please feel free to add these names to our Book of Remembrance. We continue to remember all of our beloved dead in prayer during this month of November.

This weekend, we have the opportunity to join with the other parishes of our diocese in participating in the annual collection for the Catholic Campaign for Human Development. Since 1970, the Catholic Campaign for Human Development has been our church’s compassionate and effective response to the needs of low-income people in our own diocese and throughout our country. CCHD funds more than 300 projects each year, helping people to work within their own communities to create jobs, provide affordable housing, ensure decent wages and organize for change. CCHD is a practical way for us to respond to Pope Paul VI’s exhortation, “If you want peace, work for justice.” CCHD envelopes are included in the envelope packs mailed to our homes, you may give online or you may mark any envelope CCHD. Thank you in advance for your generous support of this program.

Next weekend, we will have the opportunity to welcome Joliet seminarian Abel Luviano to our parish community. He will speak at all Masses, telling us his vocation story and thanking us for our support we gave for the Diocese of Joliet’s Seminarian Education Endowment Trust last weekend. His story will be printed in next Sunday’s bulletin. I thank you in advance for your hospitality in welcoming him to our parish next weekend.

This Thursday is Thanksgiving Day! A wonderful way to begin the day is by celebrating Eucharist with our parish family. We gather as a faith community to give thanks to our God for the many gifts with which we have been blessed. As is our custom on civil holidays, we will celebrate a single Mass on Thanksgiving morning at 9:00 am in the church. Please join us for this special Thanksgiving Day Mass.

A lot is happening in our parish as we quickly move towards the holiday season. Please take time to read the rest of the bulletin and become aware of the many different things happening at our parish. As always, may God continue to bless us with all that we need, and more.

– Father Jim Murphy