This weekend we celebrate the 33rd and Final Sunday in Ordinary Time. Next weekend, we celebrate 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 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 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. 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.”
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.
We are happy to again provide the “Little Blue Books for Advent/Christmas” this year. Both English and Spanish editions are available this weekend. These Little Books give us brief daily reflections during these two special seasons of the church year and then invite us “to spend some quiet time with the Lord.” On the first Sunday of Advent, December 3rd, we begin our program of “six minutes a day.” With all of the activity coming up in the weeks ahead, here is a good opportunity to keep our balance through individual, personal prayer.
This weekend we 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.” 5% of our Offertory collection will be tithed to this annual campaign. If you would like to make an additional contribution to this cause, please use the envelopes have been included in the packet mailed to each home or the white envelopes in the pew racks.
I am not sure of the origins of Worldwide Priest Appreciation Sunday on the last Sunday of October, but I am very grateful for the messages of appreciation you sent to all three of us on that weekend. We are blessed to be able to serve you here at St. Isidore’s and are grateful for the good wishes you expressed.
This Thursday – 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 9:00am in the church. Please join us.
Please note that our Parish Office will be closed on Thanksgiving Day and on Friday. Weekday Mass on Friday will be celebrated at 8.15am, our Saturday morning time.
As Bishop Joseph Siegel prepares for his transfer to the Diocese of Evansville, IN, all are invited to a farewell Mass in Bishop Siegel’s honor that will be celebrated next Sunday, November 26th at 11:00am at the Cathedral of St. Raymond Nonnatus in Joliet. Refreshments will be served after the Mass. All are welcome to join in our farewell and send off to Bishop Joseph Siegel as he heads to the Diocese of Evansville to be their new Shepherd.
In view of the church shootings that took place in Texas two weeks ago, we are consulting our local police on ways of preventing and protecting ourselves should there be an incident here. Sadly this has to be a part of our crisis management plan for our parish. We will be sharing possible strategies with the parish once they are developed. For the present, it is important to know that we are investigating all options.
We wish all a happy and blessed Thanksgiving Day and weekend. As always, I pray that God continue to bless us with all that we need, and more.
Father Jim Murphy