12/4/2016-"Why will Jesus return at the end of time"
The Second coming of Jesus is one of the central themes of the Season of Advent. The glorious Second Coming of Jesus is present in the prayers of the Church, in the Gospel passages that are proclaimed, and in the other readings from Scripture. Our Lord's return and the end of the world are mysteriously woven into the proclamation of the Good News!
Just as we have seen with so many other aspects of our faith, we might know a superficial answer to certain questions, but we certainly struggle to go deeper. How would you answer the question, why will Jesus return at the End of Time? To begin to answer the question, I shared a simple and clear image that came from my own childhood. One of the highlights of our day growing up was waiting on the front porch for Daddy to return, we were able to be joyful and patient in our waiting. we would begin by guessing how many cars would pass before Daddy pulled in the driveway. THis of course led to some betting between my brothers and me. We would then start joyfully couting the cars. We would also play, "my car, your car", as we waited for Dad to come home. Whatever car passed our home first went to my brother, the next one would be mine. There was always such tension when a clunker would be spotted. It really became interesting when a clunker was approaching from one side and a nice sports car from another...the cheering that took place on our front porch! But then, at last, Daddy would pull into the driveway. and we would run to him..."Daddy...Daddy! and we would jump into his arms. This is why Jesus is going to return! We belong to Jesus! We are His! We are part of His Family! He loves us and only Jesus will be able to carry us home to our Father"s loveing embrace!
"A BAND OF JOYFUL MISSIONARY DISCIPLES" My participation at the Archdiocesan Synod was very inspiring and encouraging! We prayerfully discerned what Jesus is asking of us in order that we might bring the Good News to every person in SE Michigan! We focused on four themes: The renew of the individual, The renewal of Families, The renewal of parishes, and The renewal of the Archdiocese. Our Archbishop is open to allow Jesus to transform even the very DNA of the Archdiocese, so that all that we do as Catholics will facilitate people encountering Jesus daily anew, growing in their discipleship of Jesus, and bearing witness to the power of His merch and love by our words and actions.
ALPHA IS TRULY THE BEGINNING The same weekend of the Synod, we had over 90 people participate in our Alpha retreat. It truly was an experience of the transforming power of the Holy Spirit to heal us, to change us, to fill us, and to renew us. I am asking all parishioners in the next calendar year to make sure to participate in the Alpha experience. I am especially asking all those involved in leadership of organizations, and all those involved in ministries to make a point of participating in Alpha. I am confident that this shared experience will help us to unite around Jesus and to become that band of joyful missionary disciples He desires us to become!
ENHANCING OUR ALTAR SERVER PROGRAM For those of you who attended the 10 AM or Noon Liturgy last weekend, you saw the fruits of many months of work to enhance our altar server program.. For me, it was a joy to see our youth respond to the challenge to be more involved and to assume leadership positions! It was great to have a Gospel procession with candles! It was beautiful to have our servers kneeling with candles for the consecration! And it was also a good thing to have communion patens at four of our stations for the distribution of the Blessed Sacrament, what we receive is really and truly the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus. Communion patens ensure that the Blessed Sacrament doesn't fall to the ground and also that no particles fall either. I receive some positive feedback from parishioners and one of our catechists was inspired to recruit children from her class to serve at the Altar.
SPECIAL THANKS TO THE CHRISTIAN WOMEN. This past fall, we have had close to two hundred people participating in Alpha. Many of the participants are the moms and dads of our children in Faith Formation. This would not have been possible if it were not for the Christian women taking on the charge of childcare during the Alpha sessions. I want to express my gratitude to the Christian Women, especially to those that have spent many a Tuesday evening in our parish taking such good and loving care of our little ones!
Have a blessed week and remember to pray for one another.!