As we approach Thanksgiving Day it is important for us to pause and reflect on our own sense of gratitude for all that we have. The Gospel story of the healing of the ten lepers illustrates the importance of thankfulness. Although it was not imperative in their actually healing (faith is), it separated the nine from the tenth who recognized what had happened and returned to show his deep gratitude. Not only had Jesus freed him from his physical contagion; he also validated the Samaritan as a human being worthy of respect even if he was a foe of the Jews. He was given a second chance at life. Whereas the others returned to their old ways of living, this Samaritan was now free to walk a different path, namely one which followed Jesus with a new vision. Our healing may not be as dramatic but may we recognize that Jesus is inviting us to a whole new way of life. May we be people of thankfulness seeing the world anew.
It never fails that when we have had a lapse of a few months without a funeral that they come in threes. This is happening in November no less which is the month we especially remember the dead. Two of these funerals involved daily mass attendees. Bill Arrigoni whose funeral was November 8th was a faithful steward whose wife Madeleine died about 13 years ago. Bill always refused to go out for coffee with the ladies after daily Mass. He felt that it would be disloyal to Madeleine. He was loyal to the very end. Wanda Serbesku whose funeral is November 21st was a sweetheart. I will always remember her loving support over the years, especially remembering my birthday and anniversary. I will greatly miss Bill and Wanda. Well done, good and faithful servants.
This week we remember our armed forces veterans who have gone be-fore us marked with the sign of faith. Many of them paid the ultimate sacrifice in the line of battle. We indeed commend them to the Lord. May we lift up their families as well. May we also pray for those who currently in theaters of war throughout the world. May they be kept safe. The Knights of Columbus will host our annual Veterans Day Mass on Thursday at 6:30 pm Mass. There will be a special blessing for all veterans who are in attendance. Thank you for your service.
The month of November finds us reflecting on our loved ones who have gone before us marked with the sign of faith. On Friday, Nov. 1, we celebrated the Solemnity of All Saints, those who have finished the race and now rejoice in God’s presence. On Nov. 2 we celebrate All Soul’s Day in which the church prays for all who have died. We pray for our deceased loved ones, trusting that God will hear and answer our prayers that they know eternal light, happiness, and peace. Again we have a small altar set up to commemorate Dia de los Muertos along with our Mexican community. Also, we have the book of the names of the dead set out during the month. Please write your deceased loved ones name there, and they will be remembered. They are still with us in a special way. May we join them in giving continual praise and thanks to our gracious God.
As we celebrate Commitment Sunday this weekend as part of our stewardship of treasure campaign, I would like to emphasize two key components of financial giving. First, our giving should be budgeted. Just as we budget for food, clothing, social media, etc., so too we must budget our giving to our church community and charities. That’s where the second component comes in. Our giving should be proportionate to our income. The biblical tithe is 10 percent, half of which goes to the parish, half which goes to charities. More than 400 of our families do not turn in a pledge each year. That’s not to say they are not giving. It may very well go into the collection basket as loose bills and change, in other words, what you have left over. I would ask our non-pledgers to begin taking what you give off the top of your budget and make it proportionate to your income. Please use envelopes, Faith Direct, or EFT (electronic funds transfer) program. If you are not there yet, please continue to give as you have. But we would like to recognize you for your generous giving.
May the Lord bless you in every way.