Voices of Faith

The Thirty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

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Dear Friends:

The past few months have been marked by heartbreaking tragedies in the wake of natural disasters and acts of violence in our country and in other parts of the world. As a parish community, we have come together to offer financial support and our prayers for healing and peace. I myself am thankful that Jesus gives us two ways to respond to suffering and tragedy: to see that there is more to our life than such experiences and to reach out with compassion and charity for those who suffer. Here at St. Joseph we have done both. For many people— those who stand in the wake of tragedy, who suffer, or who grieve— it might be difficult to evoke sentiments of gratitude or thanksgiving as we prepare for our observance of Thanksgiving Day this week. The first Thanksgiving, however, was commemorated in the wake of hardship and difficulty as a way to cherish the blessings, few though they may have been, so as to inspire a sense of hope. No matter what challenges you face or suffering you experience, take time this week to focus your heart on what the Lord is doing in your life so that you can express thanks and praise that God is good!

We will gather on Thanksgiving morning for Mass at 9 a.m. Join us as you begin your day… before heading out to the “big game” (I would be remiss if I did not say GO CARDINALS!), traveling to be with family, or preparing your own tables. The Eucharist (i.e., the Mass) is our best expression of giving thanks, for the very word Eucharist (from the Greek εὐχαριστία) means “gratitude” or “thankfulness.”

Best wishes to all for a blessed and happy Thanksgiving this week… and safe travels to all who are hitting the road, rails, or skies to be with family and friends.

God’s peace,

Fr. Rick