Voices of Faith

The Twenty-Ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time

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Dear Friends:

Part of the motivation to be a follower of Jesus is his promise of heaven. Nothing or no one else can promise such a thing as life for eternity! We are all looking for that gift whether we talk about it or not. In short, we all want something from the Lord, and he wants to share that gift with us. Today’s gospel presents us with James and John, two disciples who were also brothers, who express their desire to have places of honor in heaven. In some respects, I can’t blame them for their boldness or their desire… they simply want to remain close to Jesus, and who wouldn’t want that?

During our parish mission this past week, Deacon Thom Winninger invited each of us to recognize the hand of God at work in our lives and to identify the central gift that he gives to each of us. Understanding that gift and learning to make use of it means a process of discernment. Once we identify the gift, we can begin to identify what God is asking of us. Our parish community is blessed with an abundance of diverse gifts. That diversity is essential to strong community life as we depend on the gifts of each one of us. We depend upon one another… imagine what we can do when each of us does our part. Next weekend, October 27–28, we will host a parish Ministry Fair in Joe’s Cafe after all the Masses. Opportunities abound in our community to get involved and use your gifts. Take some time to check out what is going on, and be open to the Lord’s call to get involved… there are many new and exciting things going on, and there is more to come!

Looking ahead a little further, on Friday, November 2 the Church gathers in prayer for those who have died in the Commemoration of All Souls. Here at St. Joseph it is our custom to celebrate a special Mass during which we remember all those who have died, and in a particular way, we welcome all who have lost a loved one whose funerals were celebrated here during the past year to show our support for those who are grieving. The Mass will take place at 6:30 pm beginning in the cemetery with a procession to the Church. This year we are inviting all to bring a photo of deceased loved ones you wish to remember in prayer at this Mass (preferably a framed photo that is not too large). We will have a table set up in the sanctuary near the baptismal font where photos will be placed as we commend them to God. We will also have our traditional Book of Remembrance in which the names of the deceased can be inscribed, and that book will remain in place in the sanctuary throughout the month of November. Our prayers for the faithful departed keep alive our ties of friendship and affection and keep us longing for the fulfillment of God’s promise of heaven.

God’s peace,

Fr. Rick