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A Harmonious Holiday: Weekly Message for 11-14-17
Dear Friends in Christ,
Autumn is in full swing here in Michigan. As nature continues to shed its summer vibrancy, our wise Catholic liturgy invites us – gently but surely – to consider that we too will one day have to leave behind these earthly shores and take our final journey into eternity. The feasts of All Saints and All Souls, and the liturgical readings about our Lord’s Second Coming are God’s way of reminding us that we are just pilgrims here. Our true home awaits us.
Here in the United States, God’s Providence has added another consideration for these pensive weeks of transition towards another Advent and another winter: the national holiday of Thanksgiving. Even though so much in our secularized culture is off kilter (to put it mildly), this beautiful tradition still stands. And what powerful tradition it is! Families getting together simply to be together. Having a feast in order to celebrate all the gifts that God has given us.
This earthly tradition of Thanksgiving Day is very much in tune with the November liturgical impetus to consider eternity. Think about it. What is eternity, for those who die in friendship with Christ? It is, according to the Lord’s own revelation, a feast, a feast in which the whole family of God – all the saints and angels – will gather to celebrate and enjoy the gift of everlasting life and blessedness.
In a sense, our lives here on earth are like the journey that my family used to take to grandmother’s house for Thanksgiving dinner. Our real destination awaits us, and it will be glorious. And we should be looking forward to it! We should be living our life here on earth with our final destination in mind. If only we could do that more intentionally, just think how our day-to- day worries and stresses
would be reconfigured.
Our hope is to help that happen, more and more, in your life. Our upcoming Retreat Guide, The Christmas Apostle: An Advent Retreat Guide on St. John the Evangelist takes advantage of Advent to renew our awareness of the Lord’s true purpose for our lives. St John the Evangelist’s Feast Day always takes place two days after Christmas. So he is worthy companion for our Advent journey, which is meant to prepare us to celebrate Christmas in deep consonance with the real “reason for the season.”
Wherever you find yourself along this amazing pilgrimage of faith, please keep counting on our prayers for you. And don’t forget to send us your feedback and ideas about how we can serve you better.
Yours sincerely in Christ,
John Bartunek, LC, SThD