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Dear Friends,
Today the Church celebrates the Feast of Christ the King, and the last Sunday of the Church’s liturgical year. As feasts go, Christ the King is really the late-comer. As I have written before, it was inaugurated by Pope Pius XI in 1925 as a counterweight to the growing trend to deify the state as the ultimate source of both power and loyalty. This was most especially exemplified by the totalitarian governments of the time, especially the communists in Russia, the fascists in Italy and, later, the Nazis in Germany. The Church was reacting to systems of government that sought to place themselves, instead of God, in the hearts of their citizens. While all three may have gone away, the errors they propounded have stayed, taking other forms.

If God can be pushed out of the human heart by the State, He can be pushed out by ourselves as well, if not personally, than by the cultural mores of the times. Many have come to believe that humankind today worships itself, rather than God. Our age has been called the age of entitlement, that you and I think we are entitled to whatever we think will make us happy. In today’s Gospel, Jesus presents us with the familiar scene of the Last Judgment, with the goats and the sheep, those who were attentive to the needs of others and those who were not. But in last week’s Gospel, Jesus offers the parable of the talents. We too often think of talents as special skills or abilities that we have. But in the original parable, a talent was a huge sum of money, and five talents or two talents would be that much greater. They truly would be a treasure. So, in the parable, the master gives his servants a great treasure. What is that treasure? It is all that has gone before in this Gospel of Matthew, all Jesus’ teachings, and Himself, as well. The Word who brings life and light. And the parable challenges the disciple to ask himself/herself what is being done with it. Earlier in Matthew, Jesus has told us, “Where your treasure is, there will your heart be.” (Matt. 6:21). If His life and example and teachings are the real treasure, then those who live by them will live in the light and be light for the world. He is the Word Incarnate. And the Word Incarnate has come to reveal God to us and in revealing God to us has called us to follow a way to be happy that isn’t always focused on ourselves. So, this Feast of Christ the King invites us to look into ourselves again and to ask, who, or what stands in the center of your heart, your life, your search for fulfillment and meaning? Who or what claims you, your energies, your vision, your dreams?

What might you name today? Your family or someone in it? Your career? Your possessions? Would you name God? But if you say yes, I ask you to prove it to yourself? By your fidelity to worship? By your impassioned defense of belief (the same way you might defend the Giants)? By your support of the work of the Church? By your living out Jesus’ example (compassion, forgiveness, gentleness, welcoming)? You see, if you say Christ is King, a treasure beyond all measure, and stands at the center of your heart (rather than yourself), you really have to explain how.

In last week’s bulletin, Sr. Maureen Sullivan wrote a letter of thanks to Mount Carmel on behalf of the Father English Center and all those in need whom they serve. I want to add a personal word of thanks to all who responded to the urgency of the moment with their generous contributions of food, especially turkeys, and money. As I have always said, this community of Mount Carmel is extraordinarily generous and you proved it once again. And I want to add a special word of thanks to the members of the Youth Group (and Glen McCall) who did the labor in filling that box truck so every donation would make it with the urgency that the moment demanded. Thanks to one and all. The words of Jesus in today’s Gospel should ring in everyone’s ears, “Come, blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world for I was hungry, and you gave me food…”

And speaking of the Youth Group, some 36 members spent last weekend as part of the 25,000 young people who gathered in Indianapolis for the National Catholic Youth Conference, where faith-filled young people gather as a sign that the life of Christ is alive and well in the next generation of Catholics. Thank you for taking the time out of your very busy lives to be part of this. Hopefully, some will share their experiences in the bulletins in the coming weeks.

Finally, if you’ve seen those strange cards in the baskets on the tables in the lobbies of the church that read “We lovingly made our donation through WE SHARE,” they are there for those parishioners who support the parish through e-giving and who may sometimes feel a bit awkward when the collection basket is passed in front of them and they seem to ignore it. We invite you to throw in one of those cards and see it as a symbol of your support for the work of the Gospel through e-giving. I thank you for the consistency of your support. I am sure it represents a conscious decision to share your treasure for the work of the Kingdom. I invite the whole parish to adopt this method of giving. Simply go to the WE SHARE icon on the home page of the website. It’s as easy as one-two-three.

God Bless,
Fr. Ron

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Mass Schedule

Weekend Liturgies
Saturday, 5:30 p.m.
Sunday
8:00 a.m., 9:30 a.m.,
11:00 a.m., 12:30 p.m.,
3 p.m. (Spanish), 6:30 p.m.
Weekday Liturgies
Monday thru Friday,
6:30 a.m., 8:30 a.m.,
and 12 noon
Saturday, 8:30 a.m. only
Holy Days
Eve: 7:30pm (anticipated)
6:30am, 8:30am, and 12noon 

 

weshare

 

sgbcross 
Click Here for the Video in English and Spanish

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