“Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me…I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.” (Matthew 25:34-40).
Jesus Christ, the King of the Universe, shares with us what it takes to inherit the kingdom! Is it climbing Mt. Everest? Is it making it to the big leagues? Is it becoming famous? While these things are exciting, Jesus shows us that the path to heaven is a simple path of love…a simple opening of our eyes to those around us that need our compassion and kindness and responding to their needs.
A great opportunity to live this out is our Thanksgiving Food Drive. Simply bring your donations to the 9:30 Thanksgiving Mass and leave them in the Narthex before Mass. You can also drop them off at the Pavilion from 9:00-11:00am that morning. Thank you ahead of time for living this Gospel out in such a particular, loving way!
Speaking of opening our eyes to the needs of one another, due to the rise in cases in the last couple of weeks, I just wanted to reiterate our safety precautions for you so that we can be mindful of one another and experience the safest possible worship experience. 1) Please continue to wear masks over your nose and mouth to ensure a safe environment. 2) Remember, receiving communion on the hand is strongly encouraged. For those who desire to receive communion on the tongue, please approach Fr. Bearer or myself at the end of the communion line. If our fingers touch your mouth, we will sanitize our hands. 3) In regard to singing, there will continue to be instrumental music with a cantor, but no participation from the congregation. The recessional hymn will not be sung. This is a time to reflect deeply on what is going on in our lives. Thank you.
Lastly, these times have been heavy on my heart. It breaks my heart to know that some members here have not received communion since March. As a shepherd, feeding the flock is at the core of my life and identity. For this reason, for the Advent and Christmas seasons, we will be launching creative, safe ways that you can receive the sacraments. We will be offering things like Anointings after Mass, Drive Thru Anointings/Communion/Confession, Advent Confession times, Parking Lot Communion Services and more. Please check out this bulletin for the sacramental plan coming soon! All of this is a wide-open invitation for you to come back home during this wonderful Advent and Christmas season!
God’s peace and joy be with you!
Fr. Jeremy Merzweiler