Accept, O Lord, our thanks and praise for all that you have
done for us. We thank you for the splendor of the whole
creation, for the beauty of this world, for the wonder of life,
and for the mystery of love.
We thank you for the blessing of family and friends, and for
the loving care which surrounds us on every side.
We thank you for setting us at tasks which demand our best
efforts, and for leading us to accomplishments which satisfy
and delight us.
We thank you also for those disappointments and failures
that lead us to acknowledge our dependence on you alone.
Above all, we thank you for your Son Jesus Christ; for the
truth of his Word and the example of his life; for his steadfast
obedience, by which he overcame temptation; for his dying,
through which he overcame death; and for his rising to life
again, in which we are raised to the life of your kingdom.
Grant us the gift of your Spirit, that we may know him and
make him known; and through him, at all times and in all
places, may give thanks to you in all things. Amen.
– Fr. Joe
Can you believe that it is already November? The year of 2017 is in its twilight! We’ve experienced a year of political as well as meteorological turbulence. We can now just about presume that anything a person has ever said or done in their past will assuredly have offended someone at some time, and yet even in such a climate, you still have folks who continue to speak and/or act in ways intended to demean or abuse others – and then, of course, utter the required “mea culpa’s” that no one believes anyway! Our culture is fractured. The place of humans at the top of the food chain may well be in jeopardy if those who have the power to unleash nuclear war actually decide to do so. Nature’s fury has been experienced this year in ways that should humble human arrogance, and there are still those (the poorest of the poor) who continue to suffer the aftermaths of storm upon storm.
However, Christians are empowered to be people of HOPE. The end of this month brings not merely the termination of the liturgical cycle, but the beginnings of the New Year. Advent points beyond itself and reminds us that humankind’s Savior, whose words and grace are so desperately needed to be felt again, has already come. Our lives do not have to reflect the deep darkness of November mornings or the daytime gray of its skies. We are the fools (for Christ’s sake) who believe that the light of God’s goodness is greater than all the forces of evil or nature that fight against it.
In the show The Student Prince, there is that melody that begins: “I’ll walk with God, from this day on…” As I write this on a stormy Sunday (eerily five years to the day after another storm battered us), just let me remind each of you that no matter the issues, the darkness, the challenges, the political stupidity, the evil or sin that we humans (or nature itself) might create, as challenging as 2017 has been for so many of us, we do not walk alone if we walk by faith!