Thanksgiving always brings to mind all that we are thankful for. This year I have decided to give thanks every day for the things in my life. As I write this bulletin article, this is what I am thankful for. We are so blessed here at Holy Trinity to be able to work with parishioners who truly work with kind and loving hearts. Reaching out to welcome others into our parish is second nature to all of you. I have never worked in a parish that was as prayerful as our parish. But, there is one group of people I think are the ‘unsung heroes” of our parish, and I’d like to take a second to thank them for all they do. Mary Fran our bookkeeper who always seems to find the money when we so desperately need it. (Not to mention her great singing ability), Denise Brookins, Cheryl Pergande and Kathy Nowiski, our secretarial staff who stay on top of all the clerical work for the parish from record keeping to letter writing and beyond. To Sharon Bender, Sue Lozano, Mary Rita Gierman and all the secondary help who “stand erect” waiting to help. To our custodial staff; Dave, Kevin, TJ, Mark, who spend just as much time in the truck running from site to site, as they do working, fixing, cleaning, checking, etc. I’m sure I forgot someone, so for that I apologize. Know that you are truly appreciated. Thank You, Thank You, Thank You.
God is love and all who live in God, live in love.
A young bride asked her grandmother, “What’s the secret of a long marriage?” The grandmother answered that the secret to a long marriage was to not give up. Today, many couples will give up before even giving the marriage a chance. As we look at Luke’s readings for Advent and Christmas, we can easily see a love relationship between God and his people. Hope, forgiveness, sacrifice, dependence, acceptance, presence, embracing the unknown, giving your all are all characteristic of a relationship.
Relationships demand that we give more than we take, that we overlook weakness and that we love unconditionally. Not giving up means standing erect, ready to take on whatever challenge life gives you, knowing that you are not alone. It also requires, patience, a listening year and to take time to rest in the LORD.
This First week of Advent starts off the season with HOPE. John Shea; theologian and story teller says that Hope is just on the other side of hopelessness. In other words, when we ‘hit bottom’ and can hope no more, surrender to God, that is when hope rises up to meet us. In the days of the Old Testament, the world was in great chaos. Roman control had taken over and oppressed the land. People were being taxed beyond their means. (Kind of sounds like today).
Then there is the positive side of hope, hope that is filled with dreams and goals, aspirations and fearlessness. Hope that sees the glass half full, hope that will bring salvation to a land. Hope that will get Paris through this tragic time in their history. Hope that will redeem those who suffer, those who have yet to encounter Christ and hope that fills the hearts of the hopeless.
May you be filled with HOPE this holiday season.
Advent Reflection Questions:
- I cringe in fear when……
- What helps me “stand erect” in hope is……?
- What helps me love as Christ loves & grow in holiness is……
- Where do I find my hope?
Keep movin’ in the Spirit!!!!