During these months of November and December, we will be focusing on the “Last Things” (November) and Advent (December). The readings for the Sunday Eucharist will reflect on a sense of urgency for us to be “watchful.” It invites us to seek God in the present moment so as to be prepared for the coming of the Lord. The readings are often dark and make use of imagery of cosmological events. It is meant to help us focus on our ultimate end so as to help us to see everything in the light of eternity. Our time here on earth is very short compared to eternity!
When I think of days being very short and the nights being long at this time of year, I think of when I get into my deer stand on a dark morning. When the sky is clear, I notice that the stars shine in the darkness all the more brightly! In the darkness, certain things become clearer and more radiant which are the beautiful stars. I often think to myself that
the stars have always been there, but I don’t often see them because of daylight or light pollution. Also, the stars have been there a long time before I was born, and they will be there long after I pass away. The stars can symbolize the things of life that truly endure. In the great darkness of our world today, how can I keep my mind and heart focused on the enduring realities of the Kingdom of God? So often, I let myself get so distracted by the craziness and busyness of life (light pollution) that I must be reminded of the truly important things about being a disciple of Jesus.
Our Haven of Mercy Area Catholic Community continues to be a family of parishes that are called to make intentional disciples of Jesus together. An intentional disciple is one who has encountered Jesus personally and is so filled with his love. In response, an intentional disciple is one who has surrendered his or her heart to the King of Love and seeks to do the Will of God the Father. This leads to living a life of holiness. A disciple is one who is filled with peace and joy even amid the darkness in our world or the trials of life. This relationship with Jesus is what truly endures for eternity!
The stewardship way of life teaches us that we are so blessed by God. Stewardship teaches us how to live intentional discipleship by offering God the first fruits of our time. I want to invite all of us to give God the first fruits of our time to monthly going to confession, weekly going to Mass on the Lord’s Day, and daily to pray for 10-15 minutes. It gives us the ability to give God the space in our hearts to be intentional disciples who allow the Lord to love us and to surrender our lives to him. I also want to invite the people of our Haven of Mercy Area Catholic community to continue to seek out the special opportunities that are being offered to engage in our National Eucharistic Revival. Last month, there was a day retreat at Lake Beauty for our liturgical ministers and a teaching Mass on All Saints Day. This month we have a speaker, Doug Barry, who will be speaking at St. James in Randall on Sunday, Nov. 20 speaking about “Strengthening the Family Through the Eucharist.” Soup and sandwiches will be provided, and Eucharistic Adoration will follow the talk.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Fr. Ben Kociemba,