Hallowe’en. All Saints Day. All Souls Day. Remembrance Day. November comes upon us, and we see the signs of death in nature: fallen leaves; wet and windy days; long and chilly nights. It is a time when we naturally ponder our own mortality, finitude, and vulnerability. Our faith takes death seriously. “Dead serious”, you might say!! But it also tells us that death is not the final answer.
Pope Francis Invites Quebecers to Honour Missionary Heritage
Fr. Raymond LafontaineOctober 15, 2014
In a Mass of Thanksgiving for the canonization of two new Canadian saints, Pope Francis prayed that Quebec might return to a “path of fruitfulness, to giving the world many missionaries.” François de Laval, the first Bishop of Quebec, and Marie de l’Incarnation, the founder of the Ursulines in Canada, were declared saints by equivalent canonization in April.
As we celebrate Thanksgiving this weekend, our readings speak to us of a wedding banquet to which all are invited: of feasts of rich food and well-aged wines, of a Good Shepherd who prepares for us a table of plenty. Images that are familiar to us as we sit down to roast turkey and pumpkin pie – or whatever special food and drink we enjoy when feasting with family and friends. And yet, not all will sit down this weekend to a bountiful table, surrounded by family and friends: the sick, the lonely, the poor, the homeless. What will they have to be thankful for?
At our Masses this weekend, we highlight a beautiful sign of the Lord’s healing power: the sacrament of the anointing of the sick. Here at St. Monica’s, we have a significant number of seniors and other homebound individuals who are ministered to by their fellow parishioners. Many of them have made a special effort to be here this weekend, and we are pleased to welcome them. They belong to us and are tremendous intercessors on behalf of the many needs of the parish.
In this Sunday's Gospel, Jesus describes two kinds of people: those who initially say “no”, but then follow through on what they were asked; and those who say “yes” immediately, but fail to follow through. Which of these descriptions fits you more accurately? With which of these people would you rather work, or serve on a parish committee? Obviously, it isn’t enough just to say “yes”; we have to really mean it, and follow through on it. If we can’t do something, we save ourselves and others a lot of grief if we admit that up front, without raising false expectations. We need to “walk the talk!”