Happy Thanksgiving

Dear Friends,

I am writing this column on November 17 as the deadlines for our bulletins with Thanksgiving Day involved have been moved up. I make mention of this simply since November 17 signaled Netflix’s release of Season 3 for their production entitled The Crown, the story of Queen Elizabeth II and the British Royal Family. Someone last year was kind enough to gift me an Amazon Fire TV stick and a three-month subscription to Netflix, which I have continued. And watching The Crown has been very entertaining. Royalty often seems to get the human imagination going.

This weekend, we are celebrating the solemn feast of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe. This feast is not about imagining but of memory, of purpose, of redemption, of victory. Jesus is no ordinary King and our allegiance to Him is no ordinary allegiance.

Jesus is Son of God and Son of Mary, fully Divine and fully Human. He is the Savior of the world and more specifically, He is Savior for you and for me. Jesus’ throne was the Cross on Calvary, His crown was of thorns, His Sacred Heart pierced by a lance bringing forth Blood and Water ~ signifying the Sacraments of Baptism and Eucharist. From this pierced Heart, the Church was born and to His pierced Heart we (you and I and all the world) must return over and again if we wish to find peace, happiness and fulfillment in this most fragile and broken world.

In 1966, Time magazine published a cover story with the question, “Is God Dead?” Because modern man didn’t “need” God, He must be dead. The thinking has roots in the nineteenth century philosophy of Nietsche. Today, we don’t face the premise of God being dead, but we do face the critical reality that the largest religious group in the US are the “nones.” Those who believe in God or at least in spirituality but are unaffiliated with any specific faith. The numbers of young people leaving the Catholic Church, leaving organized religion, at an early age is staggering.

Human beings have struggled intently with the Biblical God Who is so intentionally personal and close, Who takes on flesh and blood and becomes one of us. God is not a cosmic force out there, nor a feeling within. He became a Brother who shares our humanity and yet is the One Who has created everything and everyone and holds life in existence.

The Good Thief on the cross, Dismis, recognized Jesus as innocent and as God. He was saved in that final hour of his life. Like Dismis, we all are in need of God’s mercy. May we call out to Jesus for His mercy. May we identify with Dismis, seeing in Jesus’ death our pathway to heaven. May we joyfully and clearly let all our fellow human beings know that Jesus is our King and that He wants to be theirs too. Where do we stand? Where are we going? How are we getting there? Jesus shows the way; indeed, Jesus IS the way.

May each and everyone of you and your loved ones have a truly blessed and joy-filled Thanksgiving Day, thanking the King of Kings for all of His bounty. Mass on Thanksgiving Day is at 9 am. We will once again bless bread at Mass for you to take home for your Thanksgiving Tables.

Oh! Don’t forget our Potluck Dinner, Advent wreath making and blessing on Saturday, November 30 after the 4:30 pm Vigil Mass in the school cafeteria!

God bless you, God love you, I love you,

Monsignor McCulken

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