November – A month to remember our deceased loved ones
1) At this time of the year as we watch the leaves fall from the trees and the branches become more barren each day we are reminded that winter is not too far off. Many of the plants that were so beautiful during the summer months have now gone in for their winter’s nap. It is appropriate that we reflect on death and new life during the month of November because there are signs of it all around us.
What will happen when we die? Is death simply the end, like blowing out a candle? If there is life after death, what is it like? Questions such as these are on the minds of many people these days. This is nothing new. Jesus was asked many times during the course of His earthly life about the mystery of death and resurrection. In response He often used examples and stories to help His listeners understand. He used the example of a seed to explain that death is like a seed losing its outward shell in order to let what is inside grow. In the same way, we too must break out of our shells, (our bodies) in order to let what is inside (our souls) grow. In all of Jesus’ teaching this much is certain about life after death: it is not a prolonging or continuing of our present existence, but something totally new, and it is based not on wishful thinking but on the very nature of God Himself. Everything beyond this remains a mystery. The resurrection life lies so far outside our experience that it can be described only in symbols and images. Our task is to prepare for that great encounter and homecoming between God and us, not by worrying about the details but by living to the fullest extent each day.
May the souls of the faithful departed rest in peace.
2) Today we are kicking off our annual Stewardship renewal. I’m asking you to please consider how you might help our parishes/schools as a volunteer. It takes the commitment of many people to be able to offer the programs and outreach, and most importantly our beautiful worship opportunities. Please take the time to reflect on what you can offer to your parish and/or school and return the Time and Talent survey form to your parish office or in the weekend collection basket. We all have been blessed so greatly by Almighty God – “what return can we make for all the goodness He has shown to us?” The next three weekends we will be acknowledging and offer a blessing for all who volunteer in the different areas of parish and school life. Please pray for the success of our efforts.
God bless you always!
Father Jim Volkert