Today is the last Sunday of the Year of Grace 2013-2014. As the liturgical year ends, we are pointed toward the end of time itself and the return of Jesus Christ, King of the universe. The Feast of Christ the King
was established by Pope Pius XI in 1925. An observance celebrating an aspect of Jesus' identity rather than his life. This year our readings use imagery of Jesus as a shepherd. This juxtaposition of high and low, king and shepherd, aptly expresses the paradoxical kingship of Jesus, who reigns by taking upon himself the lowliest service and who calls us to regin with him through our discipleship or service to each other, making the world a better place. Confirmation students are guided well in the act of "doing service" to "get Confirmed". Once we are confirmed in faith, the rest of our life is spent choosing to live out the rest of the gifts and fruits of the Spirit within us. Part of this absolute need for the Spirit within is to do the tough work of living the Gospel. We are called to live the corporal and spiritual works of mercy on a daily basis. It is a good idea to know these works so you can consciously choose to purposefully carry them out in the world. Match up a corporal work of mercy with a volunteer agency in the community. Choose one on the list and actively help. For the rest, be conscious in all you do to all all the actions and love Jesus Christ to be felt in your actions and words.
This weekend, we join in solidarity with the poor through the annual collection for the Catholic Campaign for Human Development
(CCHD). The CCHD is an opportunity to actively participate in breaking the cycle of poverty in the United States. Poverty is an increasingly serious problem for many of our Minnesota neighbors. Some experience poverty as the lack of a home; around 14,000 Minnesotans are homeless each night, including over 4,000 homeless youth. Some experience poverty as hunger; about 11% of Minnesotans face food insecurities each year. 40% of food shelf users in Minnesota are families with children. Others experience poverty in the nagging fear that one small crisis might push them over the edge, due to their lack of choices that comes with struggling to meet daily needs. The CCHD helps people rise above the poverty line by funding programs that focus on addressing root causes-not just symptoms-of poverty. In the midst of the unstable economic climate in Amercia, the CCHD's efforts to break the cycle of poverty are more important than ever. CCHD's funding resulted in positive long term community improvements since 1970. CCHD-funded groups work to create well-paying jobs, strengthen education programs, create affordable housing, and increase access to health care. Together we can help to break the cycle of poverty in our country and community-not just for a day, but for a lifetime, by giving generously as a part of our regular collection this weekend. For your convenience, a CCHD envelope has been included with your regular contribution envelopes. If you are new to the community or do not have an envelope, please mark your contribution accordingly.
The sign-up for Hospitality Ministers at the Ecumenical Thanksgiving Service on Wednesday, November 26 at 7:00 pm, as well as Liturgical Ministers for Thanksgiving Day on Thursday, November 17 at 9:00 am and the Immaculate Conception on Monday, December 8 is posted on the door of the Usher's Room. If you know you will be attending any of these, please sign-up for a liturgical ministry.
Next weekend begins a New Year of Grace with the First Sunday of Advent. We will continue the tradition of a family lighting the candles of the Advent Wreath. On the First Sunday the candles will be lit after the blessing of the wreath following the Prayers of the Faithful. On the following Sundays, the candles will be lit as a part of the Gathering Rite at the beginning of Mass. Please consider signing up for this meaningful ritual this year. Sign-up sheets may be found at the Information Desk in the Gathering Space. Attention Lectors: The 2015 Workbook for Lectors has arrived. They may be picked up from the counter in the Sacristy.
This week, the parish office will be closed on Thursday & Friday, November 27 & 28 because of the Thanksgiving Day holiday. In case of a pastoral emergency when the office is closed, please call the parish office and listen for instructions for a "pastoral emergency" by pressing "1" and I or Barb Uschold Anderson will be paged immediately. There will be NO Mass or Word & Communion Service on Friday, November 28.