From the Pastor
Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe – A
November 26, 2017
As the Church crowns another liturgical year by honoring Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, we crown the growing season by giving thanks for God’s annual gift of the harvest. As a country that still says she’s ‘one nation under God’ [who knows how long this will be allowed before political correctness bans every mention of faith from the public forum!] we have just celebrated Thanksgiving Day – a day set aside to thank ‘someone’
for the fruits of the earth. While farmers, harvesters, transport drivers, store workers and others enable us to enjoy a bountiful spread at our tables, Christians and other faith-based people know that all things are – ultimately – a gift from God. So on this weekend, as we give thanks to God for the gifts of the earth, we reflect on the orations provided by the Catholic Church for giving thanks ‘After the Harvest.’
Collect – After the Harvest
O Lord, good Father, who in your providence
have entrusted the earth to the human race,
grant, we pray, that with the fruits harvested from it we may be able to sustain life and,
with your help, always use them to promote your praise and the well-being of all.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ … and ever. Amen.
GOD’S GIFTS ARE TO BE SHARED.
As Pope Francis reminds us in his encyclical, ‘Laudato Si’ [On Care for Our Common Home],
God’s gift of creation is NOT inexhaustible. So we must protect and preserve, carefully ration and use reasonably and sparingly, share and secure for future generations, all that we so often take for granted. And it is imperative that we Christians express – in word and deed – our appreciation for God’s gracious and countless gifts. We must ask ourselves: how often do we ‘say grace’ or pray before and after meals? How often do we offer support for – or even serve in – soup kitchens, or take part in other ways that feed the hungry and share the earth’s bounty?
And we must never forget that feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, helping the poor and needy and so on … are truly acts of worship!
Prayer over the Offerings – After the Harvest
Sanctify, O Lord, the offerings we bring to you with thanksgiving from the fertile earth
and, as you give us a rich harvest
of the earth’s produce, so make our hearts abound with heavenly fruitfulness.
Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
ARE WE AS FRUITFUL AS THE EARTH?
We all bemoan the fact that weeds grow so easily, so quickly, and so forcefully almost anywhere; some spend loads of time and money to ‘weed out’ such ‘undesirables.’ And only a fool would expect a great harvest from a field that is left to fend for itself, devoid of daily care, unfed by nutrients and other aids, like sunlight and water, for its growth. Yet what do we who hope to be the chosen fruit of the greatest harvest, the one that will take place at the end of time, do [or try not to do] so we can be gathered to the Saints in heaven? Do we faithfully, regularly celebrate the Sacraments, especially the Eucharist: our primary nourishment, and Reconciliation, Confession or Penance: the ultimate in ‘pulling up the weeds?’
Prayer after Communion – After the Harvest
Grant, we pray, O Lord, that,
as we give you thanks in this saving mystery
for the crops harvested from the earth, we may, through the same mystery working within us,
be worthy to receive still greater blessings.
Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
“YOU ARE DUST, AND TO DUST YOU SHALL RETURN.”
These words from Genesis 3:19 recall how while we humans are the highpoint of God’s creation we are still ‘of the earth.’ Have we forgotten our ‘roots?’ The same ‘hand of God’ that created and sustains, provides for and has a plan for all He made – also does the same for each one of us, personally! Do we live up to all God made US to be? For Jesus said, “By their fruits you will know them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Just so, every good tree bears good fruit, and a rotten tree bears bad fruit.” [Matthew 7:16-17]
What is God hoping to harvest from us?
In His holy Name,
Rev. Thomas J. Serafin, KHS