Saturday, November 10, 2007

Life is Unending

A big "thank you" to our Bereavement Committee and choir who organized our annual Mass of Rememberance last Friday evening. November is the month that we remember all those who have returned home to God. We pray that our loved ones will share in Christ's victory over sin and death.

The following prayer by Bede Jarrett has been a favorite of mine for many years. It reflects the liturgical mood of November:

"We give him/her back to you, O Lord, who first gave him/her to us, and as you did not lose him/her in the giving so we do not lose him/her in the return. Not as the world gives do you give, O Lover of souls! For what is your is ours also, if we belong to you. Life is unending because love is undying, and the boundaries of this mortal life are but an horizon, and an horizon is but the limit of our sight. Lift us up, strong Son of God, that we may see further! Strengthen us in faith, that we may see beyond the horizon! And while you prepare a place for us, as you have promised, prepare us also for that happy place, that where you are we may be also, with those we have loved, forever."

Fr. Bob Hawkins - November 10, 2007


Anonymous said...

Questions about this Sunday's readings.

"if anyone was unwilling to work,
neither should that one eat." That's harsh and sounds wrong. Can you integrate that in a context of caring for others, loving one's neighbor, not letting people go hungry when there is food, and sharing one's possessions in general? If not, should we just ignore that sentence?

"they will put some of you to death.
You will be hated by all because of my name,
but not a hair on your head will be destroyed.
By your perseverance you will secure your lives."
It seems that perseverance will cost their lives for a least some of the people following Jesus, so what does it mean to say that by their perseverance they will secure their lives?

Chuck Anastasia said...

"if anyone was unwilling to work,
neither should that one eat."
The comment says it's harsh and sounds wrong. It might sound harsh, but not when the words are read carefully and taken in context. I think of God as a loving parent who teaches discipline.

From 2 Thessalonians
Chapter 3 v.11-18

In fact, when we were with you, we instructed you that if anyone was unwilling to work, neither should that one eat. We hear that some are conducting themselves among you in a disorderly way, by not keeping busy but minding the business of others. Such people we instruct and urge in the Lord Jesus Christ to work quietly and to eat their own food.

This reading says nothing about caring for others or letting people who are unable to take care of themselves go hungry. It is about presumably able bodied people who are unwilling to work, being disorderly, and spending their time as a busy body rather than productively. Just as a caring parent would discipline a child who neglects his responsibilities, the reading provides guidance for those who waste their time on disorderly living should not expect to benefit from the generosity of others.

As for the Gospel reading,Lk 21:5-19, I would say that securing our lives probably does not mean in this world. By perservering in faith, we secure our lives in God's kingdom, which is the only place were real securrity exists.

I'm sure Fr. Bob would be very happy to discuss these in more detail if you ask him personally.