Its the cycle of life, the cycle of the church year as well. We will soon open the church year with Advent, a time of anticipation. Through the Christmas season we will celebrate the birth of Christ. We move into the beginning of his ministry with ordinary time. Lent prepares us for celebrating his last days in Jerusalem. During Easter we rejoice in resurrection and new life. We return to ordinary time, and as the church year closes, we think of the last things: the Communion of Saints, our deceased loved ones, our own mortality, and the end of time.
This November we add Stewardship to the mix. Praying for those who have died over the past year reminds us that their going home to God has left an empty place: at the family table, at our parish’s family table - the altar, on committees and in ministries, and often among the ranks of those whose support has made our parish the vibrant faith community it is. It is a natural time of year to think about transitions. As one generation moves into eternal life, the next, with each generation remaining, is called to move forward. As Jesus says in one of the parables, “move up to a higher place”.
Let’s all pray in gratitude for those who have gone before us, and provided such strong and faithful witness. Let us also pray as a family that we see clearly how the Lord may be inviting us into deeper stewardship. Closer to Christ, more aware of our gifts, more ready to share them, our hearts stretched by generosity – for growth in our families, our parish family, and each of our lives, we pray!