We have just concluded celebrating some of the most magnificent Feasts of our Church year, and hopefully have grown more deeply in love with the King of Kings as we have done so. Now, we enter into Ordinary Time, whose color is green which is meant for us to indicate a season of hope. As our country moves into this Presidential transition and as our Church continues to face many significant issues, it is a time when we are faced with a choice—the choice to have hope or to abandon hope. The smart money, of course, is always on trusting the Lord Jesus, for ourselves, our families, our parish, etc. In a time of hopelessness for so many people, being a people of hope that persevere in that hope can make us a great source of comfort for those around us. We are incapable of this without more of the Holy Spirit; the One Who pours that hope into our hearts. In fact, having difficulties with hope is a great indicator of needing to draw closer to the Spirit Himself. We live a supernatural life, especially in regard to the three theological virtues, faith, hope, and love, and these cannot simply be revved up within us by just trying harder, they are gifts given as we yield more to the Holy Spirit in our lives.
As was mentioned last Sunday, this year being the great jubilee year of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal should be a source of joy and hope for us, as the Lord Jesus promises to impart more of His gifts, graces, and fruits to our lives. We can prepare for this by getting on our knees and asking Him to bring to full fire in our hearts the gifts that we have been given, especially the great graces given at our Baptisms and our Confirmations. He has filled us with Himself and invites us to fan into a flame all that has been given. Let us encourage each other to do this, and make sure we plan on taking full advantage of this special time, especially by taking advantage of our upcoming Parish Mission in February when we join with other charismatics to celebrate the jubilee of the renewal. We can also prepare for that by increasing our participation in the various charismatic prayer meetings that we have been so richly blessed with in our area—Fuel, Surge [now A1:8], Upper Room, the various Covenant Community prayer meetings, lots of wonderful opportunities for us to ask for and receive more.
This time of year is always a special time for me personally as well, since it was January 15, 1993 that Bishop Povish appointed me pastor of Christ the King. It is hard to imagine that it has been 24 years. (And sometimes it is hard to imagine that after me being pastor here for 24 years, the place is still standing!) It has been an amazing time and I am so grateful to have been given this opportunity to share my life with so many amazing faith-filled men and women and just be part of what the King of Kings has so amazingly been doing in our midst. Watching kids I baptized marry kids I baptized is such an honor and blessing for me (and yes, it does make me feel old, but, oh well!) The fidelity of so many people, through some very difficult times, has certainly been a great witness to me.
The exciting things that the Holy Spirit continues to lead us into gives me great hope for the Parish and its future. The wonderful addition of the Leadership Team and their very encouraging support, the many steps that are currently being taken to enhance so many different areas of our parish life, the expansion of services to our homeschool kids, the ongoing gift of so many vocations to marriage, religious life, diaconate, and priesthood, etc. shows that we as a parish are very much alive and that the Lord Jesus is clearly not finished with us yet! May we walk ever closer to the King and remain faithful to Him during this exciting time! — Fr. Ed