Sunday, October 11, 2009

View From The Pew October 11, 2009

Celebrating Life and Giving Thanks

Yesterday was my mother in law's 86th birthday, and my wife and I planned to go to her Church with her for Sunday Mass, attending the Saturday 5 pm mass, and then go out to a nice dinner at a lovely restaurant in Strathroy, Ontario, all of which we did.

My mother in law attends All Saints Parish in Strathroy, and we, my wife more than me, have been there from time to time over the years.

First, Sunday mass on Saturday. What's that about? Well, the Catholic Church holds to many Jewish traditions, one of them being that the next day commences at sundown of the previous day. So, for simplicity in the Catholic Church, in our diocese at least, and pretty much all other dioceses that I have visited over the years, sundown is deemed to be at 5 pm, rather than actually waiting on the sun going down specifically. It has become a theoretical practical setting of the sun, sort of an average. So, the Church allows parishes to hold their first Mass or Liturgy of the Eucharist after 5 pm on Saturday. So, from time to time, we go to Sunday Mass on Saturday.

The Church is a lovely one, and the members of the parish are very devout in their love of the word of God and the Eucharist. You can sense their being in the presence of God.

In the liturgy of the word, the first reading was from the Book of Wisdom, (Wis 7:7-11):
I prayed, and prudence was given me;
I pleaded, and the spirit of wisdom came to me.
I preferred her to scepter and throne,
and deemed riches nothing in comparison with her,
nor did I liken any priceless gem to her;
because all gold, in view of her, is a little sand,
and before her, silver is to be accounted mire.
Beyond health and comeliness I loved her,
and I chose to have her rather than the light,
because the splendor of her never yields to sleep.
Yet all good things together came to me in her company,
and countless riches at her hands.
What a beautiful reading, and one we could all learn from. Praying and pleading for wisdom, and the fruit of that prayer. Wow! Sure beats praying for a new car.

Then, the second reading was:
Heb 4:12-13

Brothers and sisters:
Indeed the word of God is living and effective,
sharper than any two-edged sword,
penetrating even between soul and spirit, joints and marrow,
and able to discern reflections and thoughts of the heart.
No creature is concealed from him,
but everything is naked and exposed to the eyes of him
to whom we must render an account.

If that does not set you on fire, then your wood's wet.

The Gospel from Mk 10:17-30 was the story of the rich young man who comes to Jesus, and when invited to sell all he has and give to the poor, walks away. It is a story of a good man, but one who is owned by what he possesses, rather than the other way around. In a sense it is our own story in one way or another. All of us are owned to some extent by some one or many thoughts or things that we possess. In effect, they possess us.

The Pastor, Father Lucio Couto, is a delightful priest, and gave a homily about the scriptures we had just heard, and also in light of Canadian Thanksgiving spoke about the things we had to be thankful for, and particularly what the local community had to be appreciative of.

We have much in this country for which we should be giving thanks, and often in writing blog posts about HRCs, that gets forgotten, for reasons that are all too obvious at the time. But, we do live in a beautiful country that is bounteous, and so one of the reasons for doing critical assessment of things like our HRCs is to attempt to keep it that way.

As we approach Thanksgiving Day, may we all pray for wisdom to see what we have been given, and to see the Giver, and may we be good stewards of those gifts, and continue to grow in our stewardship.

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