The Gospel reading this year for the First Sunday of Advent tells us of a rather ominous saying of Jesus which is meant to prepare us not only for Christmas, but also for the end of time: “Be watchful, be alert for you do not know when the time will come.”
We all know that this year our Thanksgiving will not be what we have normally experienced, no parades, perhaps limited football, smaller dinners, and less interaction with our most beloved family members. But we still must give thanks. As we look back over the past year, for what can we give thanks?
During the latest period of restrictions due to the Coronavirus pandemic, we here in the Diocese of Brooklyn, in the “red” zones, now limited to Brooklyn but previously also in Queens, have endured a real curtailment of our right to worship, that is overreaching.
As we enter the month of November, traditionally, we observe a time of prayer for the faithfully departed. This year because of the coronavirus, we have experi- enced many losses, and, unfortunately, often the loss of the lives of people very close to us. Another regrettable issue is that during this time, we could not properly ex- press the grief we have, engage in mourning, or follow the normal rituals of bereavement.
As we enter October, the month of the Holy Rosary, we have an opportunity to meditate on the meaning of the Rosary in our lives today. The origins of the Rosary are clouded in mystery.
The 106th World Day of Migrants and Refugees has been changed from the week before the Epiphany to this present week in September, allowing for a greater celebration outside of the Christmas season. The theme for this year given to us by our Holy Father, Pope Francis, is: “Like Jesus Christ, forced to flee, Welcoming, protecting and integrating internally displaced persons.”
This year, Patriot Day will be observed on Friday, September 11, the 19th Anniversary of the attack on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and Shanksville in Pennsylvania. Each year, Patriot Day is celebrated in remembrance of all those who were killed or injured by the terrorist attack.
In a special way in every Feast of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel we put out into the deep recesses of our souls, recognizing that our primary purpose in life is to develop a union with God. Without this, we cannot be prepared someday to give our lives back to God. Our union today predicts how close our union will be at the time of our death.