Questions: Some Sadducees pose the question to Jesus in this Sunday’s Gospel, “Now at the resurrection whose wife will that woman be? For all seven (brothers) had been married to her.” Jesus replies that “When the dead rise, they will neither marry nor be given in marriage.” In the Book of Revelation, Jesus, as Bridegroom, invites his people to be with him for the eternal wedding feast. This does not mean that we won’t be united with our spouses. In heaven our body and soul will be perfected, as will our relationships. This happens because of God, and with, in, and through God couples will enjoy this perfect union with each other.
Anniversaries: Speaking of marriages, I thoroughly enjoyed celebrating the marriage anniversary Masses in both Salina and Hays over the past couple of weeks. What a joy to witness so many couple’s love for one another. Their love for each other is a sign of God’s love for us.
Saints: French Catholic novelist Leon Bloy said, “The only real sadness, the only real failure, the only great tragedy in life, is not to become a saint.” As we celebrated All Saints Day on November 1, it is a reminder that the deepest desire of our hearts is to be a saint. This is what brings us ultimate happiness.
Everyone: The heart of the Vatican II document Lumen Gentium is the universal call to holiness, embracing all baptized Christians. As St. Paul tells us, “For this is the will of God, your sanctification” (1 Thes. 4:3). Loving God and our neighbor are the foundation for holiness.
Marching in: Speaking of saints, the song when the “saints come marching in” was on my mind when the St. Mary’s Catholic Grade School students in Salina processed to Sacred Heart High School with their saint costumes on. They were welcomed by applause from the students and faculty after Mass on Tuesday. Very cool!
Souls: The month of November is traditionally a time in which the Church remembers those who have died as we commend them to the love and mercy of God. The reason is that the end of November is the end of the Liturgical Year with a new year starting the First Sunday of Advent (this year, Advent begins on November 27). The Church uses the end of the liturgical year as a time to reflect on the end of life. Even nature, such as the falling of the leaves, reminds us to consider the end of all things.
Deceased: Our memorial Mass for the deceased priests of the diocese is scheduled for Thursday, November 10, at 12:05 pm. The names of the priests who have gone before us will be read beginning at noon. All are invited to attend.
Challenging: In his homily on November 2 for All Souls Day, Pope Francis asked us to reflect “if our desires have anything to do with heaven.” He went on to say, “Often, out of convenience or comfort, we tend to tone down Jesus’ message, to water down his words. Let’s face it, we have gotten pretty good at compromising with the Gospel. From simple disciples of the Master we become masters of complexity, who argue a lot and do little, who seek answers more in front of the computer than in front of the Crucifix, on the internet rather than in the eyes of our brothers and sisters; Christians who comment, debate, and expound theories but do not know even a poor person by name, have not visited a sick person for months, have never fed or dressed someone, have never made friends with someone in need. Pope Francis warned that there is a continual risk to “put the expectations of the world before the expectation of God” and to end up “losing sight of what matters.” He reminds us, “The best careers, the greatest achievements, the most prestigious titles and awards, the accumulated wealth and earthly gains, all will vanish in an instant, everything.”
De-Transitioning: I recently read a fascinating story of a man who didn’t like the way he looked and transitioned to being a woman. With a restless heart he walked into a Catholic Church and eventually read the Bible, which led to his de-transitioning. He gives some good advice to us on how to treat people going through the same struggles. You can read his conversion story here: De-transitioner Oli London shares conversion to Christianity | Catholic News Agency
Veterans: Although the Treaty of Versailles was signed on June 28, 1919, the fighting of World War I ended about seven months prior on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. For this reason, Veterans Day honors all of those who have served the country in war or peace — dead or alive — although it is largely intended to thank living veterans for their sacrifices. We pray for peace among all nations, and the end of violence and war.
Adoption: November is National Adoption Month. I was excited to hear how two couples were able to adopt a baby through Catholic Charities as well as another couple through another agency in a different state. Our annual Adoption Mass is scheduled for tonight at 6 pm at the Sacred Heart Cathedral in Salina. After Mass, it brings a lot of joy to hear these adoptive families’ stories. All are welcome to attend.
CYO: Our CYO Convention will be held November 12 – 13. More than seven hundred young people throughout the diocese are attending.
iGive: Giving Tuesday is November 29, and we all have an opportunity to show support for our parishes and schools. Advanced giving opens on November 14. Be sure to support our Catholic ministries by visiting salina.igivecatholic.org.
Publications Drive: We recently launched our Publications Drive. If you love our publications, podcasts, social media or any other form of diocesan communications, please consider supporting this drive. You can make a gift via the envelopes found in the Nov. issue of The Register or the next faith magazine. You can also make a gift online.To hear a message from our editor, Katie Hamel, please watch this video.
Hunting: A priest friend and his brother from Michigan are coming to hunt in Kansas next week. I hope they both get a big buck!
USCCB: I will be attending the USCCB Fall Plenary Assembly in Baltimore the week of November 13 – 18.
Thanksgiving: I hope you have a blessed Thanksgiving Day and weekend with your family and your loved ones.
With my love and prayers,
Inspiration from the Saints:
During the month of November we celebrate All Saints Day and All Souls Day. The changing of the seasons, leaves turning brilliant colors and falling to the ground, help us to reflect on death. Often, death is an uncomfortable thing to think or talk about. Let’s hear from a few saints to get their perspective:
“If we were required to die twice, we could jettison one death. But man dies once only, and upon this death depends his eternity. Where the tree falls, there it shall lie. If, at the hour of death, someone is living in bad habit, the poor soul will fall on the side of hell. If, on the other hand, he is in the state of grace, it will take the road for heaven. Oh, happy road!” ~St. John Vianney
“It is not Death that will come to fetch me, it is the good God. Death is no phantom, no horrible specter, as presented in pictures. In the catechism it is stated that death is the separation of soul and body, that is all! Well, I am not afraid of a separation which will unite me to the good God forever.” ~St. Therese of Lisieux
“How consoling it is to see a just man die! His death is good, because it ends his miseries; it is better still, because he begins a new life; it is excellent, because it places him in sweet security. From this bed of mourning, whereon he leaves a precious load of virtues, he goes to take possession of the true land of the living, Jesus acknowledges him as His brother and as His friend, for he has died to the world before closing his eyes from its dazzling light. Such is the death of the saints, a death very precious in the sight of God.” ~St. Bernard of Clairvaux