Today is the Feast of Christ the King. It marks the culmination of another Liturgical Year, or more poetically, a Year of Grace. It also concludes the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy declared by Pope Francis. Hopefully during this Jubilee every one of us has opened our hearts more and more to the mercy that God wants to shower on us, and we in turn have lived that mercy more fully in our daily lives. Even though the Jubilee of Mercy is coming to a close, the need for mercy in our lives and relationships is greater now than ever. Don’t stop trying to practice mercy!
Next Sunday we begin a new liturgical cycle with the First Sunday of Advent. So Happy New Year! Fittingly, we also celebrate the secular holiday of THANKSGIVING this coming Thursday. We all certainly have much for which to be thankful.
Gratitude is – or should be – a basic stance for all Christians. God has offered us salvation by the life, death and resurrection His Son, Jesus Christ. It is not something we earned or merited or deserved. It is all gift, or in church language, grace.
Since gratitude is based on what God has already done, it does not depend on us, or on any circumstances or events around us going well. Gratitude is deeper than the results of any particular event in our family, our work, our country or our church. All those things are important, but they do not affect our stance of gratitude, because gratitude goes deeper. Much deeper. Gratitude goes all the way down to the very source of life and of grace.
On behalf of all the Paulists here in Austin, and the entire St Austin Parish Staff, I wish for you and your family a beautiful Thanksgiving full of Gratitude and Love.