“We give thanks to God always for all of you, remembering you in our prayers, unceasingly calling to mind your work of faith and labor of love and endurance in hope of our Lord Jesus Christ, before our God and Father, knowing, brothers and sisters loved by God, how you were chosen.” ~ 1 Thessalonians 1:2-4
We are a people of hope! Enduring hope! ‘Endurance in hope’ has never been more important than now. Endurance defined is the ability to withstand hardship or adversity. Many of us encounter many hardships in life. What we do in the midst of hardship matters the most for our well-being and happiness. Whatever hardship that we encounter in our lives, it is most important that we bring hope to that situation. And by bringing hope I mean bringing Christ to the situation. That is precisely why St. Paul says our hope is in our Lord Jesus Christ. If Jesus Christ conquered sin and death, he can conquer the hardship and despair of our lives—and can ultimately bring hope! After we receive this hope it is our call to bring that hope to others!
In terms of offering hope to others, I invite you to pray about how you may want to participate in the Winter Outerwear Drive on October 24th from 8:45 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. @ the pavilion. If you have any kid’s coats, adult’s coats, hats, gloves, mittens, blankets, etc., please come by and drop it off at that time. So many people in need have lost hope. By your simple sacrifice, you can bring hope to families in need who are thirsting for hope and need your work of faith and labor of love.
As we move closer to the month of November, we remember those family members, friends and parishioners who have died. Experiencing the loss of a loved one is a true hardship in life. It is a place where hope is often needed the most. As we approach All Souls Day, know that we invite you to the 6:30 p.m. Mass which includes a reading of the names and lighting of the candles for those who have died from the parish this past year. We will take time to pray for those who are in need of enduring hope. And if you find that you need to receive grief support and prayer during this difficult time, please consider coming to the three grief support meetings offered on Thursday evenings beginning November 5 from 7:15-8:45. Take this time to receive the hope that our Consolation Ministry wants to offer, especially as we enter into the holiday season.
Take the time to both offer and receive the hope that is Jesus Christ this coming month!
May God’s peace, joy and hope be with you,
Fr. Jeremy Merzweiler