In the North, as life slips into wintry sleep, nature offers us a visual parable of surrender – falling into death, in the sure hope of nourishing the promise of new life to come. The first three weeks of November present us with the last Sundays of Ordinary Time. The twilight of the liturgical year rises to crescendo on Nov. 20 with the annual celebration of the universal sovereignty of Christ. This marks the close of the liturgical year.
November is a month of gratitude. Just a few days ago we honored the saints, all the men and women who have gone before us in faith and whom we believe are eternally in the company of the Lord. The Church has named over ten thousand saints, people whose faith led them to give exemplary witness during their lives.
We believe many more people — particularly our deceased loved ones whom we mourn, whose memory we honor, and whose lives we value. We pray for them, trusting in God’s mercy and in Jesus’ promise that he is the resurrection and the life. Taking confidence in our faith that at the time of death our lives change but do not end, we regard those who have passed away as alive in the Lord — they are
also in heaven in the Lord’s presence.
Thank you Lord for the witness of the saints and for our loved ones who put flesh on your love. Our loved ones laughed with us and shared our tears; they sat with us in our hurt and joined in the dance of our joy. It seems we live with fear daily, and nightly we ingest news of neighbors, near and far, whose lives are shattered by terror. All the more that in these November days we also ponder how we are thankful to God. We bring to mind specific times when we felt the presence of the God who gifted us with life and love, with mercy and salvation, with goodness beyond our imagination.
Thank you Lord for your presence in our lives, sprinkling our lives with your grace, especially in those times when all seemed hopeless. Give us the strength to be that visible sign of your promise of new life. In the song, 10,000 Reasons by Matt Redman and Jonas Myrin, we sing:
“You’re rich in love and You’re slow to anger, Your Name is great and Your heart is kind; For all Your goodness I will keep on singing, Ten thousand reasons for my heart to find.”
Continued blessings on your faith journey!