Last month our Holy Father, Pope Francis, visited the USA. In these tough economic times, in these times of social unrest, in these times of wars and rumors of wars, in these days of storms and destruction, faith is needed. It's been over 50 years since the start of the Second Vatican Council and the almost 25 years since the release of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. The council was called to open the Church up to the movement of the Holy Spirit and empower all of us to reach out to a world in need.
This is also a time to remember, reflect, and act upon faith in our own lives. How are we growing in faith and discipleship? Do we know and live out the teaching of Jesus in the gospel? Do we understand what our own Church teaches, and not only understand it, but live it? Are we sharing our faith with others and participating in what Saint John Paul II called the "New Evangelization" so that others too, may encounter Christ and journey with him in faith?
The New Testament's Letter to the Hebrews encourages Christians to grow in faith. Chapter 11 of that letter says that faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain about what we may not even see. Perhaps the best way to begin is to ask a question: What is the hope we are called to in faith? Do you know what the Gospels really hold out to us as the hope for these troubled times? Are you sure of it ~ even absent any tangible evidence?
As we journey with each other through these fall days, we seek help to ask key questions and begin to find the answers. Answers about: What is faith, what is hope, what is the road to a life well-lived in faith? In the weeks to come, we hope you'll find many resources to spur you on.
The great American holiday of Thanksgiving is Thursday. I invite you to join other members of St. Gabriel’s to begin the day by celebrating Eucharist at 9:00 a.m. During that Mass, I invite you to be part of our annual offering for Andre House in Phoenix, as well as our annual distribution of fresh baked bread to all families present.
As we celebrate the feast of Thanksgiving this week, let’s remember where our first thanks should go… to the Lord. We best live lives of thanksgiving by being generous with the gifts we have been given.
On Wednesday evening at 6:30 p.m. the Cave Creek and Carefree churches will gather for an annual ecumenical service of thanksgiving and prayer at Coolwater Christian Church located at 28181 N. 56th St., Scottsdale. I may be taking part in this service, and I hope to see many of our parish members there.