Pastor's Corner

34th Sunday in Ordinary Time

11-20-2022Pastor's CornerVery Rev. Robert J. Deehan, VF

Thanksgiving is a time we "count our blessings" and offer due thanks to God for them. One perspective on a fitting response to God's greatest gift to us - our life, is provided by Swiss theologian and Catholic priest, Hans Urs Von Balthasar (1905 - 1988), who is considered one of the most important Roman Catholic theologians of the 20th century. He wrote, "What you are is God's gift to you. What you become is your gift to God."

What better way to give thanks to God but to have as your purpose in life to become all that God has made you to be, using all your gifts, talents, abilities and personality to serve Him and those He has placed along your path. What we become in the course of our life is a product of many factors. But underlying them all - our desire to be all that God has made us to be - stands out as the greatest gift we can give Him in return for the life He has given to us. This intention becomes our "philosophy of life," which is shaped by this faith response of gratitude. Our circumstances may change, our health may fail, our hopes and dreams may not come to fruition, but the quality of person, the openness to the Holy Spirit's promptings and the way we have sought to live in the image of Christ is the most fitting expression of honor, praise and thanks that we can give to the One who has had each of us in mind before we ever existed. He has plans for you and me, and it takes a lifetime of discovery to know just what they are from day to day and to respond to His call through every step in our life's journey. That's why silent reflective prayer on the ordinary events, people, choices and decisions of our life becomes an essential element in carrying out this desire - this expression of gratitude to God. It is through listening and reflecting upon what God is doing and communicating through family, friends and life circumstances, by the Holy Spirit's inspiration obtained from Scripture and personal prayer, as well as the guidance offered by Church teaching, that we come to learn what the appropriate response is to God's plan for our lives. Our lives are not really our own to do with what we want. When we live with an awareness that we are God's own and with an openness to be His instrument in His greater plan for the world, then, what we will become, most likely, will be a fitting return gift to God. Pray for the grace to become all that God has made you to be. What a wonderful Thanksgiving prayer that will be.

God bless you!

Fr. Bob