Message from Fr. Karl
The Church year comes to an end with the feast of Christ the King. 2020 has been to say the least a strange and upsetting year. Churches were closed. Emptied of people by a virus that came from the east and spread relentlessly throughout the world. We were reminded of our common humanity and how small our world is.
Many have asked as we celebrate Thanksgiving “what is there to be thankful for”? I have run that around in my mind many times. I am reminded of what a Dad said to me in the first days of lockdown. I said to him it must be hard working from home. His reply, “No I am grateful for this time as I get to eat with my kids something I could never do when working down town”. That answer made me think of how hard life has become for working parents. You leave before the kids get up and you come home after dinner. For many this year has been an opportunity to be family again and for that we give thanks.
I have seen selfishness and an emphasis on “my freedoms” during this time, but more so I have seen people realize that freedom brings obligations to self and others and have watched with pride and a sense of deep gratitude the countless health workers and careers who have gone above and beyond in their battle to save lives and protect the vulnerable and for that I give thanks.
I have seen how people have been isolated in their homes and in nursing homes and have heard the complaints but have been amazed at the dedication of people working two and three jobs to make ends meet and the care they have taken to protect others and for that I give thanks.
On a personal level, my plans for this year all went out the window and early on I decided it was not worth the risk to travel. It was not just about me for I could bring something back to the vulnerable communities where I say Mass. I give thanks for family and friends who have reached out and checked on me. I also give thanks for some of my very special friends who because of their work were exposed to the virus. They were strong and healthy but the virus nearly took their lives. The skill of dedicated doctors and nurses saved them and for that I give thanks.
Words cannot express the deep sense of gratitude for the countless volunteers who have allowed our parish and other parishes to hold Mass and Services and for the continued generosity that allows us to open our doors.
Advent is a new beginning, it challenges us to renew and repent. Hopefully as we prepare for the Christ child that sense of gratitude will flow over and make us realize that that God has a plan and that all will be well. As we prepare for Christmas this year let’s put the emphasis on Family, for Jesus was born into a family and he came “that we might have life to the full”.