November: A Tapestry for Living Our Faith

Grace & Peace

November: A Tapestry for Living Our Faith

My dear friends in Christ,

Grace and peace from God our Father and the Lord, Jesus Christ!

This month of November is truly an amazing month, a tapestry rich in colors and textures for living our Christian faith. It begins with the great feast of All Saints and the feast of All Souls – those who are, shall we say, saints in waiting. Nothing could be more amazing than reaching this goal in life. Like many of the great stories related by our Lord in the Gospel, we know the names of very few individuals. The Samaritan woman at the well, the blind man, the deaf man, many of the 72 disciples who followed Jesus. But all of them, were touched in some way by Christ. Perhaps, we may feel like we are part of the great unknown individuals who follow Christ. Yet, Christ knows each of us by name. He calls us by name. He summons us to a life greater than any of us can ever imagine – even well beyond the expectations and metrics that our society and culture give for measuring “success.”

About 10 years ago, I had a very poignant experience while helping out with a collegiate retreat. One coed approached me during a quiet period for a conversation about what was really on her mind and in her heart. She said in a determined kind of way, “Monsignor, I really want to be a saint!” I remember being a big taken aback – not because this desire was not true, it truly was – but because nobody in my many years of being a priest and speaking with people did someone say what was on their heart so simply and in a straightforward manner.

Do you want to be saint? I know I do. I’m not always perfect at what I do and say, and I realize that I’m on a very special journey with the Lord. The deepest sentiment I have in my heart right now is to walk with the Lord, to be grateful, to recognize that God is number one in my life and that reaching out to neighbors in need and walking with others is part of the path that the Lord has identified for me to reach this noble goal. After all, aren’t the saints those who had their eyes fixed on the Lord in all they said and did. It wasn’t for the short-term success, but the long-term victory where Christ is Lord and King.

“I want to be a saint!” should be the constant refrain in our prayers and the goal of our life, regardless of our situation in life. And if you recognize immediately that you can’t do it by yourself – you’re absolutely right! Someone is needed to help you get there – and it is Jesus the true mediator, the Savior, the Lord of all who accompanies you on the most amazing journey of life. For this, I’m thankful for this extraordinary blessing – something to be truly grateful for during this month of November when we celebrate All Saints, All Souls and Thanksgiving!

May God bless you!