WELCOME TO ST. FRANCIS
St. Francis of Assisi Parish is a Christ-centered community. We strive to be a warm, friendly and caring parish family, where the gifts and talents of all, young and old, are recognized and graciously used to nurture others, and to worship together in a vibrant and spirit-filled liturgy. We will go forth healed, affirmed and refreshed to meet the challenge of life in our spiritual growth.
From your Pastor
My Dear People in Christ,
This week, instead of discussing this weekend gospel, I would like to talk about the Thanksgiving, our national holiday, which is dedicated to acknowledging our blessings and giving thanks to God for
them. Although Thanksgiving Day is not specifically a Catholic holy day, it certainly goes hand in hand with our life of faith. Spiritually speaking, we all know that gratitude is central to the Gospel message. Thanksgiving Day presents us with the perfect opportunity to look at this particular aspect of our faith. We are called to be eternally and deeply grateful. So how grateful to God are we? Perhaps we struggle in various ways with gratitude towards our Creator. It’s fair to say that we will never be grateful enough until we are perfected in Heaven. But, for now, it’s important to look at our own level of gratitude and to try to let it increase in our souls.
First of all, in order to be grateful we must clearly recognize all that God has done for us. It’s so easy to sidestep perspective and only focus on the struggles we face and, as a result, to get down, depressed, frustrated and at times even angry. What’s far more challenging is to look beyond the crosses and burdens we face each day, in order to see the abundance of grace and mercy the Lord showers on us. Unless we see that mercy and grace… we will struggle greatly with authentic gratitude. So, on this Thanksgiving, reflect upon this simple question: Do I see all that God has done for me? Do I see the abundance of His mercy alive in my life? The Gospel passage for Thanksgiving reveals that Jesus healed ten lepers, but that only one of the ten returned in gratitude. Are you like one of the nine who failed in gratitude? If so, you most likely struggle with seeing all the true and abundant blessings from God. If you can humbly admit you struggle with total gratitude, you will have
taken the first step to seeing more clearly and the first step to fostering the deeper gratitude you ought to have. Being grateful means you see the truth clearly. Be open to that truth and God will change your life as He fills you with joy!
Let our prayer be on this Thanksgiving, “Lord, please do fill my heart with an abundance of gratitude. Help me to turn my eyes to Your infinite grace and mercy. Help me to see beyond the struggles of life and the burdens that get me down. In place of these, help me to become increasingly aware of all You have done for me and all that You continue to do. Jesus, I trust in You.”
I wish you all a happy and blessed Thanksgiving and a wonderful time with your family and loved ones.
Fr. Edison Bernavas, I.C.