Franciscan

Thanksgiving message from Fr. Loren

Dear Sisters and Brothers,

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays, and I am not sure why that is so. Maybe it is not commercialized the way many other holidays are. That makes it a little more personal. Thanksgiving afternoon the local friars will be gathering for prayer, fellowship, and dinner at our friary. This year Michael and I will be splitting the cooks’ chores.

If Thanksgiving is a favorite holiday, Advent is probably my favorite Liturgical season. Advent begins two weeks from today. The word means "coming," and it refers to the coming of Christ. The first week of Advent looks forward to Christ’s final coming in glory, to God’s dream for the human race. The second and third weeks look to Christ’s daily coming in our present lives, to all those moments when Christ calls us out of ourselves and into union with the divine. The Fourth week looks back to Christ’s historical coming in Roman occupied Palestine.

In the spirit of Advent, I encourage you to put aside the winter holiday tinsel until Christmas and enter into the darkness of the present. Where do you need God in your life? Where does the world need God? God wants to come to us in Christ but if we allow ourselves to become caught up in artificial merriment, we will miss the source of real joy.

Enjoy your Thanksgiving cranberries and mincemeat… preferably not together!

Peace and every blessing,

Fr. Loren

(Fr. Loren Connell, OFM, is the pastor of [St. Al’s in downtown Detroit. This message is from last week’s bulletin, Nov. 18 & 19)**

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