Our church celebrates the conclusion of the Liturgical year with the Solemnity of Jesus Christ, King of the Universe. The Gospel takes us to the trial in John’s Gospel in which Jesus tells Pilate that his Kingdom is not of this world. We know the end of the story in which Jesus is crucified for us, but the real end is Jesus reigning over all in the heavenly Kingdom. Are we a part of THAT kingdom? Being a part of that Kingdom means we know this world will never satisfy or be enough.  This means that we need to convert the desire of want into an  attitude of gratitude. This world will say we always need more, but when we recognize our true home is eternal life, it should transform our life to gratefulness.

 As we will celebrate Thanksgiving this week this is a great opportunity to ask ourselves if we have the attitude of gratitude and gratefulness in our own lives. Do we recognize the gifts, treasures, blessings God has bestowed upon us?   I invite all to join us on Thanksgiving Day to celebrate the blessings of God, the attitude of gratitude and to give praise to the Almighty. No matter what is going on in our lives, do we take the time to thank God for our blessings?  I wanted to share some things with you that I am extremely thankful for this year, in no  particular order:

 Fr. Luke and his leadership and passion, Fr. Ryan for his priestly ministry and willingness to jump in and learn, Deacon Rick and his wisdom and ministry, a parish staff that is talented and dedicated, outstanding music at our liturgies, ministries that show reverence and love for their ministry, a faith formation program that includes teaching the whole family and offers programming that brings people to encounter Jesus, a school that has grown, dedicated administration, faculty and staff that teach and inspire our students, school families that are involved, generosity of our parishioners, altar servers, the bells of St. Mary’s, the opportunities that happen at St. Mary’s, a year of firsts that has come to an end, a second year at St. Mary’s, new staff with new insights and vision, ministry at Solstice, Heathwood and Transit Pointe, a confessional that is used a lot, a successful Parish Picnic and Run, more faces in person at Mass, a pastoral council that is involved and concerned about the direction of our parish, a responsible finance council, our beautiful grounds, decorations at church that inspire, a remembrance table that remembers All Soul’s so beautifully, for all of you… and so much more!

Take time this week to be grateful, and no matter how you celebrate Thanksgiving, be sure to begin with gratitude to God.

Keep Smilingsmile

Fr. Bryan