Today is the last Sunday of this liturgical year, the day on which we celebrate Jesus Christ as King of the Universe. Advent begins next Sunday, the First Sunday of Advent.
In between we have a special national day to give thanks for all the many blessing we enjoy in our country, Thanksgiving Day, on Thursday. Please note Thanksgiving Mass times: Wednesday evening at 6:30pm in Osakis and Thursday morning at 8:30am in Belle River (no Wednesday morning Mass in Belle River).
Especially compared to less developed countries, we are truly blest. Many of the blessings we enjoy are so common to us that we too often overlook just how fortunate we are. I encourage you again this Thanksgiving to spend some time reflecting on and even naming your blessings. I suspect many of you may already practice one common form of reflection, maybe at the beginning of your Thanksgiving meal or sitting in your living room together, where each person takes a turn at naming one or several things they are thankful for this year. If you have never done that, please consider doing so. Consider ending the reflection, or a meal or the day, with a prayer. Make one up yourselves or use the following:
Oh God, we thank you for this earth, our home, For the wide sky and the blessed sun, For ocean and streams, For the towering hills and the whispering wind, For the trees and green grass. We thank you for our senses by which we hear the songs of the birds And see the splendor of fields of golden wheat, And taste autumn’s fruit, Rejoice in the feel of snow, And smell the breath of spring flowers Grant us a heart opened wide to all this beauty, And save us from being so blind that we pass unseeing When even the common thorn bush Is aflame with our glory. For each new dawn is filled with infinite possibilities For new beginnings and new discoveries. Life is constantly changing and renewing itself. In this new day of new beginnings with God, All things are possible. We are restored and renewed in a joyous awakening To the wonder that our lives are and, yet, can be. Amen.
Both parishes are setting up an Angel Tree again this year. Several families have been “adopted” through LOVE INC that need assistance with their Christmases.
Greta plans to have the Angel Tree set up in Immaculate Conception for the Thanksgiving Mass on Wednesday at 6:30pm. Greta wants gifts placed under the Angel Tree UNWRAPPED no later than December 9th. Angels may be picked up during the week on Wednesdays and Thursdays if you do not attend Mass, or call Greta at 320-491-1289.
Amy will have the Angel Tree set up in St. Nicholas for Mass next Sunday. Amy wants the gifts returned WRAPPED by Sunday, December 20th. Donations of cash or check will also be accepted if a donor does not wish to shop this year. Place monetary donation in an envelope marked “Angel Tree” and put it in the collection basket at the entrance of either church.
Thank you for your generosity.