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Seek the Lord while He may be found!

An Unheralded King

I spent the week of November 9-13, 1998 in prayer and seclusion at the Retreat House in the countryside at Mundelein, Illinois, about 50 miles northwest of Chicago.  Down the road from the Retreat House, about a mile away, stands the Franciscan Monastery Church of Perpetual Adoration.  In a side chapel, stood an exquisite piece of art, a life size statue of Christ, on an altar.  The gifted artist portrayed the Lord just after His meeting with Pontius Pilate.  In the dialogue, Pilate asked, “Are You a King?”  Jesus answered, “Yes, I am a King!”  This work of art, made up of smooth colored stones, mostly deep read and a rich purple, shows the Suffering Christ.

Crowned with sharp thorns, clad in a purple cloak, with His Hands tied in front of Him, the Person of Christ appeared so real and alive.  A long thin reed for a King’s scepter rested in His Hands, put there in mockery by the Roman soldiers.  His Face, so life-like, showed pain and humiliation.

In my daily visits those days to this side chapel, no one stood there with me.  I received immediate audience with the King of Love, so cruelly treated by the people of His time and of our 20th Century.  From outside the Church came the sound of rush hour traffic.  Unrecognized and unheralded by so many, the King finds His offering of Love scorned and rejected.

Each day in the chapel, I knelt before Him on the kneeler, as knights used to do in the Middle Ages before their kings, and offered my life to Him.  I put my hands into His Hands as a pledge of my love and loyalty.  To keep that pledge, I told myself, I must pray earnestly every day.  In our family life, we could dedicate ourselves to the service of Our Noble King by promising to spread His Kingdom of peace, holiness, and love in all our daily living.  “As for me and my family, we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 25:15)

The enemies of Christ the King, the world, the flesh and the devil want to gain control of our hearts, our homes, and our society.  Our battle cry could be “Thy Kingdom Come!”  Christianity is not a list of dos and don’ts, but rather the story of One Person, Christ the King, Who wishes to rule our hearts with His Love.  Our friendship and service will console Him!                                                                                                                       

Fr. George Mc Kenna

November 24, 2012 Posted by | Bulletins | , , , | 2 Comments

Thanksgiving Day Approaches

My Grand Nieces and Nephews – Thanksgiving 2008

In 1975, while attending a three month Ministry Course in Dublin, Ireland, I lived through a Thanksgiving Day away from our country.  With the exception of Canada, no country in the world has such a national day of thanks as we have in our United States.  We Americans in the Ministry Course went to a local hotel where the management had prepared a turkey dinner.  However, something was missing because Thanksgiving Day calls for family gatherings and national spirit.  Away from our families, with no one else in the bustling city of Dublin celebrating, we gloomily ate our turkey with little festive spirit.

Thanksgiving Day this year falls on Thursday, November 22.  We face the danger that this day will lose its original meaning and simply become a time of unending football games.  God has blessed our Land far beyond the dreams of the early founding fathers.  We have food, freedom to worship God, protection from aggression: truly a land of opportunity.

Plan ahead on how you will spend this important day of giving thanks to God.  Talk over with your family the possibility of going to morning Mass at your church.  Fill your church to overflowing and offer song and prayer to God.  Allow a spirit of thanks to fill our hearts as we approach this national holiday.  “Thank You” prayers make up the best acts of praise to Our Generous Creator.  Why keep this gratitude just for one day?  A grateful heart pleases the Lord.

Plan to surround your family dinner with music, candlelight, a spirit of love and thanks for each one present at the table.  Let no voice be raised in anger or exasperation to break the peace of this holy occasion.  After the meal, spend some time just sitting at the table enjoying each other’s presence and conversation.           

Fr. George Mc Kenna

November 17, 2012 Posted by | Bulletins | , , , | 5 Comments