Friday, November 29, 2013
As we approach the end of the Church Year, our readings take on an end-time tone and focus. When we hear this Sunday's Gospel with its doomsday language, it is easy to consider it a prediction of the future. But in reality the events described had actually taken place shortly before Luke's Gospel was written. With the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple in 70 AD it is easy to understand why Luke would put these words in the mouth of Jesus and call upon Christians, especially those who had fled subsequent persecution, to remain faithful. Each age faces its challenges. We may not be facing destruction from invading forces, but the call to be strong in the faith is given to us as well.
One of our core beliefs as a Christian community is in the resurrection of the dead. Each time we profess our faith whether it is the Apostles' Creed, the Nicene Creed, or our baptismal promises, we announce that we believe in the Resurrection - Christ's on the third day, and our own at the end of time. The month of November is a time when we particularly recall those "who have gone before us with the sign of faith." We honor the countless of unnamed saints who already share in the blessedness of the heavenly kingdom. And we pray for the many who have died that they too may enjoy eternal light, happiness, and peace. Our belief in the Resurrection unites us in a communion of faith that is beyond the grave. And we pray that we may all come to the everlasting dwelling place in heaven.
Happy Feast Day! On this November 3rd we remember St. Maolmhaodhog ua Morgair, Anglicized St. Malachy Morgair. Our patron was born in Armagh, Ireland in 1094 or 1095. St. Malachy was a twelfth century reformer of Christianity. In 1129 he was named archbishop of Armagh. He worked zealously to restore ecclesiastical discipline; restored marriage; renewed the practice of confession and confirmation; and introduced Roman chants in the liturgy. He was successful in preaching the Word and was distinguished by his devotion and vigor. He was also known for his care to the needy as a miracle worker and healer. In 1148 on his way back to Ireland from Rome, St. Malachy stopped at the monastery in Clairvaux, France to visit his close friend. St. Bernard. It was here on November 2 that St. Malachy died in the arms of St. Bernard. In 1190 St. Malachy was canonized a saint.