Vol. 4, 2016-2017
“Pilgrims on a Journey” “The Church of God, living in exile in Rome, to the Church of God, exiled in Corinth – to you who are called and sanctified by God’s will through our Lord Jesus Christ…” (Early Christian Fathers, ed. Cyril C. Richardson, Simon and Schuster:NY, NY, 1996, p. 43). Writing in the year 96, the third successor of St. Peter as the leader of the Church in Rome began a letter with these words which teach us even today about our ultimate destiny. Pope Clement wrote to a community that was divided and fighting over earthly concerns, and this introduction called them to remember to keep their eyes on the prize – they were created for eternal life with Jesus, Mary and the saints. Our spiritual practices in the month of November remind us each year to keep our eyes on the prize. For each of us life on earth is a precious, beautiful gift to be treasured – and we deeply mourn the loss of family and friends who have passed away. In rising from the dead and appearing to His chosen witnesses Jesus showed us that on the other side of the pain and emptiness is a glorious resurrection. In the glorified life our bodies will no longer suffer pain or sadness, we will see and rejoice with our loved ones (and even many of our enemies) and all will be made clear. This year Pope Francis (the 266th Bishop of Rome) has invited the entire Church to think and pray about how our actions on earth line up with God’s will for our ultimate destiny. In this issue of the Lighthouse we will print the words of Pope Francis’ homily for the beginning of the “synodal process.” As he said in this homily, the synodal process represents walking with people, listening to one another and praying for direction – ultimately trusting in the merciful heart of Jesus. May God bless you and may your families experience the peace, healing and comfort of faith in this month of remembrance of our beloved dead; and may all our departed, through the mercy of God, receive the forgiveness of their sins and the gift of eternal joy – let’s keep each other in prayer, Vivat Jesus!
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