Fr. Daniel Gifford
Feast of Christ the King
Dear St. Louis Parishioners,
Thank God Christ is our King! Friends, we have so much to be thankful for. I always find
it fitting that, at a time when our nation turns its heart toward thankfulness, the Church beckons us to enter into this glorious celebration of the Kingship of Christ. On both sides of the Resurrection window, we see two separate images of His Kingship - the throne and the crown (front cover). Beneath the crown itself, we see a reminder of His Kingly entrance into Jerusalem (Matthew 21), in the form of the palm branches, as were laid down on the road before Him, as He entered riding upon a colt, in fulfillment of the prophecy of Zechariah (9:9). Yet, it would not be long after this greeting, with hosannas and palm branches, that He would be nailed to the cross. In His Passion, He would not be crowned in glory, but with thorns. Furthermore, He would suffer many wounds, including what is commonly referred to as the “Five Holy Wounds” (two in His hands/wrists, two in His feet, and one in His side). We see what might be a subtle allusion to these five wounds, suffered by our King, in the five five-pointed stars over the crown. These same wounds still appeared, now glorified, on His Body, when He appeared to His disciples after the Resurrection (John 20). So, these five wounds speak to us not only of His Passion, but also of His Resurrection. In the glory of the Resurrection, the crown of thorns and the seven wounds are transformed in glory. How much He suffered to be our King! Yet, how much greater is the Victory He has won for us! Finally, the five stars might also be a subtle reference to the woman crowned with stars in Revelation 12, which is symbolic both of Mary and of the Church. Our King suffered, not for His own glory, but to invite us to share in that glory in heaven! With all of this in mind, I would like to thank Rita Tracey for her leadership in decorating our Church with beautiful and thought-provoking imagery for Christ the King (and I’m sure there is plenty more to come with Advent beginning next week)!
Since Advent is just around the corner, it is also time to talk about Advent Confessions. We are going to be doing a few different things to make the Sacrament of Reconciliation more accessible during Advent. First, throughout Advent, we will have confession six days a week: 7:45-8:30 am on Tues, Wed, & Fri, plus the usual 4:30-5 pm on Mon & Thurs & 3-3:45 pm on Saturday. Second, we will have two consecutives evenings, in which we will offer confessions during a 7pm Holy Hour: Wed, December 6th & Thurs, December 7th. Third, on Sunday, December 17th (including Saturday, the 16th), I will go in the confessional immediately after each Mass. It is possible that, during those slots, I could have to leave to get ready for the next Mass while there is still a line - fair warning! Fourth, there will be a regional penance service at St. Joseph’s in Peru on Thursday, December 14th (Time T.B.A.). I hope and pray that all of our parishioners have the opportunity during Advent to receive God’s Mercy in the Sacrament and be restored to the grace of their Baptism!
In Christ through Mary,
St. Louis, pray for us!
Blessed Mary, Queen Mother of the King of Kings, pray for us!
P.S. SAVE THE DATE: This year, we will have a special celebration for the Feast of the Epiphany (January 6th-7th). More information still to come in this exciting weekend, but to give you a hint, Epiphany is traditionally a time when we bless homes… and we have a wonderful parish home.