The King of Charity

11-22-2020From Fr. Antony's DeskFr. John Barbella

Can you believe that Thanksgiving is this Thursday? Time really does fly these days.

Thanksgiving is a good time for us to take stock of the blessings God has given us, and be sure to thank Him. This, of course, is something we should do in our prayers each and every day. We should also remember that we thank God by remembering those who may not enjoy all the blessings that we do, and practicing Christian Charity towards them.

Today (Sunday) is the Solemn Feast of Jesus Christ, King of the Universe! It is a day to remember that–in addition to everything else He is for us–Jesus Christ is King of Kings and Lord of Lords (Rev. 19:16). Christ the King Sunday is also a good time to remember that Jesus in very different from the Kings of this world.

One way in which Jesus is a different kind of king is His desire that we practice charity towards one another. He tells us that when we feed the hungry or shelter the homeless–we are feeding and sheltering Him. This Sunday’s Gospel makes it clear that Christ the King will hold us accountable for the way we treat the least of His brothers and sisters in this world.

That’s one reason we practice the Charity we do! As I explained in last week’s bulletin, Food for the Needy and the Giving Tree will be done through donations this year, and I am happy that many have already made donations! Also, I want to remind people that food, especially turkeys, can be dropped off at Catholic Charities at 387 South Main Street. It is best to drop off at their back door, in the alley behind their office, which is clearly marked 387. You could also call ahead at 908-859–5447. This is a good way to practice the kind of charity that is so pleasing to Christ the King!

Remember that Holy Mass will be offered on Thanksgiving Day at 6:45 and 8 AM. While not a Holy Day of Obligation, Thanksgiving is a good day to get to Mass if you can. Doing so is a good way to remember the spiritual roots of this wonderful holiday.

After Mass here in the morning, I will have Thanksgiving Dinner with some of my family at my sister Natalie’s home. Our ‘crowd’ will be smaller than normal – as is prudent these days. But we will have a good time just the same. I’m sure many of you will likewise celebrate Thanksgiving a bit differently this year!

As I write this on Monday morning, the phone is already ringing with people requesting reservations for Christmas Masses. If you intend to come to Mass on Christmas Eve or Day in person this year PLEASE DO NOT WAIT TO CALL! This is one of those times when it is essential for us to plan ahead, and I thank everyone for their kind cooperation!

Please keep me in your prayers – at least one Hail Mary a day – and be assured of my prayers for you. I keep you in all my Masses and Rosaries each day – and in my quiet prayer time each day. Let’s also pray for the sick, those caring for them, and for peace.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Fr. John