Expectant Faith, Grateful Faith
Dear beloved sisters and brothers in Christ,
Late one afternoon our motorcoach stopped at a gift shop in Bethlehem. I had promised our thirty-five pilgrims that we would take time from our Holy Land pilgrimage to buy gifts and souvenirs. We spread into the store to explore the shelves loaded with olive wood carvings, crucifixes, Christmas ornaments, nativity creches, and rosaries.
An elderly woman behind a counter asked me in her Arabic English, “Father,” (I was wearing my clergy collar), “Which do you like? What can I give you?”
I leaned on the counter closer to her. “Is there a café nearby? I really need a cup of coffee.”
She paused a moment and looked past the bus. “Ten minutes by foot.”
“Never mind,” I replied. “I should stay with the group.”
“Father,” she stopped. “I make you coffee.”
“Oh no,” I said. “You need to mind your counter. Please don’t trouble yourself.”
“Oh yes,” she said. “I make you coffee.” She stepped through a back door.
I roamed through the shop to see what treasures the group had found. After ten minutes, I came back to the counter. Two tiny dixie cups filled with boiling black liquid waited on a saucer with a little cup of sugar. Through the back door into the break room, I saw a double burner coffee pot on a small stove. The elderly clerk was busy with another customer.
It was the hottest blackest thickest coffee I had ever had. It burned the roof of my mouth. And it was so good!
Jesus taught us to say to our heavenly Father, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” He did not say, “Ask and it might be given to you, knock and the door might be opened.” He said, “It will be given to you.” Ask boldly and expect to get it!
It is true that all prayers depend on God’s will. We cannot presume to tell God what to do. With confidence in God the Father, we submit to his will. His will, after all, is that we have abundant life (John 10:10).
At the same time, when Jesus taught us how to pray, he did not say, “Our Father, give us this day our daily bread…if it be your will.” No. He said, “Give us this day our daily bread.” Period. To the point without any hesitation, that’s how we are to pray.
We can be so bold because that is what children do. God destined us for adoption to himself through Jesus Christ (Ephesians 1:5). By baptism, we have become children of God. “If you then, who are wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good things to those who ask him” (Matthew 7:11).
Children of God, pray boldly with expectant faith. Pray, “Give us our daily bread—today! Forgive us our sins—today! Deliver us from evil—today!” Add the word “today” to bring out our urgent dependence on our Father and our confidence that he will provide what we ask for.
The prayers for the Mass on Thanksgiving Day ask that the perfect sacrifice of Jesus draw us closer to all our brothers and sisters in the human family. They thank the Lord for the great gift of freedom from sin. Strengthened in communion, we ask for his help to reach out in love to all his people and share with them the good things of time and eternity. We boldly ask for all this through Christ our Lord.
When someone gives us something, we have been trained to say, “Thank you.” The Mass is our perpetual “thank you” to God. The word “Eucharist” means “thanksgiving.” Catholics do not celebrate Thanksgiving Day only once a year. Every Mass we give thanks to the Lord our God. Every Sunday is Thanksgiving Day!
Before I climbed back into the motorcoach, I asked my new friend what she wanted to pray for.
“I am born from Bethlehem. Pray for our peace. Please.”
I said a prayer for her and gave her a peck on the cheek. “Thank you for the wonderful coffee.”
“For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”
HOLY HOUR AND A HALF WITH CCM
Catholic Campus Ministry at UCF is inviting us all to an evening of Adoration and prayer for healing. Tuesday Nov 29, 7pm-8:30pm. The night will include Eucharistic Adoration and benediction, praise and worship, a spiritual exhortation, and an opportunity to be prayed with for healing of physical and spiritual needs by the CCM staff and students. Invite a friend to come and join you for an evening of prayer with our Lord.
BLACK FRIDAY MASS
Start Black Friday with morning Mass! In the chapel at 8:30 a.m. Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament normally held on Friday is canceled due to the holiday.
CLEAN THE SLATE
The regular time for confessions is Saturday morning 9-10 a.m. Fr David will be available for extra Advent confessions on Saturday afternoons 400-445pm on November 27 and December 4, 11, 18. The Advent penance liturgy is Tuesday, December 13 at 7 p.m. Get right with the Lord to receive the true peace of Christmas!
SPIRITUAL SPA DAY
Our first “Life in the Eucharist” parish retreat is Saturday, December 3 in the Nativity Parish Center. It begins at 8 a.m. in the morning and ends with the 5 p.m. Saturday vigil Mass in the church. The retreat is free. There is no charge. It is for adults aged 21 and older. Sign up by Sunday, November 27 after Mass or call 407-322-3961 or
WHY I WEAR SANDALS
No, it’s not for the Jesus look. I had tendonitis in my toes. The sandals keep them cool and avoid inflammation.
While the kids are in the classroom on Sunday mornings, adults have four choices. Track 1 in the Parish Center, “The Search” video series. Track 2 in the chapel, conversation about prayer. Track 3 in the Cenacle room next to the Parish Center, video series on discipleship with Deacon Steve and Audrey Knecht. Track 4 in the church overflow, speaker series. Don’t miss out on this hour of faith and fellowship 10:15-11:15 a.m. this Sunday morning!
on Thursday, November 24, 2022 at 9:00AM