Editor's note: Bishop Gumbleton gave this homily at the consecration of the altar at the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart Of Mary Motherhouse in Monroe, Mich.
Celebration Publications: When a loved one dies, we often long for one more conversation, one more hug, one more loving look at the other. We wonder where they are and sometimes question our belief in eternal life. But our beloved dead are still with us. They are with us because they are with God.
My Table is Spread: I like to imagine myself one of the faithful of the fourth-century Diocletian persecution, but I know better.
And now, my brothers and sisters, this is just the beginning of Chapter 23, and as you can tell, it's a very harsh judgment on the part of Jesus against the religious leaders -- the scribes, the Pharisees, Sadducees, Herodians -- all of them. And as you go through the chapter, it becomes even more critical and harsh.
Soul Seeing: Eighteen years ago, my face became paralyzed following surgery for Meniere's disease. The left side of my face droops like melting wax.
When Brittany Maynard became the youthful face of the right-to-die movement, she brought to the public table several fierce debates.
Today, we remember and celebrate the lives of those who have gone before us, "that great cloud of witnesses who surround us" (Hebrews 12:1) and support us with their prayers. Of course, there is sadness when a friend or family member dies, but, in the end, it is faith that enables us to surrender our mourning and be joyful in our memories.
I'm still haunted by a late 1960s survey of American Catholics. Participants were asked just one question: What's the more important law -- love your neighbor, or give up meat on Friday? More than 50 percent responded, "Give up meat on Friday." When meatless Fridays trump love of neighbor, we Catholics are in deep trouble.
David Letterman didn't invent the top 10 list. In one form or another, such inventories have been around for a long time -- even during the biblical period.
Soul Seeing: Every October, a dozen of my classmates gather. Nine of us left the priesthood. Morrie is one of the stalwarts who remained.
Our second reading, the opening of Paul's letter to the Thessalonians sets up our consideration of today's Scriptures. Paul invites us to listen to his letter as though we were the community originally addressed, to bask in his description of us, and nod in agreement with the members of that early community of Greek-speaking Christians.