Every November the Church remembers the dead. During this month we have celebrated All Saints Day and All Souls Day. This Sunday the Church year culminates in the Solemnity of Jesus Christ the King.
Several years ago, I published an article about these November memories in Ministry and Liturgy magazine. I told the story about a priest mentor and friend who died of AIDS. Today, November 20 is the twenty anniversary of his death. I cannot let the day go by without posting this article again, about his illness and death, about my growing up in faith and learning to walk with him in loss.
I admit the memories are fresh and tender, the years go by so quickly. I hang on to the years, and the rhythm satisfies my soul and brings healing in ways I least expect. Even though I cling to the memories, I just recently gave away a piece of art that I inherited from him. I gave away the Mother and Child sculpture to a woman who lost her child from a drug overdose. I pass on this art of love, of grief and loss, the images of Jesus and Mary that will bring healing.
I invite you this week to remember again. Take some time alone and be grateful even though we all remember death. The Kingdom of God is present, the story of Christ Jesus wraps up this week but will start over again in Advent. The bitter cold of winter gives way to spring.
We also celebrate the cultural feast of Thanksgiving. This is the feast we celebrate really everyday in the Eucharist. This week, let the memories hold your soul together, let them feed the empty places of your heart, let them ease the anger that lingers and let them become sustenance for your journey. Let your memories recall the beauty of friendships and family gatherings when the sun shines on the crystal again.