Father Larry's Letters

"Father Larry's Letters" are a weekly letter/journal about the many events occurring within and around the St. Luke's community.

Thanking God, Praising the King, Waiting for Him

Dear St. Luke’s Parishioners,

Our God continues to surprise us day by day. Wednesday and Thanksgiving Thursday were just wonderful with temperatures nearly 70 degrees with a strong south wind. And then Friday came with the reminder that we are in November after all with equally strong north wind and temperatures in the 20’s for a high! The body cannot adjust that rapidly and shivers are ready at hand.

The St. Luke’s Knights of Columbus had their regular meeting and decided that they would name their council the Fr. Richard E. Gubbels Council. Fr. Gubbels was one of the past pastors for OLIH and was well known for his strong worth ethic and his direct approach to things and his challenge to grow in the faith. We look forward to the growth of our council and invite all “Catholic Gentlemen” to consider becoming members of our new council. In this new parish, there will be many, many opportunities to be of service to the growing faith community and the larger community as well.

On Wednesday, I went for my annual examination by my eye doctor. Fortunately, there was not any change in prescription for my glasses. It is just that when you are very near sighted, it is hard to read those signs at a distance. I suspect that will continue to be the case for me into the future.

Thanksgiving Day, I was pleased to be the celebrant at the St. Luke’s/OLIH Thanksgiving Day Mass. It was great to see folks bringing bread to be blessed for their meals later that day. The spirit and feeling at this Mass is always one of rejoicing, thanksgiving for God’s gifts, and knowing the presence of the Lord in Eucharist. I like the tradition of gathering around the altar for the final hymn when all sang “How Great Thou Art” all four verses. Being that close together, singing and recognizing the greatness of our loving and provident God was marvelous.

Then, I made a quick exit to head west for a one hour fifty-five minute drive to my mother’s house in Panama. They did wait the Thanksgiving dinner until I arrived. My mother and my youngest sister put together a new way of preparing sweet potatoes. They received wide acclamations for their new dish. We enjoyed the food and even delayed dessert until later when we could move more freely. It is wonderful to be with family as we recognize the many gifts of our God.

Friday meant that the family shifted to my sister’s home in Council Bluffs for the “Black Friday” football games. A sprinkling of Husker fans had more to cheer about than most of us. Unfortunately, Iowa State had an equally Black Friday. Just wait until next year! We managed to find food as well and a few card games to go with the goodies.

On the weekend, the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ the King brought to a close the liturgical year. It was a good time to reflect on all God’s blessings throughout this last year. It is a good time to know our God has been right at our side in all the events, good and bad of our days this year.

May the same Lord be with us as we begin the Advent Days of watching and waiting for the Lord to come.

Fr. Larry Hoffmann