Week of November 2nd
In the movie and in the book, “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants” written by Ann Brashares, four girlfriends separated by distance and facing a particular stage in their life remain bonded together by taking turns wearing the same pair of blue jeans sent to each other over the summertime. Through this connection each of them develops in different ways both as a group and as individuals into adults as they enter into mature world. It is with this common sense of support and bond which enables them to face what challenges come. It’s what I call a, “Chick flick,” but one that makes good sense. Children become aware of the communion of traveling pants, shirts, and jackets by wearing their older brother’s and sister’s hand-me-downs as the family grows over time. Growing up in a family of 8 siblings myself, I remember wearing my older brother’s shirts and jackets and pants. Far from being seen as “old worn-out stuff” I had to wear, I always felt a certain sense of warmth, comfort, and support from my older brothers and a very deep connection in our family bond. It was the kind of support I needed to face the challenges set before me as I had to tackle certain tough jobs on the farm myself and took over my older sibling’s jobs. For me, these items were more than the material they were made of, they gave me the courage I needed to carry on. As years go by, parents will pass down precious memories, traditions, and items of value they feel their children and grandchildren could use to keep their connection with them before they pass on. It’s all about this mysterious, human common bond we have in each other that God has put there in us. It is in this manner that God’s ways live on through the changes in our family and in our life. The Feast of All Saints and All Souls is much about this. We live and die in a Communion of Saints. We wear the jeans Faith, the hand-me-downs of our brothers and sisters, parents, grandparents, great grandparents and whole host of others we know and those Saints whom we may not know and who have gone before us, but who share similar life’s stories and the same Baptismal Garment in Christ. We share it as one Family in God. This is what gives us the courage and warmth, connection and support we need to face the cross and the trials of our life. It is also what helps us experience the different joys of living as time goes by. This week, we remember what we share and what has been passed on. We remember those loved ones who have died and the journey of faith they lived in Christ. We remember the wonderful example lived and the triumph some of our more famous Saints are now enjoying in the fullness of Life in Christ. May the Holy Spirit continue to inspire us by their example and may we all feel this common bond as we live in, “The sisterhood (and brotherhood) of the Traveling Pants!” God bless the memories of the Saints and all those we loved!
Fr. LeRoy Scheierl