Dear Parish Family:
As I began my announcements at the end of Mass last week, I said " I have some great news!" I paused. Then I said "Lent starts this week!" There was some soft laughter and some sighs through the Church. But I was serious. I think the Church is serious, because Jesus is serious. Conversion is the only thing that is not boring, rote or ever goes out of fashion. That is to say our ongoing need to recognize our God's central place in our lives is never ever done. The good news is Jesus knows we aren't finished yet. You and I are given another chance this Lent to go deeper, to be more true and authentic in our relationships with Him and others.
The first week of Lent we always meet the dramatic Gospel reading of Christ being led into the desert where he is tempted. The ultimate temptation is his obedience to the Father. Satan wants him to abandon trust in God's love and plan. He remains faithful to His call to be a human being and not resort to divine power to avoid the excesses of the human condition; power, pleasure, prestige. Every year we need this time to refocus and discover how we have allowed something other than obedience to God take over our lives. We can easily allow mediocrity to creep in and even fully abandon our call to discipleship.
This Lent let God make us new. I invite you to join in our parish Mission: "Rebuild my Church." The Franciscan Friars of the Renewal Father Guiseppe Maria and a team of other Franciscans will lead our Lenten Mission. The theme of his talks will lead us to understand more confidently how God is really working to change us; to accept more fully the life He calls us to and it is an adventurous life. Please sign up for Eucharistic Adoration. The Eucharist will be available for adoration and devotion during the mission in a similar way that we do during Forty Hours in the Fall. There will be time for Confessions and for a healing service with the Blessed Sacrament.
Remember too that Stations of the Cross each Friday is an ideal way to concretely call to mind Jesus suffering and love for you and me. The more we open to the mystery of His suffering, the more patience we find for our own sufferings and to be patient with others shortcomings.
Finally keep in mind that our parish should be apostolic and missionary. Meaning that this is a time to talk to others about Christ, what He means for us and why celebrating with the Church makes all the difference in the world.
Don't forget daily Mass. The ideal way to fully engage the holy season is to make a commitment to participate in the source and summit of all our faith has to offer: Holy Mass. It will change you…no doubt. He works through His Church in the Word and Sacrament. We have mass everyday at 7:00 and 9:00am.
We adore you O Christ and we Praise you, because by your Holy Cross you have redeemed the Word.
In the peace of Jesus,