Bringing Others to Christ
Mar 6, 2020
As we continue through Lent, our catechumens and candidates going through the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults enter into greater and deeper preparation for the Easter Vigil and full communion in the Catholic Church. Please remember them in your prayers throughout Lent. Additionally, you will receive a postcard in the coming weeks with the Holy Week schedule, but repetition is the mother of all learning, so I will say it here: Mass of the Lord's Supper on Holy Thursday will be at Resurrection; services for Good Friday of the Lord's Passion will be at both parishes, and the Easter Vigil will be at St. Mary of the Snows. Times for these will be published soon. Easter Sunday Masses will follow our regular Sunday Mass schedule: 9am at Resurrection and 11am at St. Mary of the Snows.
Looking at other items for Lent, please remember that Confessions will be heard a half hour before all weekday Masses, and there will be a Day of Grace (Confessions throughout most of the day) at Resurrection on March 12 and at St. Mary of the Snows on April 3. As usual, I encourage everyone to take advantage of opportunities for Eucharistic Adoration on Mondays at St. Mary of the Snows from 11am-9pm and on Thursdays at Resurrection from 6-9pm. Looking at the penitential discipline of alms giving, don't forget about the Annual Catholic Appeal. Let's continue working toward our goal.
This season of Lent is a time to more fervently work on bringing others to Christ and His Church. What is a compelling but brief way to explain the gospel—good news—of Jesus Christ? Maybe we ourselves don't fully comprehend or understand what this is all about. Good news usually energizes and excites people. The gospel, the good news of Christ should excite us like nothing else, not even a Browns Super Bowl victory! Unfortunately, however, our response to this truly and incredibly good news is often tepid, maybe mildly interested, indifferent, or even apathetic.
So what is this good news? What is the story of salvation? God created the world out of nothing from His goodness, and everything He created was good. Because of the attempts of the evil one, Satan, and because of the free choice of our first parents to disobey God, creation, particularly humanity, has been wounded, marred, and broken. Relationships—with God, with other people, with creation—lack the harmony found in the Garden of Eden. Our intelligence and reason has been darkened, and our will has been weakened. To make matters worse, nothing we can do on our own can “fix” us; none of our own efforts have healed or restored us. In fact, our own efforts have usually made the situation worse. We have been captured and trapped in our fallen and wounded situation. God, in His infinite love for us, sends His Son in order to save us, to redeem us, to rescue us from our slavery, and the ways in which He rescues us are means unthought, ways that seem to be paradoxes. That bring us to now: our response to what God has done for us.
We could boil all of this down into a few thought provoking questions. Why is there something rather than nothing? Why is the world so messed up? What is God going to do about it? What is our response to God's actions? This good news could be further distilled into four words: Created, Captured, Rescued, Response. In the next few weeks, we will delve more deeply into these topics as preparation for Easter. Have a great week!