From the Pastor:
Lent begins just over a week from now. Although we may not be excited about this, it is good to remember that Lent is the most important preparation time of the year. The forty days of intensified prayer, fasting, and almsgiving are how we become more like Christ. We know that Jesus lived each of these perfectly, and He calls us to imitate Him through these spiritual disciplines. If we commit to living each of these intensely this Lent, we will experience spiritual growth and be more in conformity with heaven.
This week, I encourage you to put together your spiritual plan for Lent. Your plan should include both what you hope to achieve spiritually and how you will do that. Your spiritual plan should be aggressive. God says “whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.” (2 Cor. 9:6) What aspects of your life aren’t what God wants them to be? In what areas of your life is God calling you to progress from good to better? If we’re honest about it, we need the season of Lent as much as creation needs springtime.
You will be receiving in the mail a Lenten calendar for our three parishes. It lists various spiritual opportunities for you throughout Lent. Consider joining fellow parishioners to pray the Stations of the Cross, devote an hour before Jesus in Adoration, participate in one of the adult faith groups, or attend the Sunday afternoon book study that I will be leading. Remember you also have free online access to FORMED, which is an amazing resource of Catholic materials for adults and children, including movies. If you are driving or at home, also consider listening to Annunciation Radio, which is our local Catholic broadcast. My prayer is that this Lent will bring lasting, spiritual growth for all of us!
The Lenten calendar also lists special Masses for Lent, Holy Week, and Easter. Please continue to refer to the bulletin for the regular Mass schedule for weekdays and weekends. Consider attending extra Masses during Lent for yourself, your family, deceased friends or relatives, and for the spiritual wellbeing and salvation of people everywhere. The Mass is the most powerful prayer God has given us. Remember also that the Sacrament of Confession is usually available before every Mass.
The book study that I will be leading on Sunday afternoons during Lent is really a scripture study of the Eucharist, which is the primary focus of every Mass. It will enable whoever attends to experience the Mass in a much greater way than before. The Mass literally comes to life, filled from beginning to end with powerful images and stories that draw us into deeper understanding and participation at the Mass. The book we will be using is Jesus and the Jewish Roots of the Eucharist.
We will meet 2:00-3:15pm each Sunday during Lent at Resurrection Parish. Our first meeting will be Sunday Feb. 11. Please call any of the parish offices for more information and the first meeting’s study guide. All are welcome to attend, including non-Catholics and teenagers. I hope to see you there!