A Final Look At Our Lenten Journey

 In Pastor's Notes-Fr. Ritche

Although Lent does not end until before sunset of Holy Thursday, I’d like to think of the coming week as our final preparation for the great feast of our Lord’s paschal mystery, that is His passion, death, and resurrection.  These days leading to holy week, the Church gives us some beautiful yet intense scripture readings.  All of them, with the exception of Thursday, the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord, come from the Gospel of St. John.

The week begins with Jesus reminding his disciples and all of us of His death.  He reminds his disciples to take courage.  Then it is followed by the beautiful story of forgiveness in the story of the adulterous woman.  As the week progresses, Jesus encounters some of the religious leaders on the Jewish Feast of the Dedication.  Jesus is confronted with the people’s refusal to believe in Him.  He speaks about the works He has done which really is the work of the Father.  He also speaks about His oneness with the Father. As the story unfolds we will notice how the tension begins to heighten setting us up for the story of Jesus’ passion, crucifixion and death that begins on Palm Sunday.

Let us be mindful that the story of Jesus is the story of God’s love for all of humanity.  A love that is unconditional; a love that is self-giving; a love that is worth emulating; a love that deserves a response from all of us.  And what is that response? That is to love as Jesus loves – one that continues to search and to reach out to the least, the lost, and the last.

In these final days of Lent, perhaps we can also look back and ask ourselves how have we been faithful to our fasting, prayer, and almsgiving?  Is there anything else that we have to let go of so that we can continue to grow in our friendship with Jesus and with others?   We still have time to re-focus and prepare for Easter.  As St. Paul told us on Ash Wednesday, NOW is the acceptable time; NOW is the day of salvation.

To help guide you with your reflections on these events, on Tuesday, March 23 at 7:00pm, I will be speaking about the importance of the Sacred Triduum – Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter, and what this means for us.  I will also be talking about why and how these Holy Three Days are ONE single event.  I am inviting you to join us on our final Lenten Series Talk.  Simply register on-line to get the zoom link.

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