From the Pastor's Pen - April 2, 2017
The three Sunday Gospels of these weeks are endlessly fascinating. Between them they portray people with all of the trials and discouragements we can have: drudgery of work, unfulfilling relationships, religious questions (the Woman at the Well), physical disability, a feeling of not fitting in family or community (the Man Born Blind), and this week, in the Raising of Lazarus, death—our own, and grieving the decline and loss of dear ones, and the anger and blame that comes in these times. Through it all is the person of Jesus, talking, assuring, opening unseen avenues; leading us into a future we couldn’t imagine. That’s why these are called conversion stories—because they open us up to the realm of God’s kingdom. All find new life and light in Jesus. In fact, in our newly redone website, you can listen to my homilies for these Sundays. They lead well into Holy Week. (You can listen again to my homilies by clicking here.)
So can we. It’s still not too late to have something of a New Life experience through the spirit of Lent. Through voluntary discipline or sacrifice, through prayer, and extra attention to those in need. We’re making up for the sins and faults for which God has forgiven us, as we participate in grace and love freely given. We can still make sure we’re making something special of what remains of Lent, and start to mark the time of Holy Week next week.
This is a special, once-a-year time to join with Jesus in his suffering and his triumph. We priests are starting to focus on this already, and by next weekend will be exclusively preparing for the Easter Triduum and Easter Sunday. You might try to wind up any regular work or issues you have with our church office this week. Already, a lot of the calls and traffic has to do with the upcoming special observances of Holy Week.
Congratulations to our team and retreatants of our ACTS Retreat last week. And also to our students, who quite seriously celebrated Reconciliation with their confessions, as our parishioners also did.