PASTOR’S CORNER MARCH 16, 2011
It was not too many years ago that Wednesday and Friday were Ember Days and we all struggled to remember not to eat meat at all or only once a day. Today we have only two days of Fast and eight days of Abstinence, all falling in the Lenten Season. Many of us breathed a sigh of relief when the rules were changed but the reason we had them was to remind us and help us to sacrifice and take time to pray for world and personal renewal. When the rules governing fast and abstinence were changed for Fridays and Wednesdays the Pope urged all Catholics to practice some other type of self-denial, sadly this mandate has not always been followed.
Lent is the time when we are invited to join in the suffering a death of the Lord Jesus and do some of the things which he did to improve His relationship with the Father. Jesus often took time to fast and abstain. It cleared his mind and the physical hunger led him into a deeper prayer life and helped him to feel compassion to those in need. This is the example we are to follow during the Lent Season. We often hear of people giving up something during Lent, only to go back to it when Lent is over, while commendable this is not really in the spirit of Lenten denial. Lent invites us to make a permanent commitment to an ongoing and deepening relationship to the Trinity and to others. Fasting and Abstaining, not only on the days appointed, by often during the year will help us to be more appreciative of what we do have and through prayer help us to be more aware of the presence of God in our daily lives. Remember to abstain from meat on all Fridays during Lent.
I noticed that the Lenten books were quickly snatched up. We have placed some miniature “spikes” in a basket in the vestibule to help you remember your Lenten promises. What would be more beneficial is to take part in some of the parish activities that we have scheduled. Please make an effort to attend at least one spiritual event during the Lenten season and remember life is not all drudgery and sacrifice when we celebrate Lent as a community the blessings of God minister to us all.
This weekend we celebrate a pivotal moment in Christ’s life: the Transfiguration. In a very real way this event was Jesus’ “confirmation”. It was here that the power of the Spirit showed Him who He truly was – Son of God. He “took back” from Elijah and Moses all power and glory and then “set his face like flint” to go to Jerusalem and renew the face of the earth through His death and resurrection. We too, like the apostles, are called to follow Jesus even though it will mean a drastic change in our lives. Some have embraced this mission and blessed us. Lent is a time for all of us to do the same. Our first reading reminds us of God’s vision for us: All the communities of the earth shall find blessing in you. Praise the Lord – in all things!!!