PASTOR’S CORNER March 9, 2011
In the immortal words of Peggy Lee, “Is that all there is?” Ash Wednesday has come and gone and with it the ashes on our foreheads. Those ashes were a “sign” and now it is time to reflect what we “signed up for.” The Scriptures of last weekend and of Thursday’s mass reminded us that God set before us a blessing and a curse. Moses asked the people to choose wisely so that they could have a long life in the Promised Land. The reception of ashes is a commitment to God that we will fast, give alms and pray. God takes our commitment seriously. One of the ways we live this promise is to “lent” or give up something for Lent. The correct way of “lenting” (fasting) on something is to take the time we would normally do this activity and use it for prayer time. We should also calculate the cost of doing this activity and every day put the money in the rice bowl. When we do these things we are fulfilling our part of the agreement, we are attempting to empty ourselves of the things of the world in order to be receptive to the things of Heaven — Always a good choice.
Lent is also a time of psychological and spiritual healing and renewal. Social Scientists tell us that if we refrain from doing something or do something for 40 days, there is a good probability that we will have a change of heart in relationship to this activity. The Church has known this for many centuries and is one of the reasons that we are encouraged to look at our “bad habits” and pray about changing one of them during the Lenten season. Again the idea is to trade in a bad habit for a good habit, this is the “discipline” of Lent. This is the offering that we give back to God. Hopefully God will never have to look at this offering and say: “Where’s the Beef?”
Our parish Lenten activities have been advertised in the bulletin and on the parish web site. Please use them as a guide in making an extra effort to become more spiritually alive during this grace filled season of Lent and check us out on the parish web site.
Of special importance this weekend is our Parish Ministry Fair – after all the Masses, Fr. Antony’s “Farwell” on Sunday afternoon and the Franciscan Mystery Players “Stations of the Cross” on Sunday evening. All these activities remind us that Jesus is the Center of our lives and the Church as building and people are the “rock” of faith. You can spend all day Sunday at Church, being Church. What a graced moment and opportunity!!