Published February 12, 2013 by Our Lady of the Angels in Pastor's Corner

Today, Tuesday, the priests of the Diocese will gather to welcome our new bishop. It is certainly a time of great anticipation and a time that challenges all of us to recognize Bishop Sullivan’s role as our Shepherd. We assist him with our prayers and obedience as he furthers the vision of our Diocese.

With the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI we also long to hear the words “Habemus Papam”, we have a Pope. Throughout the centuries these words have welcomed a new Pope, the Successor of Peter, and the one to whom Jesus himself gave power and authority. We all must take an active role in this election by praying for an outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon the Cardinals who will elect our next Spiritual Leader of 1.3 billion Catholics from around the world. Again there is the challenge of prayer and obedience which always seems so hard to attain.

I believe that it is no coincidence that these changes come during the Lenten Season. The news outlets are full of statistics and ideas about who, what, when, where and why. Yesterday’s news reminded us that 1 in 4 Americans are Catholic but only 1 in 4 of those who profess to be Catholic exercise their faith. Our minds and hearts are corrupted by a steady stream of sex, violence and violent sex that are the work of Satan and a denial of the commands of Jesus to love one another as He as loved us.

Scripture this weekend reminds us that Jesus began his ministry on earth by defeating the Devil in the desert and then showed us how to do the same. Some weeks ago I spoke of the benefits and commands to tithe back to God our First Fruits. This is the lesson the Scriptures of this first week of Lent. If we want to be free of Satan’s ploys and lies we must first of all give back to God. On Ash Wednesday we heard the formula for true freedom. Pray, Fast and Give Alms. During this Season of Grace which we call Lent we will have many opportunities to give back to God by sharing life and resources with one another. Don’t stand on the side lines wringing your hands and saying “I’m powerless”, get in the game and use the gifts of the Holy Spirit to make a difference.

Pray, pray, pray for our new Bishop and our Cardinals as they, led by the Holy Spirit,  plot our future. Journey well my friends!

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