March 17, 2019
Today we celebrate the Second Sunday of Lent. On this Sunday we normally hear the story of the Transfiguration on Mt. Tabor. (Several parishioners and I will be celebrating Mass there on our pilgrimage.) This amazing manifestation to Peter, James, and John occurs as Jesus is heading toward Jerusalem, to His Passion and Death; an event that will shake the faith of His disciples. On the mountaintop Jesus is greeted by Moses and Elijah who symbolize the Law and the prophets. Peter exclaims, “Lord it is good for us to be here.” When Jesus is transfigured, and the disciples see His glory, and hear God’s voice, they fall silent in fear. Today’s Gospel foreshadows what will follow His suffering and gives us a glimpse of the glory that will come. The account of the Transfiguration serves as confirmation that Jesus’ impending suffering and death will end in glory. At most key events in Jesus’ life Peter, James and John are with Jesus. They want to hold on to this experience. But “a cloud came and cast a shadow over them.” Have you ever felt like you were in a cloud, when life was foggy, and you couldn’t see the way forward? Then the sun comes out and the skies clear. Don’t we want to hold onto those clear stretches, but more fog is on the horizon. Our lives can often seem like an endless journey through clouds and fog. When we experience clear signs, we want to hold onto them. Lent invites us to remember those stretches and stand firm in the Lord. God will always bring us through the fog to clarity and through darkness to light. Be silent before the One who is with us always, who says, “You are my beloved son, my beloved daughter. Listen and be transfigured.”
Today we also celebrate the feast of the great St. Patrick, missionary and patron of Ireland. (Being almost 100% Irish, it is right and just to give him praise today!) This weekend our city celebrates with parades and a lot of corned beef and cabbage and proper libations, all colored green. Let us remember that St. Patrick’s rigorous life was challenging the pagan culture in Ireland with the truth of the Gospel. We invoke his intercession for the rise of pagan culture in our time and our nation. May his intercession this weekend help us to be faithful in spreading the Gospel by fidelity to the truth. Happy St. Paddy’s Day!
Thank you to all who remembered to bring canned goods for our Lenten program of almsgiving for our St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry. Please continue to bring food each Sunday during Lent and place your donations in front of the communion rail. Our offerings will be placed under the cross on the right side of the sanctuary. “Lord, when did we see you hungry?…I tell you as often as you did it to one of my least ones, you did it for Me.”
Easter Flower envelopes are in the pews and in your monthly packets. As we did for Christmas, our flowers decorating Church on Easter will be to the glory of God in loving memory/honor of our loved ones, those who have died and now share the glory of the resurrection, and those who hold a special place in our heart that we want to honor. Please print/write clearly the names of those you are remembering and check the box for “in memory of” or “in honor of”. As we celebrate the glory of Easter our Church will once again be a special space for all. There is no set amount in order to allow all parishioners to participate.
The response for the Festival Choir for Holy Week and Easter has been somewhat disappointing. This past Sunday we only had a couple of faithful singers. Our organist and I have decided to suspend rehearsals and allow our faithful Sunday choir to lead the music for Holy Week and Easter. While disappointing, I am sure our liturgies will be inspiring and beautiful.
Finally today, after counting down the days for the past two months, the Pilgrimage to the Holy Land will begin this Monday, March 18th. Several parishioners will be joining the group of 22 who will visit the land of Jesus, be in places where He walked, performed miracles, and preached the Good News. Please remember us in your prayers, as we will be praying for all here at St. Luke.
God Bless! Make it a great Lent!
Remember those 3 Hail Marys (Fr. Pete)