Most Catholics are aware that the season of Lent is a forty-day period leading up to the great celebration of Easter, the Resurrection of Christ. Lent, which comes from the Anglo-Saxon word lencten, meaning "spring," is a time marked by particular rituals or sacramentals, receiving ashes on Ash Wednesday, or blessed palm on Passion Sunday, even the decision to "give up" ice cream, chocolates or Ted Drewes Frozen Custard is practiced as a part of Lent. But is Lent more than these unique practices?
To answer that question we must begin this season with the end in mind. Lent's end is to unite ourselves more closely to the person of Jesus Christ in such a way that we become more focused on doing God's will. The practice of ashes, palm, "giving up" certain things and/or habits is the pruning process by which we grow spiritually.
Lent is also understood as a penitential time in which we attempt to become more conscious to the role of sin in our lives, in the lives of others, and sin found within our society and culture. But, least anyone say to himself or herself that Lent is looking only at the negative in our lives, it is more about the unconditional love God has for each of us. Despite our sinfulness, God still accepts us if we turn back to Him. This turning back to God is practiced in the sacrament of Penance, and this is why the Church encourages us to experience God's forgiving grace in this particular sacrament. We have printed opportunities to receive this sacrament in the purple handout sheet inserted into our bulletin, and additional copies are placed at the exists of church. Also, please note a special celebration of Reconciliation will occur on Thursday evening, March 27th, from 6:00-8:00 p.m. at St. Luke's church.
For your Lenten reflection I offer you the following prayer....
Lord Jesus, by your Cross and resurrection you have set us free.
During this Lent, lead us by your Holy Spirit to live more faithfully
in Christian freedom. Through prayer, increased charity and the
disciplines of this sacred season, draw us closer to you. Purify
the intentions of our hearts so all our Lenten observances give
you praise and glory. Grant that through our words and actions,
we may be faithful messengers of the Gospel message to a world
in need of the hope of your mercy. Amen.
As we begin this journey of Lent in the hope of reflecting more completely Christ's love for our brothers and sisters, let us remember..."All that matters in any and every way Christ is being proclaimed."
P.S. As part of our centennial celebration the parish is hosting Trivia Night at Cardinal Rigali Center on March 15th. If you haven't registered, it's not too late, call the rectory. I hope to see you there!
Monsignor William McCumber