Fourth Sunday of Lent

March 14, 2021

Today we celebrate the Fourth Sunday of Lent. Our first reading from Second Chronicles is part of Israel’s Salvation history. We hear, “and the people added infidelity to infidelity.” They were a fickle people. How did God respond? He had compassion on His people and “early and often” sent messengers to them. But they mocked the messengers and despised their calls to repent. God could only take so much and there was no remedy to get them to repent. He punished them and allowed His Holy City, Jerusalem, to be ransacked, burned, and destroyed. The people were made captive in Babylon. At the end of our first reading we find a glimmer of hope as God inspired the King of Persia, Cyrus, to allow the people to return. In today’s second reading, St. Paul writes to the Ephesians about God’s mercy to us in Christ Jesus. Paul writes, “By grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not from you; it is the gift of God; it is not from works, so that none may boast.” Our salvation is God’s free gift to all of us. During Lent our disciplines of prayer, fasting and almsgiving are our response to this grace. All our works are signs of our gratitude for this amazing gift. In today’s Gospel, we once more read from St. John. Beginning with a dialogue with Nicodemus, Jesus tells us, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, so that everyone who believes in Him might not perish, but might have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.” (John 3:16) If we never learn any other scripture passage, I encourage all of us to commit this to memory and meditate on it frequently. As we head to Holy Week and the recalling of the Passion and Death of our Lord, this passage reminds us the extent to which our gracious God would go to show us mercy, love, and forgiveness. Let’s let John 3:16 carry us through the next several weeks to a glorious Easter.

As Lent continues we continue our annual Easter Flower Campaign. As in the past we are giving all parishioners the opportunity to dedicate our beautiful Easter flowers in memory/honor of loved ones. There are envelopes in your monthly packet and some at the doors of Church for this purpose. There is no set donation requested in order to give every person the opportunity to participate. Names of those being remembered/honored will be placed in the Easter bulletin. For those giving “online” please use one of the envelopes at the doors of Church to participate. Please print clearly the names on the envelope and turn them in either through the Sunday offertory or drop them off at the rectory.

In addition to our regularly scheduled confession times on Saturdays from 4:15 to 4:45pm, please mark your calendars for our special Lenten morning of confessions on Saturday, March 27th from 9:00am to 12:00pm.

On behalf of all parishioners our thanks goes out to the Knights of Columbus of the Oratory for deep-cleaning the Church last Saturday, March 6th. Many brother Knights gathered following the first Saturday Mass to clean the floors, pews, and sanctuary. I am personally grateful for their efforts to get our Church ready for Easter.

This weekend we are participating the Annual Diaper Drive sponsored by the Permanent Diaconate Office in conjunction with the Pro-Life Apostolate. Thank you for participating in this effort.

Finally today, NEXT Saturday, March 20th we will be having a Spring Clean-up of the gardens around the Church beginning at 9:30am. We appreciate your help in making our Church grounds beautiful.

God Bless! Repent and believe in the Gospel!

Please continue praying 3 Hail Marys.

Fr. Pete