Last Sunday in the Gospel we experienced a man with Leprosy falling to his knees at the feet of Jesus. His condition was understood to be almost hopeless…only God could cure him…but. The simplicity, humility, and boldness of this man helps us to see his faith. He believes that Jesus has the power and authority of God and could actually ‘will’ his healing and make him clean again.
What is it that makes us unclean or isolates us from community and intimacy with others? We realize that Jesus has come to set us free from those things, attitudes, and behaviors. Jesus is extending an extraordinary welcome to this man. He did not shun him but felt deep compassion for him and his plight.
Jesus comes to save and rescue us from the ‘snares of the Evil One’ and make us whole and free again to experience real ‘joy’…real happiness.
Ash Wednesday we began the Holy Season of Lent which is a call to all of us to ‘joy’, freedom, and renewed life in God. We were reminded that a change is necessary or as we might say a turning around with a change of heart and mind… ‘Repent’.
Change can be difficult including spiritual change especially when we have set up a pattern and possibly a long standing habit…but it can happen and Jesus can make us whole and wholesome again. We are invited to take on the disciplines of Lent… ‘Prayer, fasting, and almsgiving’. These practices can just be for themselves unless we see that God is calling us beyond them so as to reach out to care for others.
What is God calling us to do this Lent to grow our Spiritual Lives? We have some suggestions in the little forms in the pews and newsletter sent to us. We need to keep track of what we know the Lord is calling us to and track our progress each week…so we can see how we are growing. Remember part of being a disciple is to commit to ‘prayer & study’.
Bishop Paprocki…will be celebrating the special Rite of Election and Call to Continuing Conversion on the First Sunday of Lent…Feb. 22nd. The Saturday evening before the parishes near Springfield will gather with him and those parishes at a distance will gather Sunday afternoon at 2:00 PM. We celebrate a Rite of Parish Sending at the 8:00 AM Mass on this Sunday.
We have three youth who will complete their initiation at the Easter Vigil by receiving Confirmation and Holy Eucharist. We have also two adults who will enter full communion with our Catholic Church by their profession of faith, Confirmation and Holy Eucharist. Let us keep them all in our prayers during this Holy Season and be renewed in our baptismal commitment and life.
Confirmation Candidates…will be recognized and prayed over at the 10:30 Mass in preparation of their celebration on April 11th with Bishop Paprocki at the 4:30 Mass.
Lenten regulations…are printed in the Bulletin…devotions will be Wednesdays at 7 PM with Stations of Cross…Thursdays….Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament all day with Benediction at 1:35 PM & 6:30 PM. Don’t forget to take a RICE BOWL with you…that can help remind each of us to care for others!
ABL Dinner & Auction…will be this Sunday, Feb. 22nd at Noon at the KC Hall.
Red Bag Collection…is this weekend. It is to help all children of our parish to attend our Catholic SSPP. Protecting God’s Children training…will be Wednesday, February 25th at 6:30 PM in Morris Hall. Special Collection for Catholic Charities…will be next weekend…Feb. 28 & March 1st.