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Fr. Ron's Blog


Dear Friends,
In last Sunday’s Gospel, we heard Luke’s account of the call of the first disciples, by name, Peter, James and John. Peter’s two responses to Jesus are worth noting. In kindly terms, those responses could be labeled “excuses.” The first excuse is the reason not to put out to sea again, because they had been hard at work all night and caught nothing. The second excuse is the reason not to accept Jesus’ invitation, because, Peter says, he is a sinful man. In Jesus’ eyes, neither excuse holds water (pardon the pun).

I know many are away this weekend and, perhaps, longer. But for those who are here, or who may be reading this on-line, don’t we often act like Peter in our daily lives? The Lord is constantly inviting us into a deeper relationship with him, but how often do we have an excuse. A deeper prayer life, forgiveness for that person who has really hurt us, the opportunity to offer our talents for the growth of the community, so many different ways and so often our response is – not now, maybe later.

Today is the 1st Sunday of Lent, and the time is now. The word Lent is a Teutonic word which simply means spring, as in the season. It has been used since Anglo-Saxon times to translate the more significant Latin term quadragesima, meaning, literally, the fortieth day, or simply forty days.

In the early Church, both Apostolic and post-apostolic, the only commemorations of the Lord’s life were of his death and Resurrection. Thus, Fridays very quickly became days of fast, while Sundays became feast days, the day on which the Church gathered to remember the Resurrection, the first day of the week. In the early third century there began to be observed other days, days of special preparation for the annual remembrance of the Lord’s death and resurrection. These took various forms in various places. Most often they centered around a fast of forty hours. By the end of the fourth century the practice of spending forty days, not hours, in preparation for Easter was widespread, but varied throughout the Church. In Jerusalem, for instance, the forty days did not include Saturdays or Sundays, thus stretching lent for eight weeks. But it wasn’t until the end of the 6th Century that the practice of spending six weeks, of six days each (Sundays were always excluded because they were the celebration of the Lord’s Resurrection), in preparation for Easter, began to be practiced, first in Rome, later spreading elsewhere. Later, Ash Wednesday, and the three days following, was added to bring the full number to forty, since the removal of the Sundays had reduced the number of days to only thirty-six.

Of course, one of the principal biblical patterns for this commemoration is the Lord’s forty days in the desert (along with Moses’ forty days on Mount Sinai and Elijah’s forty day trek to Sinai, centuries later). Allow me to offer some perspective to any spiritual or penitential practices you might decide for yourself this Lenten season, based on Jesus’ own forty days in the desert. Scripture tells us that Jesus was tempted by Satan. He had just come from His baptism in the Jordan and He goes out into the desert, where, before He starts His public ministry, Satan tempts Him, and the temptations are precisely to lead Him away from the type of Messiahship the Father is calling Jesus to. He asks Him to throw Himself down and be saved by angels – a temptation to see His Messiahship as a wonderworker, a kind of magician. He asks Him to change stones into bread, a Messiahship that gratifies His own needs. He offers Him all the kingdoms of the world, a Messiahship of political power. Jesus says no. But you and I are tempted in the same way, power, self-gratification (food, pleasure, leisure), riches and the easy life.

I invite you to use this Lent to say NO to Satan in these very real temptations of modern living and find the Lenten tools, daily Mass, prayer, fasting, etc. to do so. The success of a Lenten season is not marked with the rigor with which you celebrate it, or even the fidelity to a Lenten resolution. It is marked by the success in fighting those temptations which keep us from a closer relationship to the Lord and keep us from the effective witness of His life and love, a challenge and work that flows from our baptism. And it is marked by a growing willingness to accept the Lord’s daily invitations to follow Him. “DO NOT BE AFRAID, AND I WILL MAKE YOU….”
God bless your Lenten efforts,
Fr. Ron


Mass Schedule

Weekend Liturgies
Saturday, 5:30 p.m.
8:00 a.m., 9:30 a.m.,
11:00 a.m., 12:30 p.m.,
3 p.m. (Spanish), 6:30 p.m.
Weekday Liturgies
Monday thru Friday,
6:30 a.m., 8:30 a.m.,
and 12 noon
Saturday, 8:30 a.m. only
Holy Days
Eve: 7:30pm (anticipated)
6:30am, 8:30am, and 12noon 




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