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Fr. Ron's Blog


Dear Friends,
I hope everyone made a good beginning of Lent by their observance of Ash Wednesday. Today is the 1st Sunday of Lent. We all know about Lent. When I think about Lent, I think about “giving up,” about fasting, about the “color purple,” about A & P Catholics (ashes and palms, and for folks my age, “hot cross” buns (remember them?). Lent is filled with so many images.

But Lent is really a journey. Theologically and liturgically it is a remembering, of Moses’ 40 days on Mount Sinai, of Elijah’s 40 day trek to that same mountain centuries later (and we will meet them again next week in the Gospel), of the 40 year journey of the Hebrews through the wilderness and the 40 day journey of Jesus through the desert. And for us, it is a 40 day reflection on our own journey through life, or, at least, through this past year. What it really should be for us is a 40 day examination of my interior life. Where am I in my life? How did I get here? Is this where I want to be? Where am I going? Where do I want to go? And how do I get there?

And how do I answer these questions? Simple. By comparing, stacking up, my life with the life of Jesus, and some of the characters we will meet in these days ahead. Of course, doing it on a daily basis by coming to daily Mass would be the best – to hear the stories, make the comparisons and learn the lessons, then make the necessary course-corrections. But even if we only come on Sundays, the opportunities to do the same are there, as well. The Church has a story to tell. It is a story about living, a story about coping, a story about salvation. And if we listen, if we make it our own, the story will show us the way. This happens over the next six weeks, starting today.

And where does it start, this story? It starts in the desert. Jesus is led there by the Spirit – as part of God’s plan for Him. Why? Maybe because it represents the lives that His brothers and sisters (you and me) live every day. The circumstances we confront as we travel through time. And what do we see Jesus face, in this desert? The same seductions that we face every day. Be popular. Be powerful. Make sure you get everything you deserve (or think you deserve). Take the easy way. Amass as much as you can, money, things, control. Whatever! Expect God to do what you want, when you want it. All of these temptations, which come at us every day, are wrapped up in the ones Jesus faced – the stones to bread, the kingdoms of the world, throw yourself down.

And what did Jesus do at those moments? Do you think He just wanted to impress the Devil with His knowledge of Scripture? The word of God that was on His tongue, as His response, was not just a sign of His knowledge; it was a sign of God’s closeness to Him, in His heart and mind. And because of that closeness, He, the human Jesus, was able to resist. The same can be true for us. You and I can also resist, if God is close.

I invite you to use this Lent to say no to Satan in these very real temptations of modern living as Jesus said no in His time and circumstance. And to use the tools Scripture tells us Jesus used, prayer, fasting, and others as well, sacrifice, daily Mass, alms-giving (to charities, those in need, the Annual Appeal). The success of the Lenten season is not marked with the rigor with which you celebrate it, or even the fidelity in keeping your Lenten resolution(s). 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. When the Lenten season is over, will you be able to say with St. Paul, “It is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me”? (Gal. 2:20). This is the real purpose to Lent.

God Bless your Lenten efforts,
Fr. Ron

PS. A reminder that we use the Apostles ‘Creed, rather than the Nicene Creed, for our Profession of Faith, in preparation for the renewal of our Baptismal promises on Easter Sunday.

Also, if you haven’t done so already, you might consider a pledge to the Annual Appeal, Sharing God’s Blessings, as part of your Lenten sacrifice.


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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