From the desk of Fr Stephen Feb 21, 2021

From the desk of Fr Stephen

These past couple of weeks, we have experienced the bitter cold of winter.  For almost two weeks, the temperature did not get above freezing, and we had snow coming down from the skies that reminded me of the 20 years I spent in Wisconsin.  But winter never lasts all year.  Eventually, the air begins to warm and the snow melts.  It happens this way every year.  We long for those days when we can go outside without putting on warm clothing and work in the garden.  Those days will be here soon.

In the same way, God gives us the season of Lent every year.  In the Northern Hemisphere, Lent occurs during winter when everything outside is frozen solid.  When Holy Week arrives, Spring is also sprung on us.  It is so nice to see the flowers bud forth and the grass turn green.  This always happens as we celebrate the Rising of Jesus from the dead.  It is very symbolic.  Just as Jesus springs back to life, so the earth also springs back to life.  But we are getting ahead of ourselves.  Right now, the earth is still cold, and we have just begun to enter the Lenten Season.

These next six weeks allow us to prepare ourselves for the Spring that is sure to come.  The earth shuts itself down for the winter and takes a rest, but we must remain vigilant in our quest for God.  What happens during this time of the year can plant a deeper love of God within us.

During this time, the Church asks us to do a bit of penance to remind us of all that the Son of God has done for us.  When you think about it, there is no way we could ever thank Jesus enough, but through our penances, we call to mind daily the sacrifice Jesus was willing to undergo for us.  He did not need to suffer to the extent that He did to reconcile us to the Father, but He was willing to do it to give us an example to follow.  In and through our penances, we become more Christ-like.  Yes, it is through our sufferings that we embody, more than any other time in our life, Christ Himself.  And so, we willingly take on some outward signs of penance as a sign of our Love for God.  I hope this makes sense.

Please remember that this Wednesday, we will be taking part in a Virtual Prayer Service in which Fr. Joseph Brown, S.J. will give the reflection.  I am sure many of you are familiar with Fr. Brown and we look forward to this time together.  I want to thank the Liturgy Team for their diligent efforts in putting on this time of prayer.  It is not easy, especially, for the ministers of music to sing from the comforts of their own home without any accompaniment—many thanks.  Have a nice week and make a glorious pathway for the Lord.