“The Parish is where the Church lives. Parishes are communities of faith, of action and of hope. They are where the Gospel is proclaimed and celebrated, where believers are formed and sent to renew the earth. Parishes are the place where God’s people meet Jesus in word and sacrament and come in touch with the source of the church’s life.”
— American Bishop’s Pastoral Letter, 1993
(1 Corinthians 1:10-13,17) It is well known that Christians have abortions at about the same rate as non-Christians. Unfortunately it is rare that someone contemplating an abortion comes to me before the fact. It is only years later, if at all, that the aborted child’s mother, almost always the mother, comes seeking healing. The cases […]
The Season of Lent: Lent begins this Wednesday with Ash Wednesday. There is something about this day and this season that strikes a chord with many people, Catholics and non-Catholics alike. Although Ash Wednesday is not a day of obligation, our attendance will be greater than many a holy day. Among those attending will be non-Catholics who come to receive the ashes. Christians recognize that there is death and sin within us. It is close to us, much closer than we want it to be. Lent is the season for doing something different. We are all sinners, and we know that we are sinners. Christians hear God calling us back. He knows that we are sinners, but longs to pull us out of our sins and away from death. Lent is God’s promise of life, a promise that is fulfilled at Easter. Lent is our response to God’s call. We all need to walk more closely with God. We pray. We reflect. We do. We seek God in order to more closely model our lives upon His. We open ourselves to change, so that God may form and reform us more closely in His image.
We will resume the Basic Catechism series next week.
Readings for next week: Genesis 2:7-9; 3:1-7; Romans 5:12-19; Matthew 4:1-11
Reflection: Like us, Jesus was sometimes tempted to act against the will of His Father. Unlike us, Jesus never yielded to the temptation. Sometimes we think that Jesus was able to resist sin because He was God. We suppose that the occasional error of sin is only human. If that were the case, then Jesus could not have saved us. A demonstration of divine virtue would have said nothing about the virtues of humanity. Jesus, a man like us, chooses a life of obedience to God. There is nothing to stop us from doing the same thing. The tree of life was planted in the center of the garden. Adam and Eve chose to turn away. Jesus, as our tree of life, has planted the Spirit in the center of our hearts. He is our strength, the breath of our lives, the hope within, from which we must never turn away.
1. Consider a time when you lost faith in someone close to you. How was your faith restored?
2. Draw a picture of a tree. Label the trunk “Jesus”, and the leaves with the names of people and things that are important to you.
Prayer: Like you, Jesus, we face temptation every day. Sometimes it is a losing struggle. Be with us when we fall. Help us to return to the Spirit within. May your love always be the center of our lives.