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Parish Daily Update 2/17/21

Dear Parish Family,

“Our fasts and abstinences, our extra devotions and disciplines, are about more than just ‘following rules.’  Our desire for an interior life of peace should be the fuel that helps us burn through the uncomfortable days of fasting and abstinence, and the forty day of doing something more.” 

~Rachel Bulman in “Here Comes Lent!  Let the Saints Help Us Out”

If you didn’t see yesterday’s post, all Ash Wednesday Masses and Services for today are cancelled!

Fast and abstain from meat today; abstinence every Friday during Lent!

Also, due to the fact that we have not been able to be in the office for phone calls this week, we will have Mass without reservations this Sunday.  You will be seated on a first-come-first-served basis and we are hopeful that we will be able to accommodate everyone who comes.  As always, thank you so much for your patience and understanding as we navigate these crazy times!!

I went up to the church this morning to check on the buildings.  The parking lots are solid sheets of thick ice!  With the additional ice/snow that is headed our way, I hope you are all safe inside and are staying warm!  Please, please stay off the roads if at all possible!!  Hopefully by this weekend we will be well into the “melt” and we can look forward to the 60+ degree weather next week!!!!!

Tomorrow’s Mass readings, along with Father Kevin’s homily, follow.

God bless,

Pam

Thursday after Ash Wednesday  

First Reading:  Deuteronomy 30:15-20 

Moses said to the people:
“Today I have set before you life and prosperity, death and doom. If you obey the  commandments of the LORD, your God, which I enjoin on you today, loving him, and walking in his ways, and keeping his commandments, statutes and decrees, you will live and grow numerous, and the LORD, your God, will bless you in the land you are entering to occupy.
If, however, you turn away your hearts and will not listen, but are led astray and adore and serve other gods, I tell you now that you will certainly perish; you will not have a long life on the land that you are crossing the Jordan to enter and occupy. I call heaven and earth today to witness against you: I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. Choose life, then, that you and your descendants may live, by loving the LORD, your God, heeding his voice, and holding fast to him. For that will mean life for you, a long life for you to live on the land that the LORD swore he would give to your fathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.”
  

Responsorial Psalm:  Ps 1:1-2, 3, 4, 6 

R. Blessed are they who hope in the Lord.
Blessed the man who follows not
the counsel of the wicked
Nor walks in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the company of the insolent,
But delights in the law of the LORD
and meditates on his law day and night.
R.    Blessed are they who hope in the Lord.
He is like a tree
planted near running water,
That yields its fruit in due season,
and whose leaves never fade.
Whatever he does, prospers.
R.    Blessed are they who hope in the Lord.
Not so the wicked, not so;
they are like chaff which the wind drives away.
For the LORD watches over the way of the just,
but the way of the wicked vanishes.
R.    Blessed are they who hope in the Lord. 

Gospel:  Luke 9:22-25 

Jesus said to his disciples:
“The Son of Man must suffer greatly and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed and on the third day be raised.” Then he said to all, “If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. What profit is there for one to gain the whole world yet lose or forfeit himself?” 

Homily 

“If, however, you turn away your hearts and will not listen, but are led astray and adore and serve other gods, I tell you now you will perish; you will not have a long life on the land that you are crossing the Jordan to enter and occupy.”  Deuteronomy 30:15-20 

Sometimes our decisions are based strictly on finances: Can I afford this? Is this a good deal? How will this investment affect my 401-K? 

Other times, it’s a matter of protecting our reputation or career advancement: What will people think of me? Will this jeopardize my standing in the company? Is this the “politically savvy” thing to do? 

And then, there are decisions made primarily out of fear: I’ve heard about them – I’m staying away from that. I’ve been hurt before – I’ll keep to myself. I don’t know what to say or do – I don’t want to make matters worse for them. 

More often than we care to admit, those decisions can leave us, at best, unsatisfied and incomplete – or worse, cause hurt and pain in the long run for ourselves and others. 

On the eve of the Israelites entering the land God has given them, Moses gives a last exhortation to the new nation on the covenant God has established with them. Moses reminds them that their future depends on their faithfulness to the principles of justice and mercy that God has shown them during their long Exodus from Egypt to Canaan. They must act not out of profit or bigotry or political expediency but with compassion from the “heart,” choosing life and blessing before self-interest and destruction, seeking always what is good for all rather than self-interest. 

As God speaks in the words of Moses to Israel, God speaks to us in our Lenten journey. Consider over these next weeks of Lent when and how we find ourselves opting for “death” instead of what is life-giving and affirming, when we demand “curse” over the blessing of healing and restoring, when our attitude and actions destroy trust and hope. 

May this Lenten springtime bring us new life – life that begins with decisions made from the heart. 

Lord, may your Spirit lead us into the desert of our hearts this Lent to hear your voice speaking to us in the core of our being. Let these 40 days be a time of hearing again your Gospel of reconciliation and compassion and re-igniting its light in our minds and spirits as we negotiate the challenging path to your Kingdom. 

An Act of Spiritual Communion
My Jesus, I believe that You are present
in the Most Holy Sacrament.
I love You above all things,
and I desire to receive You into my soul.
Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally,
I ask You to come spiritually into my heart.
I embrace You, trusting that you are already there and I unite myself wholly to You.
Never permit me to be separated from You.  Amen.