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Parish Daily Update 2/19/21

Dear Parish Family,

“Here comes the sun,

Here comes the sun,

And I say it’s all right.

Little darling, I feel that ice is slowly melting.

Little darling, it seems like years since it’s been clear.

Here comes the sun,

Here comes the sun,

And I say it’s all right.

“Here Comes the Sun” – song by the Beatles

I feel like this song is particularly apropos today!  With the sun, its light and warmth, comes renewed hope for the end of difficult times and for better days ahead.  Enjoy the sunshine!!

Due to the continuing extreme weather, many people being without power and water, and the inability to get out for groceries and supplies, Bishop Kopacz has issued a dispensation from abstinence from meat for TODAY, Friday, Feb. 19 (one day only).  In place of abstaining from meat, Bishop Kopacz asks “everyone to offer up fervent prayers and alms for those suffering in these most difficult situations.”

I feel like if it stays sunny and continues to warm, the ice in the parking lot will melt so that we can celebrate together on Sunday.  I will keep you posted!   Please stay warm and safe and remember, don’t stand near the eaves of your roof.  As the ice melts, large slabs can slide off the roof and you don’t want to be underneath when that happens!!!

God bless,

Pam

Saturday after Ash Wednesday  

First Reading:  Isaiah 58:9-14

Thus says the LORD:
If you remove from your midst oppression, false accusation and malicious speech; If you bestow your bread on the hungry and satisfy the afflicted; Then light shall rise for you in the darkness,
    and the gloom shall become for you like midday; Then the LORD will guide you always
    and give you plenty even on the parched land. He will renew your strength, and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring whose water never fails. The ancient ruins shall be rebuilt for your sake, and the foundations from ages past you shall raise up; “Repairer of the breach,” they shall call you, “Restorer of ruined homesteads.” If you hold back your foot on the sabbath from following your own pursuits on my holy day; If you call the sabbath a delight, and the LORD’s holy day honorable; If you honor it by not following your ways, seeking your own interests, or speaking with malice Then you shall delight in the LORD, and I will make you ride on the heights of the earth; I will nourish you with the heritage of Jacob, your father, for the mouth of the LORD has spoken. 

Responsorial Psalm:  Ps 86:1-2, 3-4, 5-6 

R.  Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth.
Incline your ear, O LORD; answer me,
for I am afflicted and poor.
Keep my life, for I am devoted to you;
save your servant who trusts in you. 
You are my God.
R.    Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth.
Have mercy on me, O Lord,
for to you I call all the day.
Gladden the soul of your servant,
for to you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
R.    Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth.
For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving,
abounding in kindness to all who call upon you.
Hearken, O LORD, to my prayer
 and attend to the sound of my pleading.
R.    Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth.

Gospel:  Luke 5:27-32 

Jesus saw a tax collector named Levi sitting at the customs post.
He said to him, “Follow me.”
And leaving everything behind, he got up and followed him. Then Levi gave a great banquet for him in his house, and a large crowd of tax collectors and others were at table with them.
The Pharisees and their scribes complained to his disciples, saying, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?” Jesus said to them in reply, “Those who are healthy do not need a physician, but the sick do. I have not come to call the righteous to repentance but sinners.” 

Homily 

“I have come to call not the righteous but sinners to repentance.”  Luke 5:27-32 

It’s an act of faith to plant an amaryllis bulb in the dead of winter.  

As the harsh cold of the season rules, the brown bulb lies dormant in its pot. For weeks, the pot appears empty — but the faithful planter knows better. There’s promise under the soil. The planter waters and feeds the barren earth regularly and repositions the pot to catch the greatest amount of the spare winter light. The planter watches and waits. 

And then, some six or seven weeks later – the length of a Lenten season – the first tiny shoot breaks the soil. And every Lenten day it shoots forth a few centimeters of hope. Soon a stalk, big and strong enough, forms. And by Easter, colorful blooms trumpet the first Alleluias of Easter.  

[Suggested by a poem by Sara Fischer.] 

An amaryllis mirrors the hope of this Lenten springtime: that love can spring forth and blossom in the midst of apparent barrenness, that there is reason to hope in the midst of despair, that light will rise one dawn to shatter our overwhelming sense of darkness and sadness. The Risen One promises us that the seeds of joy, trust and community that we plant in the hardest of soil and nurture in the coldest of winters will take root and blossom and yield a miraculous harvest. 

So, let’s find some seed of hope to plant this Lent. 

Gracious God, Giver of all life, plant the seed of your Word within us. During this Lenten season, may that Word take root in our hearts, that we may realize the harvest of your joy and mercy in every place and season.  

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.