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  • Writer's pictureFather George

From Father George's Desk 3/3/2024

…“Sign, sign, everywhere a sign…” In today’s readings everyone is looking for signs. As happens so   frequently in John’s Gospel, the crowd demands a sign from Jesus as he cleanses the temple.  The Jews and the Greeks in Corinth are demanding signs and “wisdom” from Paul.  But our Christian faith is not based on signs and miracles and it makes no sense when applying simple human “wisdom”.  “We         proclaim Christ crucified,” Paul reminds us today, “to those who are called...Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.”  We are called—in these days of our Lenten spring and all the days of our lives—to proclaim Christ crucified in our thoughts, words, and deeds….to surrender ourselves in our weakness to God’s strength so that we may grow in that divine wisdom which surpasses our understanding.

 

So, as we approach the halfway point of our Lenten journey—it’s a good time to ask, “How well am I   doing?”  Am I taking advantage of the various opportunities for spiritual growth and understanding the season provides?  Is my prayer life deepening or am I stuck in a rut?  Have I been to the Sacrament of Reconciliation yet, or am I going to wait until the last minute again?  If we’re not satisfied with the       answers to these questions there is still time to do something about it.  It’s never too late to make this a good Lent…

 

· Make an extra effort to attend daily Mass if possible, even if it’s only once a week. 

· Stations of Cross are prayed each Friday at 9:00AM at Holy Family with the CDT school, Noon at St. John and at 6:00PM at Holy Family; this venerable devotion, popularized by St. Francis of Assisi in the Middle Ages, allows us the opportunity to reflect upon the saving death of our Lord as we trace the steps of the Via Dolorosa (the Way of Sorrows). 

· Bishop Kulick will be offering a series of Lenten Reflections at various parishes around the diocese each week, this week’s session will be on Monday evening at the Church of the Good Shepherd in Kent; check the diocesan website for more        information and the complete schedule. 

· Celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation...each Saturday at 3:00PM at Holy Family and 4:15PM at St. John. And our      Regional Lenten Penance Services begin this Thursday at St. James Parish in New Alexandria.

 

Thanks to the generous early donors at both parishes who have gotten our 2024 Diocesan Lenten Appeal off to a strong start.  We want to keep the momentum going so that we can get to work on our parish’s needs...at St. John to do some needed repair work on the main entry doors to the church and to add an automatic opener to improve access to our house of worship...and at Holy Family to do some badly needed updating to our security and fire alert systems.  Please prayerfully consider your pledge or gift to this year’s DLA in the coming days.  You may return your pledge or gift by mail, in person during office hours, or drop it in the     collection basket.  You can also make your pledge online by clicking on the “Donate” link on our parish website or by visiting the diocesan website, www.dioceseofgreensburg.org.  Watch for weekly progress reports in the bulletin beginning next weekend.

 

On Thursday the Church celebrates two women martyrs of the ancient Church, Saints Perpetua & Felicity, who are excellent    examples for us to contemplate during Lent.  We know little about their biographies, except that they were born in the late second century in the Roman Province of North Africa, Perpetua into a noble family of a Christian mother and a pagan father, Felicity into slavery.  During a persecution of the Church in the early third century, Perpetua, nursing a newborn child, and Felicity     pregnant and about to give birth, were arrested along with three others and condemned to death for being Christian.  Perpetua writes that  father pleaded with her to renounce her faith but she continually refused: “When my father in his affection for me was trying to turn me from my purpose by arguments and thus weaken my faith, I said to him, ‘Do you see this vessel—water pot or whatever it may be? Can it be called by any other name than what it is?’ ‘No,’ he replied. ‘So also I cannot call myself by any   other name than what I am—a Christian.’” Perpetua and Felicity, coming from radically different backgrounds but sisters by their faith in Christ, were beheaded together in the City of Carthage (in modern day Tunisia) about the year 203. 

 

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