Sunday, March 26, 2017

Parish Bulletin Article: "Halftime of Lent": 3-26-17

            Here we are, the fourth Sunday of Lent—laetare—rejoice!
            I remind myself that this weekend is a spiritual “halftime” for Lent.  We have concluded three and a half weeks in and we have three weeks left.
            Take time to thank God for the ways you have offered your alms, prayers and fasting.  Rejoice!  I certainly thank God for many of these as we have as a family to offer gifts.  We have given physical food to the hungry in our community and money for the Operation Rice Bowl and the Missionary of Jesus with Fr. Melanio R. Viuya.  These are awesome to watch and participate for here and around the world. 
            We have prayed through our regular weekend and daily Masses as well as the rosary and Eucharistic Adoration.  We have also walked through the Stations of the Cross on Tuesday evenings.
            We have fasted through Ash Wednesday and not eating meat on Friday’s (unless you used the dispensation from Bishop Paul Sirba for St. Patrick).  Many have probably sacrificed another type of offerings also.
            At the same time, this is a good point to discern a good question: how am I doing during Lent?
            Like a coach at halftime, this is the point to consider how we can grow.  How can we tweak our goals?  How could we still add something?  How have we given away alms?  How have we prayed?  How have we fasted?  How can you focus in our spiritual life?  How can we try something new (especially Mass, confession and our 40 hours of adoration next weekend).
            Here are two quotes that I will be focusing for the last three weeks.  First, I remember a great line from a priest from seminary: “If you have not fallen against a goal during Lent, you probably didn’t challenge yourself enough.”  And second, I was inspired what Fr. Melanio told me last weekend: “We are all missionaries of Jesus”.
            Brothers and sisters, rejoice this weekend and also test your own life for Jesus Christ.  Follow Jesus to love our neighbor and feed the hungry!  Work hard in Lent as the next season will begin in three weeks and God will always give His providence to us and remind us how His son is our savior and redemption.

            God Bless!

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