Journey Through Lent with Our Lady

Dear Friends,

Our Gospel this weekend is a portion from Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. He is very direct, you might say blunt, “…be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.” What a tall order. It seems impossible. Is Jesus serious?

Actually, He is very serious. He is calling us to live as He did. He suffered, died, rose again in order to save us, to redeem us. His total obedience to the Father’s will is not only a model to imitate but the very means whereby grace is made available to us to live like Him.

On our own, we cannot expect to become perfect like the Father. Original sin and our personal sins blind us and hold us back. But surrender to God’s Will and to His grace, especially through the frequent reception of the Sacraments of Confession and Communion, opens us up and moves us into the right direction towards God so that His goodness shines through us.

We are living Temples of the Holy Spirit. We are “salt and light” for the world. We are not to conform ourselves to this world and its ways but allow ourselves to be transformed by God’s grace so that we can help transform this world. It begins within each of us and our relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ nurtured in prayer. Jesus did not promise an easy, carefree life as a disciple. He did promise to remain with us always and to give us the graces we need day by day. And so, our humble surrender to Him, our persistent seeking Him is the key to growing in grace and perfection and the ways of God.

The holy season of Lent is about to begin. The ashes marked on our foreheads remind us not simply of our mortality but more importantly of our need to repent, convert and open ourselves up to God and His grace every day. Whatever penitential acts that we undertake or Lenten devotions that we participate in, may our focus be on Him who comes to heal, restore and forgive with abandonment and untold generosity. As we receive, so we are to share with others.

This year we encourage our parish family to allow our Blessed Mother to accompany you through Lent. Our parish Lenten Triduum ~ Journey Through Lent with Our Lady is scheduled for March 9, 10, 11. Our preacher will be Father Michael Shea, CM. Mass will be celebrated each evening and confession will be available each evening as well. This will be a wonderful opportunity for us to ask our Blessed Mother to draw us closer to Her beloved Son, our Savior.

God bless you, God love you,

Monsignor McCulken

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