Last Sunday, our Father and Holy Mother Church set the tone for the remainder of Lent. They are inviting us to begin to rejoice, be joyful, exult, and be satisfied in light of the great revelation Jesus is about to make during Holy Week. Jesus is about to reveal in a very tangible way the depth of His love for you! We are also invited to rejoice in anticipation of the victory of Jesus over sin and death. It is fitting for us every Sunday, but especially these Sundays leading up to Easter to respond with joy and hope to all that Jesus has accomplished and accomplishes for us.
KING DAVID AND ST. PAUL, THROUGH THEIR TESTIMONY AND EXHORTATION, HELP US TO PREPARE OURSELVES TO CLAIM THIS JOY WHICH IS PART OF OUR BIRTH RIGHT. St. Paul exhorted us to turn to Jesus! Jesus is light. He is our light! And we are called to become light in Him. This loving invitation of Paul to turn to Jesus is also an exhortation to turn our backs to our own personal darkness. For all those times that we have lived moments of our life and still do live moments of our life with our backs to Jesus, darkness creeps in. You might say to Paul: what do you mean, my own personal darkness? St. Paul would then start asking you questions about how you are living your life: your relationships with family, friends, co-workers, and neighbors; your relationship with things; and the spirit with which you live your life. If you respond: But, I’m a good person . . . what does it matter if I . . . St. Paul would take you by the hand and lead you to the Cross of Jesus and say to you: son, daughter, you cannot look at the Cross of Jesus and say how you are living your life doesn’t matter! King David joins with Paul in inviting us to turn to our Lord! The Lord sees our heart! He doesn’t judge us as the world does. When we turn to the Lord with a trusting heart, He pours His Holy Spirit into our hearts. We experience the Holy Spirit rushing upon us as He did upon David. David also exhorts us to turn our backs to the darkness of the world, to the way the world sees things. This darkness becomes evident when we look at the fruits of the world’s way of seeing things. The fruits of the sexual revolution, divorce and abortion on demand, have not brought us a greater freedom, joy, or peace. There is even now a movement of thought that denies that our Lord God created us male and female. It is so interesting to note that in a materialistic culture we have arrived at a stance which goes like this: your body, your physical body has no implications whatsoever on the reality or the gift of who you are. How you feel and what you decide is the only force that can determine reality! {Please! My stating this doesn’t mean that I am an insensitive, hatemonger of a monster! I don’t hate anyone! I love all and invite and hope all to encounter Jesus and become a part of His family here at St. Louise!}
A PERSONAL ENCOUNTER WITH JESUS IS LIFE CHANGING The Holy Gospels during this holy season of Lent have placed before our eyes how powerful it is to encounter Jesus! We have witnessed the woman from Samaria and a blind man leave their encounter with Jesus changed. In both cases, the fruits of their encounter with Jesus also brought blessings upon others. In the case of the woman from Samaria, a whole village came forth to encounter Jesus and all were blessed with the gift of faith in Jesus as the Savior of the world! These encounters inspire us to embrace more fully of our mission here at St. Louise: To facilitate as many people as possible in our parish boundaries to ENCOUNTER Jesus and be established in a personal relationship of friendship with Him To offer and challenge God’s holy people with opportunities to GROW in their knowledge and love of Jesus so that the very way we live our lives might bear WITNESS to others of the reality and our experience that we are loved; that we have hope; and that we have been forgiven. Every time we receive the most Holy Body and Blood of Jesus, let us open our hearts to this life changing personal encounter with Him. Each Sunday, as we leave our Church, our disposition ought to be one of rejoicing and serious commitment. The rejoicing flows from our experience of being loved, being forgiven, having hope, and being served by Jesus. The commitment is our response to what Jesus has done for us as we say to those in our lives: you know, the way Jesus has loved me, has forgiven me, and has served me . . . I promise that I am going to love you, forgive you, and serve you in the same way!
Have a blessed week and remember to pray for one another.