March 26 – Fourth Sunday of Lent
“One thing I do know is that I was blind and now I see.” (Jn 9:25)
Today’s gospel from John 9 is situated in the temple in Jerusalem. The feast of Tabernacles had arrived when people lived in tents outside to recall their dwellings in the desert. During these festive days, the priests would carry water from the pool in Siloam (where today’s miracle occurs) to the temple. Tabernacles was also a feast of lights where four great menorahs were erected in the Temple. The cure of the man born blind has strong baptismal overtones. Jesus used spit and mud to cure the blind man as he invites him to “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam.” Like our Creator God in Genesis 1 and 2, Jesus heals the blind man and recreates him. The man who was cured suffered a lot being interrogated by the Pharisees; he underwent a conversion process as he eventually met Jesus to make a profession of faith. I am reminded of the story of John Newton whose experience as a slave trader and eventual conversion led to become an ordained minister and pen the words to the familiar hymn: Amazing Grace.
Traditionally, the Fourth Sunday of Lent is called Laetere Sunday. We have begun the season of spring and are four weeks away from Easter Sunday. Duringthis Lenten season we have been praying for the elect and those waiting to make their Profession of Faith at the Easter Vigil. We prepare ourselves to renew our baptismal promises and be sprinkled with the waters of new life.
I ask you to pray for all those in the world who are blinded by sin, anger and violence. One of the goals of a good Lent is the celebration of the sacrament of Reconciliation. I invite you to attend our Communal Penance Service on Saturday April 8 at 10:00am at Three Holy Women-Holy Rosary Parish, 2011 N. Oakland Avenue.
Fr. Mike Michalski
March 19 – Third Sunday of Lent
“Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain-
And most fools do.” (Benjamin Franklin)
“But it takes character and self-control
To be understanding and forgiving.” (Dale Carnegie)
Holy Scripture shows we humans have a long heritage of criticizing, condemning and complaining.
Be it our ancestors in faith having walked through the Red Sea, saved by a God who lives his promises, complaining in the desert about the food and water situation, or people complaining about Jesus because he tried to be good to every-one, even sinners and enemies; be it the current political climate in which whatever “side” we are on, we create in our words and actions more heat than light … it all comes down to the sad propensity we have to find division and immediate gratification and our own agendas overriding charity, unity and common sense.
The gospel this Sunday is a wonderful story in which Christ puts it on the line. The woman at the well is “complaint-worthy” and “judgment-ready”. Christ encounters her as a real person, not an issue. He loves her even in her unloveable-ness (if that is a word!) And challenges us as his followers to be very careful in how we treat others, especially those we disagree with or find unloveable. Let’s pray to grow in character and self-control, to be understanding and forgiving, to help our crazy world find the truth by living the Truth, Jesus our Lord and Savior.
Sincerely, with love,
March 12 – Second Sunday of Lent
“And he was transfigured before them; his face shone like the sun and his
clothes became white as light.” (Matt 17:2)
Today’s gospel is very appropriate for today as we officially begin Daylight Savings Time and “spring” ahead one hour. We will notice more daylight both in the morning and at night as we move forward toward the spring equinox and the celebration of Easter. Tonight we will have a full moon.
The placement of today’s gospel about the Transfiguration of Jesus for the Second Sunday of Lent is not by accident. Many Christian denominations heard this gospel on February 26th, the Sunday before Lent begins. Today’s gospel, following last week’s account of the temptation of Jesus in the desert, serves as a reminder of the healthy tension that we all live with. We face the challenge of moving from sin/death to amazing grace and the promise of eternal life. As we struggle in the desert with all the temptations of the human condition, we climb the mountain to catch a glimpse of what we all shall be on the day of resurrection. This gospel also served as a reminder to the Elect, chosen for the Easter sacraments, that on the day of their baptism, they would be dressed in a white garment. In truth, we are all “glory bound” along with Abram, Moses, Elijah and all the saints. This weekend, our RCIA candidates and catechumens will celebrate the rite of sending to the Cathedral and, later in the afternoon, be “elected” by the Archbishop for the Easter sacraments. Please pray for bishops-elect Jeffrey Robert Haines and James Thomas
Schuerman who will be ordained to the Order of Bishop on Friday March 17th at the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist. We already received notice of the Dispensation Decree from Archbishop Listecki that all Catholics are dispensed from abstinence from meat and meat products on St. Patrick’s Day.
Please pray for all our First Communicants and their families as they celebrate First Reconciliation this Saturday March 18th. Also, I hope you have already registered for the Stations of the Cross to be held on Saturday March 18th from 1:30 p.m.-3:30 p.m.
A big Thank You to the Arise Team and our parish staff for helping to organize the Lenten Retreat held last Sunday March 5. We have all experienced the healing power of Jesus Christ and are ready to follow Him this Lenten season.
Fr. Mike Michalski