March 26, 2023 – Fifth Sunday of Lent
Easter is only two weeks away and the entire Christian world cannot wait to celebrate the most central feast day of our profession, the victory of Christ over sin and death by his own Passion, Death, and Resurrection. As the joy of Easter draws near, we are excited to see so many expressions of new life at our parishes!
These days many of our children, preparing for the sacraments of Reconciliation and the Eucharist, are getting ready to celebrate these sacraments this spring, accompanied by our amazing Family Ministry and UPLIFT team!
We are also happy to share great news from our own Catholic East school. Last weekend, 5 of our students flew out to Atlanta accompanied by CEE staff and parents to participate in the global Amazing Shake competition at Ron Clark Academy, with over 260 students from all over the country and the globe. The competition looks for professional skills for success such us manners, discipline, respect etc. The great news is that one of our students from Catholic East was the third place champion in the overall ranking! We are so proud of our school and grateful to Mr. Trzcinko, the principle and to all the great CEE staff and community for the great work and commitment to our students!
Already five weeks into the season of Lent, our pastor Fr. Tim and I are also very grateful for the ways you have supported our Family of Four parishes by means of your alms giving and generous contributions in time, talent and treasure.
Our Love One Another campaign is getting off the ground with the first few pledges and we are excited to build on this momentum. We would like to thank all the volunteers who have so generously helped us with the campaign. We will be looking for all families to participate and to prayerfully consider their own contribution, and we thank you also for the prayers you can offer for the success of the Campaign at our parishes!
March 19, 2023 – Fourth Sunday of Lent
“God made humans because He loves stories.”
These three middle weeks of Lent have stories that are like good family stories we tell around a family dinner table. The Woman at the well, the Man born blind, and Lazarus are like old relatives whose stories inspire and amuse and help us believe we belong to a great tradition of characters whose experience of Jesus changed their lives for the better and holds out the hope that even in our crazy, at times confusing lives, life can get better.
Life can get better! What more be said? We are all the stuff of stories; we are all characters, irreplaceable in our unique incarnation of God’s great imagination.
So cherish your story, wherever it is leading you. Lent reminds us that is where Easter starts. Whatever is going on, for good or bad, is leading us to Jesus and the greatest story ever told!
For the believer in Jesus, there is always a happy ending!
Sincerely, with love,
March 12, 2023 – Third Sunday of Lent
Easter is fast approaching. In a little less than a month, we will be celebrating that Jesus Christ conquered death by his Passion, Death and Resurrection. Ever since that first Easter day, those who believe in Christ (us!) have access to life in abundance, on this earth and into eternity!
I have been moved by the effort that many of you show in living out these forty days of Lent with fervor and commitment. My hope is that, come Easter, we can put as much effort into celebrating the fifty days that make up the Easter season. The life of the Risen Christ, a life that He does not keep to himself but that He shares with each one of us through the Sacraments and prayer, is truly worth celebrating!
During this penitential season of Lent, we have two major celebrations, or solemnities, that give us a taste of the joy that is to come at Easter, namely, the solemnity of St Joseph on March 20 and the solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord on March 25.
As we continue living out this season of Lent, I also invite us to think ahead and to begin planning ways in which we will commit to celebrate the resurrection of the Lord for fifty days (the Easter season) to show that, in the end, with Christ as our Friend and Savior, “All shall be well!”
March 5, 2023 – Second Sunday of Lent
“Have patience with all things but first of all with yourself.”
(St. Francis DeSales)
As we hear the story of the Transfiguration in which Jesus is brilliantly manifested in his conversation with Moses and Elijah as the culmination of God’s loving plan of salvation for this rather crazy, broken humanity, it strikes me that not only does he not want the shrine his follower Peter proposes to build to the event, but he doesn’t even want them to talk about it until after the Resurrection. Why the hesitation? If it were me, I would say, let’s get it done. This is so cool. Let’s take it public and get on with things.
Well, thank God it is not good old impatient me! Jesus knows process, and the need for patience as things will work out, but not according to our plans and control but the loving will of the Heavenly Father, as through Jesus, he tells us, “I got it all worked out—be patient. Don’t jump ahead in the process. Remember, a step at a time.”
Jesus still has to face the Cross, and his followers the anguish of the unknown. We still have to face the crosses of our lives and the anguish of the unknown.
I can see God telling us, “Take things a step at a time, and when you specifically don’t know where things are headed, you are right where I want you. Then your ego will not get in the way of my work. Just be patient. Start with yourself and then everyone else, especially those hardest to be patient with.”
Heaven is a way off, but is closest to those who wait patiently, and joyfully even, in the midst of the unknown.
Have a blessed Lenten week.