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Back The Second Sunday of Lent
Friday, March 6, 2020
From the Desk of Fr. Ron…….
It is said: “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” (Proverbs 29:18) What helps students get through midterm exams, term papers, and finals? The assurance that these are not “ends” in themselves but a means to an end; that is their vision of: passing that course, one step closer to getting their academic degree, better equipped for their future careers. Long term visions make momentary struggles worth the sacrifice.
In our first reading from the Biblical texts assigned for this second weekend of Holy Lent, Genesis 12 recalls God’s call to Abram. God provides Abram a vision of promise. “Go forth from your land, your relatives, and from your father’s house to a land that I will show you. I will make of you a great nation…..” (Genesis 12:1-2). The vision and promise bring assurance and confidence to Abram who listens to God’s invitation and positively responds thus he is called the “Father of all righteousness,” of “right relationship.”
The Gospel readings for the second weekend of Lent always recount the story of the transfiguration. Peter, James and John are given the opportunity to witness the vision of Jesus in glory with ancestors Moses, the lawgiver and Elijah, the great Prophet of God. Within this vision, they hear the Father’s declaration that echoes that which occurred at the Baptism of Jesus: “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.” (Matthew 17:5) It is this vision that will strengthen them to recover from the disheartening questions that the Passion, cross, death and burial of Jesus will pose in the near future.
Our diocesan family’s choice to engage in Chapter 11 reorganization at this time has brought about yet again a renewal of the sufferings we experience because of the sins of our past. The wounded victims who question the sense of this move, the desire of the our diocesan family to at least make equitable awards to compensate somehow for the abuse in the past while plotting a course for the future, and the revisiting of these issues again and again by our current church family engage us all in a spirit of “suffering” and even death. However, throughout this experience, we cannot forget that our church is not just an institution or a religious non-for-profit organization. We are truly a body, an assembly of believers led by the vision of Jesus our Messiah and Christ.
The agony of Jesus from His prayer in Gethsemane, through the arrest, scourging, crown of thorns, weight of the cross, nailing, and finally the shame of His exposure to all on Calvary’s hill, must have seemed like an eternity of suffering. His sacrifice and resurrection brought restoration, healing and new vision. This journey of collective suffering we experience must be embraced in order that the sins of the past be exposed to the light and that the victims may begin to heal. These current events are not the end of the story. The passion is yet ongoing but we can never let go of the vision of restoration that calls us through the darkness of these hours.
May the Lord’s strength that enabled Him to endure His Passion continue to strengthen us collectively as Church, through all own experiences of these times of passion and death; of healing and restoration.
OUT OF AN ABUNDANCE OF CAUTION the following measures are being taken by the leadership of Nativity BVM Parish in light of the flu and virus season:
We've removed all Holy Water from Church Doorway fonts until further notice. Please make the sign of the cross on your forehead when entering the church.
- We'd encourage a visual sign of welcome for each other at the start of Mass when invited to do so.
- We suggest an alternative to the handshake of peace... perhaps a putting your hands together in a prayer position, slight bow and making eye contact with each other wishing each other peace.
- We've suspended the availability of the cup of the Blood of Christ for now. Eucharistic ministers assigned will assist with more stations for the Body of Christ.
- As done in Rome, Italy for sanitary concerns we'd request all to receive communion in the hand.
Please check the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) website at www.cdc.gov for more detailed preventative information.