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Back Third Sunday of Lent
Friday, March 22, 2019
From the Desk of Fr. Ron…….
In times past, I have found myself advocating for youth who were in trouble with the law. Sometimes, this would include: arranging for attorneys, transporting family members to court, raising funds for bail and the rest. On one particular case, after hearing the testimony of many church members in regard to a young man, the judge decided to give the offender another chance. We were all overjoyed. However, the joy was short lived as the young man relapsed and again found himself in trouble with the law. This time there was no further recourse but the sad reality of suffering the consequences of one’s choices. In this weekend’s Biblical lesson from St. Luke, Chapter Thirteen, Jesus tells the story of a man who had a fig tree. For three years he looked for fruit, but found none. Threatening to pull the tree out of the ground, the gardener intercedes and offers to tend the tree carefully for one year. If no fruit was found, then the owner could do as he wishes. Earlier in this passage, Jesus reminds us that we are all sinners; we all fall short of the expectations of our loving God. Each year the Church provides us a period of time to foster the disciple of prayer, fasting and almsgiving. The Lenten Season is the time when the gardener has the time to till the soil of our hearts, in order that they produce fruit. Just as God had a job for Moses, so too does our loving Lord have a mission for you. Let us prepare ourselves well through our Lenten discipline to again hear the voice of our Savior, repent of our sins, and produce fruit for the glory of the Kingdom. Each year, we are given this special “second chance.” Let us use it.
YEAR OF PRAYER AND HEALING - This March, the Diocese of Buffalo began a special Year of Prayer for the Healing of Victims of Clergy Sexual Abuse and for the Church. This effort is coordinated by the Presbyteral Council and the Vicars Forane of the diocese. Lent is a time of prayer, mercy, forgiveness, and renewal. At the Ash Wednesday 12:05PM liturgy at St. Joseph’s Cathedral, Bishop Malone lit a purple vigil candle reminding all to pray for victims of clergy sexual abuse and for the healing of the Church. The candle will burn perpetually throughout the Year of Prayer and Healing before the statue of St. Joseph, the patron of the Diocese of Buffalo.
Throughout the Year of Prayer and Healing, each vicariate throughout the diocese will host a special time of prayer. The vicars and pastors of all parishes are asked to light a similar candle in their church now or in the month of their event. Next to the candle the Diocese of Buffalo’s Prayer for the Year of Healing and Prayer, will be posted:
O Merciful Father, Your Son in Love stretched out his hands upon the cross to embrace us. Embrace and heal our brothers and sisters who carry the wounds of abuse inflicted upon them.
Heal Your Church broken by this betrayal of trust. Cleanse and sanctify Your Clergy that they may radiate the selfless love of Your Son. And strengthen and call the people of the Church throughout Western New York to a new dawn of hope and grace in your Holy Spirit.
We ask this through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord.
This candle burns to so we never forget the harm caused to individuals, by the betrayal of trust within the Church. It represents sorrow for these actions ever occurring and the light of hope for healing. Nativity of the BVM will light a similar candle beginning at our Lenten Communal Penance Service on Wednesday, April 10th. Lord, hear our prayer!
CALLING ALL PALMS……Many have wondered and asked: “what do we do with our older dried out palm branches from last Palm Sunday?” Answer: You may bury them in the ground, burn them yourselves or bring them to church with you and deposit them in a special container that will be available in the sacristy room, throughout our Lenten journey. These will then be reverently burned and the ashes stored and utilized for Ask Wednesday, next year. Thank you.
CONGRATULATIONS to Jessica Wilhelm who with Debbie Daigler participated in the “Rite of Election” with Bishop Malone at the Cathedral of St. Joseph this past Sunday. Each year Catechumens, those being prepared to enter the church through Baptism, Confirmation and Holy Eucharist from around the Diocese have the opportunity to be officially called, prayed for and strengthened by their participation in this Rite. Their names are then signed into the Book of the Elect. We pray for Jessica as she journeys to Holy Saturday
LIGHT ON FOR YOU "CONFESSIONS" ARE HELD EACH LENTEN WEDNESDAY FROM 5:00PM – 7:00PM.