This Wednesday is Ash Wednesday – the beginning of the Holy Season of Lent. Masses will be offered in our Church that day at 6:45am and 8:00am and at 12:10pm, 4:00pm, and 7:00pm. Ashes will be blessed and distributed at all those Masses.
There are several ways of looking at Lent. Some people see it simply as a time of penance. We give up treats we like to show that we are sorry for our sins and want to do better in the future. This is a good way of looking at Lent.
Other people look at Lent as a time to do something extra for God. They go to Daily Mass or practice extra charity as a way of going the extra mile for God during this holy season. This is also a good way of looking at Lent.
I personally think that it’s best to see Lent as a little of both. It is indeed a time of penance, but also a time for spiritual growth. This means that we make the most of Lent by both repenting of sin and doing something extra for God! There will be many opportunities to do this in our parish this Lent.
We will also have a series of Lenten Wednesdays on the Wednesdays of Lent at 7:00pm. Every Wednesday (except Ash Wednesday) a different priest or deacon will expose the Blessed Sacrament, preach a Lenten homily, and celebrate Benediction of the Most Blessed Sacrament. I encourage everyone to attend at least one, if not all, of these evenings.
We will, of course, pray the Stations of the Cross in Church every Friday of Lent at 3 and 7pm. Stations will also be prayed in the Church in Spanish on Fridays at 8:00pm. Praying the Stations of the Cross is a great way to remember what Jesus did for us on Good Friday, and to do something extra for Him!
To help people pray each day this Lent, we will distribute a booklet called My Daily Visitor for Lent 2022. They have a nice reflection and prayer for every day of Lent – based on the Scripture readings. I hope every family will take one from the tables near the Church doors. There are also little books about prayer designed to help teens and others learn different types of Catholic prayer.
Rice Bowls will be distributed as a means of helping us practice charity this Lent. As usual, I encourage every family to take one and fill it up this Lent. A good way to do this is to put spare change in it each day, or to eat a simple meal once a week this Lent and put the money saved in the Rice Bowl for the poor.
Confessions will be heard every Saturday during Lent from 9:00- 9:30am and 3:15- 4:15pm. Additionally, we will have a Lenten Penance Service on Mon, Mar 14 at 7:00pm. At least 10 priests will be here to help hear Confessions that evening, and at least two of whom can hear Confessions in Spanish. Participating in a Penance Service is a great thing to do for Lent.
My hope is that everyone will take advantage of these opportunities to repent of our sins and do something extra for God this Lent. Indeed, let’s all resolve to make this the best Lent of our lives – so that we can celebrate Jesus’ resurrection this Easter with our faith renewed and reenergized!!
Please remember to say a Hail Mary for me today and every day. I am always grateful for your prayers – and promise to keep you in mine.
Have a great week!