Dear Sacred Heart and St. Mary’s,
Praise God for these beautiful days we have been having! Great days on the farm. Plus, with any luck, an opportunity for some steelhead fishing in the coming weeks. I usually try to get out with an uncle every spring, but like everything else last year, it was a casualty of Covid.
We have a busy week this week! St. Patrick’s Day on the 17th and the Solemnity of St. Joseph on the 19th. Every few years, it happens where St. Joseph’s feast day lands on a Friday during Lent. The Solemnity trumps the fast day. That means that this Friday there is no fasting or abstinence required as we celebrate St. Joseph—this one who said Yes to being the husband of Mary and the foster father of Jesus. St. Joseph is my Confirmation saint, so this day is always high on my list. I personally plan on celebrating by getting my hands on the biggest burger I can find!
This week we will have two special opportunities for Confession. The first is Wednesday, the 17th, at Sacred Heart from 5-7pm. Fr. Tomy and Fr. David Reamsnyder from St. Anthony’s in Hillsdale will be present as well, so there will be ample opportunity to receive the Sacrament. The second is Thursday, the 18th, at St. Mary on the Lake. I will be hearing confessions from 4-6pm. These are great opportunities, especially during this season of Lent, to experience the grace God holds out for us.
We are offering our Lenten night of reflection as part of our Wednesday penance service. (Fr. Tomy and Fr. David will continue hearing confessions for the whole time period.) For the last hour of the penance service, we will have Eucharistic Adoration. After Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament at 6pm, I will offer a reflection on this season of conversion and grace. Afterwards I will be available for whatever you might find the most helpful—a time to pray together, talk through something, and/or confession.
The theme for the reflection will be overcoming and confronting obstacles. Praying about this season, I have been struck by this passage from Paul’s letter to the Philippians: 3:12-14: “It is not that I have already taken hold of it or have already attained perfect maturity, but I continue my pursuit in hope that I may possess it, since I have indeed been taken possession of by Christ [Jesus]. Brothers, I for my part do not consider myself to have taken possession. Just one thing: forgetting what lies behind but straining forward to what lies ahead, I continue my pursuit toward the goal, the prize of God’s upward calling, in Christ Jesus.”
Lent is a season where God calls us to something more, a time when we can lean into this pursuit of the goal. We strive to cast off all that is hindering us and run the race Christ has for us!