Pastor’s Reflection for March 5, 2017

Dear Parishioners,

We are now in the beginning of our Lenten season. As we had the distribution of ashes this past Wednesday, we were told to turn away from sin and be faithful to the Gospel. I did come across this article by Mary Healy which I find good for reflection as we begin our Lenten journey.

Jesus’ teaching on the two possible destinations of human life after death – heaven or hell, the eternal joy of union with God or the eternal misery of separation from him– has been constantly reaffirmed throughout Church tradition. Yet it is often brushed over or treated with outright skepticism by Christians today. Many of those who teach or catechize seem reluctant to comment on this most crucial perspective within which to live our lives. Some may be struggling with the question of how a good God could send someone to hell. But the truth conveyed in Jesus’ teaching is that we choose our own destiny. With every decision and action over the course of a lifetime we orient ourselves either to heaven or to hell, and at the moment of death we embrace what has truly become our choice. C.S. Lewis expresses it well: “There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, `Thy will be done’, and those to whom God says, in the end, `Thy will be done.’ All that are in Hell, choose it. Without that self-choice there could be no Hell.” But God never ceases to hold out His unfathomable mercy, even at the very moment when a person steps over the threshold into eternity.

Jesus’ warnings can also help to arouse in us a healthy hatred of sin, especially the sin toward which we are most inclined. Recognizing the seriousness of our responsibility to others can lead us to zeal for avoiding speech, attitudes, or conduct that could cause others to stumble. Recently at a large dinner party I was edified to notice that the host quietly avoided serving alcohol, aware that one of their guests was struggling with alcohol addiction. Similarly, I have observed people making sacrifices to avoid employment in a field that brings temptation to others.

Our monthly Healing Mass will be this Wednesday, March 8, starting at 7:00 p.m. with the recitation of the rosary.

We will again have The Light Is On For You on the Wednesdays of Lent for confession from 6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. beginning Wednesday, March 15.  Please see page 4 of the bulletin for more details.

I will be available for confession this week on Monday, March 6, from 1:30 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.

May Jesus continue to shepherd you in all of your needs.

God love you,