Greetings my friends! I hope this message finds you well. This weekend we find ourselves nearing the mid-point of Lent. I hope that your Lenten journey has been fruitful. For so many of us, this season provides us a very tangible and invaluable opportunity to take a good look at what we are doing to improve our lives through fasting, the lives of others through “almsgiving” or charity and, most importantly, our relationship with God particularly through prayer. What a beautiful gift the Church has given us! It is on us, of course, to show our gratitude by using this gift well.
Another gift that we have been given is the countless examples of a life well-lived by our ancestors and, in a most powerful way, the Saints. Not only are we in the middle of Lent, we are also in the middle of “Patrons Week”. Three of our patrons are celebrated in late March – St. Patrick on the 17th, St. Joseph on the 19th and the Blessed Mother on the Solemnity of the Annunciation on the 25th. These special feasts are established to celebrate our patrons’ lives and to give us another opportunity to pray for their intercession on our behalf. They continue to pray for our needs.
Through our patron saints and through the many “patrons” who have contributed so much to our parishes, we have been given the blessings of beautiful churches, a faith-filled community and welcoming parishes. We have also been given a clear outline of how we are called to live our lives. We are called to be faithful to God’s call (Mary). We are to
care unconditionally for those who are entrusted to us (Joseph). We are called to have faith even when things seem impossible (St. Jude). We are called to spread God’s Word throughout the land (St. Patrick). Finally, our parish benefactors have reinforced the examples of our patron saints by their support of our parishes by praying, volunteering, sacrificing and contributing to the needs of our parishes, diocese & community.
So, the invitation to each of us is this. As we move through the remainder of Lent and into the Easter season, let us each dive even deeper into what it means to pray, fast and be charitable for us and our parishes. Let us open our hearts to what God is asking of us and to what our patrons have modeled for us. Then, as the call becomes more clear, we will advance in our journey toward a greater relationship with God when we act on that calling and imitate these fine examples. Future generations will be looking to us. What will they see?