Lent began on Ash Wednesday this week and the theme which our parish is “adopting” for this Lenten Season comes from Catholic Relief Services, the organization that provides the Rice Bowls that we distribute to our students in Faith Formation and to our parish families. Please be sure to pick up a Rice Bowl at any of the church entries and commit to donating your daily change throughout Lent. The Rice Bowls are then brought to Mass on Holy Thursday or Easter Sunday and the money is gifted to those in need around the world. Our “small change” can make for an incredible life change for others. As for the “Encounter”, Fr. Tim’s column introduces to our parish an opportunity to grow in our understanding of encountering others as we come to know our Hispanic/ Latino friends and neighbors. The “V Encuentro” or Fifth Encounter invites us all to reach out to others and welcome them to our community. And although “V Encuentro” is focused on our Spanish speaking friends, what we learn from the encounter spans the world; the whole of God’s people. Let us open our minds and our hearts to this effort not only during Lent, but from this day forward. As we approach Lent, I invite you to consider how we as People of God might look at the many ways in which we encounter both our brothers and sisters and Jesus Christ in our daily lives. The definition of the word encounter includes: As a noun: Meeting, Happenstance, Chance meeting As a verb: Meet, Come across, Run into, Stumble upon Also as a verb: Face, Confront, Contend with, Clash with, Grapple with, Avoid
So encounter might very well describe where we are in many places in our lives; personally, communally and even globally. We indeed encounter one another on a daily basis, whether in our homes, at school or work, or simply as we go about our day. Sometimes our meetings are planned and deliberate, other times they simply happen. And in those encounters, each and every one of them, we have a decision to make: will I accept and treat this person in a loving and respectful way or will I clash with them and attempt to avoid them. Like I stated earlier, this can happen anywhere and can include both those we love and the stranger we just happen to meet. In all of this, what is Jesus calling us to as his disciples? The upcoming season of Lent could very well provide for us an opportunity to wrestle with these questions: How do I meet the stranger? How do I deal with a family member that am in conflict with? How do I grapple with all that I hear in the news in regard to encountering others? Jesus went out into the desert for 40 days and grappled with many things, including evil. Let us consider doing the same this Lent; finding a quiet place and taking deliberate time for deep reflection. Let us, like Jesus go to God, our Father, for strength to continue our faith journey. Prayers for a Blessed Lent,
He Would Love First!
October 24, 2020
A July Faith Formation Series – Part IV – APOSTOLIC