This week our Catholic Church and all Christian churches the world over, move into the liturgical season of Lent which officially begins on Ash Wednesday.
And even though Ash Wednesday is not a Holy Day of Obligation, the Church is pleased at the number of people who gather for Mass. Some have joked that it is because we are giving something away for free; the ashes. I believe it to be a bit deeper and more important than that!
We are drawn to a time when we gather as a faith community and process as one Body of Christ to receive the mark of Christianity on our forehead in the form of the Cross. It seems a re-commitment to who we are as Christians, a very visible sign that we are followers of Jesus Christ. Lent is a penitential season that calls us to reflect on our sinfulness and our need for salvation; the salvation gifted to us by the death
of God’s own Son on the Cross.
The next six weeks we are invited to enter into this season, mindful of our need for forgiveness, mindful that we cannot save ourselves from the ravages of sin. Only in Jesus Christ are we saved! Only by his death on the Cross and his triumph over death in his Resurrection are we afforded the promise of eternal life with God and the compete forgiveness of our sins. Lent is a good time to reflect on our relationship with Jesus and his people. This Lent all members of our parish are invited to attend and participate in a Parish Mission: “God’s Story, Our Story” (Watch for details in upcoming bulletins!) A parish mission is a “retreat” of sorts, that beckons us to set aside time, gather with friends in faith, listen to presentations that challenge us to live as Christ and to grow in faith together. Make the commitment today to attend our parish mission - April 7-10.
Lenten practice of more time in prayer, commitment to acts of love and kindness and receiving the sacrament of Reconciliation can help prepare us for the ultimate celebration of the Risen Lord at Easter. There are many opportunities here at St. Francis Xavier to participate in prayers, devotions and the sacraments during Lent. Many are included in this bulletin and in the coming weeks more information will become available. Let us together prepare our hearts for a season of repentance, renewal and recommitment to our call to be a people of gospel generosity.
May your Lenten journey be a blessing,
He Would Love First!
October 24, 2020
A July Faith Formation Series – Part IV – APOSTOLIC