Most of us are familiar with the hymn “Here I Am, Lord.” This hymn is based on the reading we hear today from the Book of the Prophet Isaiah. Isaiah has a vision of God and as he is aware of the presence of the Holy One he becomes painfully aware of himself as unholy and he admits this to God. Isaiah is purified, forgiven and healed so that his words will be true and his message clear. He will be charged with bringing unwelcome news to his people, telling them their fidelity to God is not being translated into social justice. Their moral conduct is reprehensible, their worship is a sham. He will also be sent to tell of God’s generous love and compassion.
All that will come, but for now, the prophet is in God’s presence, learning God’s mind, listening to God’s words and letting them take root deep within him. How can he speak for God if he does not listen and learn? How can he convey God’s desires if they are not his own desires as well?
Without a clear vision of what lay ahead and without any certainty of how his message would be received, Isaiah agreed to be sent by God: “Here I am! Send me!” (Taken from Patricia Sanchez’s reflection in Celebration)
Do you know any prophets? Who challenges you to be the best that you can be in your love of God and neighbors? Who speaks those words of God’s love and compassion to you? How do you do that for others? Prophets are often annoying, but they are essential to helping us live in right relationship with our God and with others.
This week you will be receiving a letter from me concerning our stewardship appeal. You are asked to make a pledge to the financial welfare of our parish. You are also asked to consider ways you can give of your time and talent to benefit our parish. Please prayerfully consider what your response will be.
This week we also begin the season of Lent. Ash Wednesday we have mass at 8 a.m., 5 p.m., and 7 p.m. Other opportunities that our parish offers during this season of Lent are listed below.
- Daily mass: Monday, Wednesday, & Fri. at 8:00 a.m. Tuesday and Thursday at 6:00 p.m.
- Stations of the Cross on Fridays of Lent at 5:30 p.m. (There will not be Stations on March 22nd)
- Our parish communal Reconciliation Service is Monday, March 11 at 7 p.m.
- The Sacrament of Reconciliation is also available every Saturday from 4:00-4:30 p.m.
- There will be a five week session offered on a series called “Catholicism”. You can sign up to participate after mass today or call the parish office.
- Bring food for the hungry. Consider bringing a can of food for each of the 40 days of Lent.
- The Heifer Project helps provide animals for families in developing countries. There will be more information coming in our bulletin.
- The Knights of Columbus are offering fish fries five Fridays of Lent this year. Come and join fellow parishioners for some good food.
- There is a group of people preparing to put together a St. Joseph’s Table on March 16th. More information about this event will be in our bulletin.