Your ways, O Lord, make known to me; teach me your paths. (Psalm 25: 4)
During the season of Lent, you will notice on the front of the bulletin quotes from the psalms for our liturgy that day. Today we ask God to make known His ways. In his reflection on today’s Gospel Michael R. Simone, S.J. speaks of how we come to know God’s ways.
In this week’s Gospel passage, Jesus urges repentance as a first step toward faith. As Pope Francis recently reminded his listeners, “Only those who recognize their sins and ask forgiveness can receive the understanding and forgiveness of others.” It is pointless to seek reconciliation with someone we have wronged if we refuse first to change. Moreover, it is only through our own repentance that we can learn to recognize and trust the true repentance of others. A person who has never sought forgiveness has little understanding of how to forgive another. Only when we know the true vulnerability and relief that comes from righting our own wrongs will we be sensitive to the same movements in others. Repentance for our sins strengthens our compassion for others.
Repentance also teaches us to trust the love of others. Asking forgiveness is an intimidating task, but when we do it properly, it can deepen the bonds of love. This is probably why Jesus counsels us to repent first, then believe. What we learn from trusting the love of others we can apply to our faith in the love of God. We can, like Noah and his family keep our faith in God alive even when it is difficult.
Lent has begun, and with it comes an opportunity to increase our faith through works of penance. Every time we set right some wrong we have done, we come that much closer to the faith of Jesus, who found signs of the Father’s love in everything his eyes beheld. (America)
- Our small groups are beginning to meet. My group will begin Monday morning after mass. It is not too late to join a group. We still have some books available, if you should need one.
- We will have mass on Tuesday and Thursday evening at 5:30 p.m. during this season of Lent.
- Come and enjoy the fish fries on Friday nights. Check the bulletin for the Fridays the dinners will be available and the times. Come at 5:30 and take part in the Stations of the Cross before you go to dinner.
- Confirmation is this Wednesday, Feb. 21, at 7:00 p.m. Everyone is welcome to participate in this celebration.
- Someone asked me about the requirements for abstaining during Lent. The Church requires the abstinence from meat to be observed by all Catholics 14 years old and older on Fridays of Lent.
I pray that we come to know the ways of the Lord in a deeper way this Lent.