Pastoral Messages from Fr. Rick 3-20-22
Lenten Season: Remember that all Fridays during Lent are days of abstinence from meat for all Catholics 14 years of age and older.
Annual Collection for Catholic Relief Services will be taken up next weekend. CRS is well placed in Eastern Europe to help give immediate aid to those evacuating Ukraine. Please be your usual generous selves.
CRS Rice Bowls are available at the entrance of the church.
Synod on Synodality – We have begun our listening sessions for the Synod. Remember, the main idea is not so much for me to listen to you (although I will be listening closely) but more so that you listen to each other. Let each other know what your concerns are regarding the Church and what you want from each other. Again, please review the questions on the St. Christopher’s website (scroll down until you find them). Hard copies available in gathering space.
The second set of sessions for the second question will be on: Thursday, March 24, at 1:30 PM and Sunday, March 27, after 9:00 Mass
Remember you can also submit a question of your own making for the second session.
If you choose not to attend a live session you can share your thoughts and concerns by filling out a comment sheet that are provided in the gathering space.
Strengthen your Lenten Prayer with Lectio Divina: See our website:
Bishop Solis on Stewardship on Time and Prayer also see direct on our website. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=soV6gWl-lRc
The Lord is Kind and Merciful
Not only is the Lord kind and merciful (today’s Psalm), but He hears the cries of His suffering people and wants to free them (first reading, Exodus 3) AND He is patient with those who are not YET bearing fruit (today’s Gospel, Lk. 13:9).
So many around the world may find it difficult to feel the comfort in these words, especially in places like Ukraine, Afghanistan and Ethiopia. Why does so much terror and suffering beset some people while so many others seem relatively untouched and safe? Americans have felt much of the pain of the Afghan and Ukraine refugees and we are trying to help out as much as possible, but there are many limitations for many different reasons, be they logistical, political or geographical. We know we can pray for sure to a God who is present to every person in every situation and who is merciful. That certainly helps.
We are also reminded that when we pray and call out to God, He is going to make us part of the response. God called Moses to give Pharoh the bad news that He wanted the Israelites out of Egypt. The Israelites actually had to consent to be on the journey which would entail much struggle and danger for many years. They never knew the whole plan or the timing of events. They were told to have faith and follow the rightfully designated leaders. Also, in the parable from today’s Gospel the owner of the orchard relented in destroying the unfruitful fig tree, but only when the gardener pleaded for more time and committed to giving it some personal care.
In Paul’s letter to the Corinthians today he explains that many of the Israelites, in fact MOST of them, were struck down in the desert because ‘God was not pleased with them.’ They would be an example to future generations so that they would not also desire evil things. Much emphasis was put on being a good example.
Many of the suffering peoples in today’s world are having great struggles learning to build and develop stable democracies with strong accountability. Those of us who have enjoyed the great safety and prosperity of living in post-World War II America might feel a special responsibility to not only help others cope with their misery, but also to demonstrate responsible and wise living. Just as the tower of Siloam fell on the bad and the good, today’s comfortable might one day be tested in order to demonstrate resilience and grace under severe trial. St. Joseph on his Feast Day (March 19): Pray for Us!!