This is ‘Laetare Sunday’, which means Rejoice. Scripture states,

“Rejoice, O Jerusalem: and come together all you that love her: rejoice with joy, you have been in sorrow, that you may exult and be filled from the breasts of your consolation. The Psalmist tells us, I rejoiced when they said to me: ‘we shall go into God’s House’.”

This day we too enter into the house of the Lord and are greeted by a priest who is dressed in a pink chasuble, it’s a shame I’m away on vacation, since you know how much I love to wear pink. Seriously, we continue to walk through our Lent, pausing to rejoice that we move closer to Holy Week and soon to our Easter Celebration. We should ask ourselves how we are practicing our observance of Lent. Can you tell if you are holier? Whether strict to the fast, incorporated in prayer and almsgiving, or whether you struggle but sincerely reach to that transformation to holiness, struggling to maintain the fast, abstain from certain pleasures and find the ability to be generous by way of giving alms. Or have you chosen to ignore Lent and lost hope in what God presents to us in this journey? If so it’s never too late to open your heart to the wondrous transformative ways that are God’s ways. You might think it’s not worth the effort, or you’re so discouraged and simply don’t believe in your very own self. Yes this happens even to those who go to Mass every Sunday. If you could only see yourself as God sees you! He doesn’t give up does He? He always beckons us doesn’t He? He is like a hound who often gets his prey, that is gets us to pray…to hope…to love…to trust that He desires to work through us. Let Him! So how does the one who is indifferent to practicing Lent do this? First, ask God for help…it takes just a second. Second, realize you just started the habit of petitionary prayer. Third, don’t over think it! As a result of steps one through three, start working on putting God first by putting others in your life ahead of yourself. Yup, it’s this simple. Want some more insight, go to our website, www.stanns.net and click on our LIVESTREAM and click on our 3 day Lenten Mission…each is about 60 minutes long…fast forward to father Grover’s talk, which is about 25 minutes long. You will like his down to earth stories about him and his dad, and his struggles about not thinking he was smart enough for seminary, good enough to be a priest, or certain enough to take on the dilemmas he’s faced in life. LENT BRINGS OPPORTUNITY. Don’t be lazy. Don’t give up. Don’t be apathetic. Give God a chance to transform! So, today I say rejoice and be glad for your Heavenly Father sees what you do and brings his manifold blessings into your life. We have over two more weeks to go in this journey, so if you haven’t started some Lenten practice, be bold and start one today, remember that your Heavenly Father sees what you do and seeks to bless you with His grace to provide you fortitude to grow in happiness and peace.

Last fall we planted about 150 tulips, to celebrate Easter. We need to start soliciting Flower Offerings donations in memory of deceased ones; we have placed envelopes in the benches. Many of you like how we decorated the Church. The work is significant, we plan on removing all of the purple sheers right after the Good Friday Liturgy and on Saturday morning. We are replacing the sheers with bright yellow sheers and undertaking additional decorations which also include flowers. We could sure use a handful of volunteers. Please volunteer to help!