Taking care of those who are poor and in-need means a great deal to me and you have shown many times over that it is as equally as important to you. When we speak of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, it is worth remembering that our Heavenly Father draws us into His Son’s Sacred Heart, a heart which is filled with overwhelming amounts of love and compassion. Thank you for bringing this love and compassion as we reach out to those who struggle economically and otherwise. This Ash Wednesday you glorified God when you filled the pews in the Church AND CHAPEL or when you attended the Drive-In Mass, at which 160 cars were filled with worshippers! What an incredible way to begin our Lenten Journey. Through your financial gifts in the offertory we were able to raise $1,684.00 for Catholic Charities! This is an organization on the front lines helping those in need. They ran out of money in the beginning of the Pandemic and have relied upon us to help fund their mission. We have supported them with financial donations to the food pantry, in addition to providing food to their operation in Brockton. Your donations to Our Lady of the Angels in Roxbury/Jamaica Plain has filled their once-empty shelves, and last weekend we filled half the three season porch with your food donations! We will take the food next Saturday morning (8:30am) to JP. If you want to help bring the food up to the pantry, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org, as we will be doing this trip every other Saturday morning.
On this Second Sunday of Lent, I hope you have had a chance to put into practice our three ways to Glorify God: Prayer, Almsgiving and Fasting.
PRAYER: When we say we are going to Mass, what does that mean? Well, my take on this is that we are going to Church to participate in the PERFECT PRAYER OF THE CHURCH-THE HOLY MASS. Would you consider attending our daily 5:00PM Mass? We have many people who attend virtually through our livestream www.stanns.net and they participate in a spiritual manner, but attending physically allows the faithful to receive the Eucharist (the Real Presence of the Risen Lord). This Divine Encounter with Jesus is the source and summit of our lives.
ALMSGIVING: Our first impression, is that it means supporting the offertory collection. This is our time to take the gifts that God has given us and share our resources with the needy. Your gift to the offertory supports the operation of the parish, both in terms of buildings and various parish ministries we engage in as part of the universal church and other organizations we support. We have launched the CATHOLIC APPEAL, which funds the central ministries of the archdiocese, as well as funds agencies and ministries that outreach to the poor and disenfranchised. Their work includes helping immigrants, families in poverty, homeless kitchens and shelters, caring for the mentally ill and providing support to those who suffer from addictions. Each year you give generously to the parish and central ministries, and so it’s worth being reminded that though this is a suggested Lenten practice, its actually one you undertake each year.
FASTING: Now this is one practice we all could engage in with a little more effort. Did you know your supposed to fast each weekend an hour before you attend Mass? We fast from food and drink (water is an exception) as a way to show God our thanks for all He provides, and as a way to prepare for being lifted up in the Perfect Prayer of the Church. Fridays in Lent we are also encouraged to abstain from meat, another way to bring forth our yearning for God. Let’s pray for each other that Our Heavenly Father, who nourishes us each week with His Son, help us to make this a Lent one of Prayer, Fasting & Almsgiving.