Mark your calendars: The Formation and Evangelization Commission will sponsor an hour reflection/adoration for Lent, as it did in Advent, on Tuesday evening, March 12. Child care will be provided. More details will follow, but please plan on taking advantage of this opportunity to enter Lent in a quiet, prayerful way.
As most of you know, I am the Director of Candidates for my religious community, the Society of the Divine Savior. Four times a year (January through April) I go to Siena Center in Racine to meet with directors and candidates from other religious communities of men and women. The first one for 2019 is this coming weekend. Deacon Patric will be preaching the four weekends I am gone. This weekend Fr. Peter Schuessler SDS will be the presider for the Masses. Please keep us in your prayers.
For the Church, the Christmas season ended last weekend with the Baptism of the Lord (Christmas season used to go until February 2nd, the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord [not “Groundhog Day”]). Starting this weekend we observe 7 Sundays of Ordinary Time, before entering into the Lent/Easter season.
We are in the year of Luke. Why do we have the wedding of Cana from John? Puzzled, I wrote and asked our Salvatorian expert, Br. Silas, who responded: Epiphany traditionally included 3 "manifestations" of who Christ was: 1) the visit of the Magi (Revelation to the Gentiles), 2) the Baptism (the revelation of Jesus as the Son) and 3) the wedding at Cana (Jesus' first miracle and revelation of his divine power). That mystery solved: this year the Church makes sure we read about all three aspects of Jesus being revealed!
The big “ah-ha” at the wedding feast of Cana was that Jesus had power over physical matter, that He was divine. While we can’t change water into wine, we all have gifts that we can use for others, as Jesus used His gift over nature in the Gospel.
That is the point of our wonderful reading from Paul’s letter to the Corinthians: To each individual the manifestation of the Spirit is given for some benefit. Each of us has received gifts from God and we are to use them for the benefit of the community. Sometimes we like to give ourselves a “get out of jail free card,” telling ourselves that we have nothing to give. But we do. It could be time used visiting the homebound and simply listening. It is time and physical strength that can be used in cleaning, decorating, etc. It is musical talents, reading talents, ability to work with children, etc., etc. ALL of us have been gifted by God and called to share with others.
Reflection: How good am I at sharing my gifts with others? Am I simply a consumer or do I contribute to the community? How can I do better? And let us support each other in prayer.
-- Paul James Portland, SDS