Congratulations to Br. Silas Henderson, SDS, who was ordained a permanent deacon on February 20th in Tucson. Silas gave many workshops and adult formation classes here at Pius before he moved to Arizona, where he is the director of Jordan Ministry. Jordan Ministry’s online faith formation events can be found here. We accompany Silas in prayer as he continues his ministry of faith formation for adults.
I thank those who attended our reflection this past Tuesday. I hope it was a spiritually fulfilling experience for you. Please note the information in the bulletin and online for the diocesan Lenten retreat on the Gift of Sunday. The retreat is this Wednesday evening from 7:00 to 8:30 pm.
A main focus of our first readings during cycle B in Lent is on the various covenants God made with His people. Last week we heard the covenant with Noah, this week God repeats His covenant with Abraham, and next week we will have the covenant God made through Moses with the 10 commandments. We then hear, in week four, how the infidelity of the Jews caused the exile, but God, with his infinite faithfulness and mercy, used the King of the Persians to call all Jews back to Jerusalem and to rebuild the temple. Finally, the week before Palm Sunday and Holy Week, we hear Jeremiah’s prophesy that there will be a new covenant, written in our hearts.
We are living that new covenant, “the new and eternal covenant,” as we say in the consecration of the wine at every Mass. There will be no more covenants between God and us. It is no accident that Jesus died at the same time the Passover lambs were being sacrificed!
What does this mean for us today?
Jesus suffered and died for our salvation: that is God’s part of the covenant. We accepted it and entered into the covenant with our baptismal promise to live our lives according to the Gospel. When we fail, we are breaking the promise we made through baptism. The good news is that God is patient, God is compassionate, God is the Prodigal Father always waiting for us to come back to Him.
Lent is a special time of evaluating how we are living out our baptismal promises, resolving to “come back” to the God who is calling. That is why we renew our baptismal commitment as we celebrate Easter: we are celebrating God’s part in the covenant, so we repeat our part, reminding ourselves how we are to live.
As we enter into the second week of Lent, I urge all of us to make the best use possible of this time of renewal, listening as the Lord says to us, “Come back to me, with all your heart; don’t let fear, keep us apart.”
You are in my prayers for the most spiritually renewing Lent that you have ever had! God bless.
PS. I come across clever church signs, but often they are too long for the sign out in front of our church. So I have decided to start a CHURCH SIGN OF THE WEEK at the end of every letter. Here is this week’s: Prayer is talking to God. Meditation is listening. Be good at both.