A word from Pope Francis ~ “Let us not miss out on the grace-filled opportunities born of encounter, listening and discernment, in the joyful conviction that, even as we seek the Lord, he always comes with his love to meet us first.”
Today we mark the Second Sunday of Lent. Our Gospel reading this weekend gives us Luke’s account of Jesus’ Transfiguration. It is a moment of glory when everything in Jesus’ life came together. Coming at this point in our Lenten journey, this Gospel is a bit like an hors d’oeuvre. It is meant to give us a sneak-peak of the glory that Jesus won for us through his death and resurrection. And it is promised to us if we are faithful in living our call to be Jesus’ disciples. Our personal moments of glory—those moments when it seems as if everything in our life comes together—brief as they may be, are hints of what awaits us in God’s Kingdom.
During these early weeks of Lent, the Scripture readings and Mass prayers at our weekday Masses invite us to seriously respond to the call to conversion of heart that we heard both on Ash Wednesday and the First Sunday of Lent. We are encouraged to continue in our efforts to enter into the season as best we can. The initial invitation is repeated again and again. We are called to deepen our response as disciples of the Lord Jesus. We are called to take the next step in our life-long task of turning away from our sinfulness and turning toward our God. The traditional Lenten penances of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving are held up before us as excellent ways of responding to this challenge to faithfully live the Lenten season.
Last weekend at our 5:00 pm Saturday Mass, we affirmed the progress of our catechumens in the RCIA process and formally sent them to the diocesan Rite of Election, held last Sunday at St. Raymond’s Cathedral in Joliet. Congratulations to our catechumens, now called “The Elect,” and to their sponsors, who are accompanying them on their journey. They have been formally called to celebrate the Easter Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist at the Easter Vigil, coming up on April 16. As they spend this Lent in preparation for their initiation into our community at Easter, they are living signs of the conversion that we are all called to experience this Lent. We promise them the support of our prayers this Lent.
Thank you to all who have already pledged to the 2022 Joliet Diocesan Catholic Ministries Annual Appeal, and especially to those who responded to Bishop Hick’s homily and pledged at our recent in-pew “Commitment Weekend.” This Appeal is the major source of funding for all of our Diocesan ministries and charities. We are doing everything possible to reach our 2022 CMAA goal of $154,900. It can be possible with the participation of each family in our parish. If you haven’t had a chance to pledge yet, please do so as soon as possible. Envelopes are available at the Hospitality Desk and at the Parish Office, or you can give on the Appeal website at http://jolietdioceseappeal.org. Your generosity is deeply appreciated.
As Lent progresses, let us continue to pray for and support each other in our Lenten practices. Many opportunities for the traditional Lenten practices of Prayer, Fasting and Almsgiving are listed in the bulletin, as well as times for the Sacrament of Reconciliation, and Adult Faith Formation offerings.
We also pray for peace throughout the world, and especially for an end to the violence we have witnessed in the invasion of the Ukraine. Know that your priests pray for you each day. May God continue to bless us with everything that we need, and more.
Father Jim Murphy