February 11, 2024

February 11, 2024

Tomorrow, February 12, we welcome Bishop Malesic who will offer Mass in our church at 10:00 a.m. and have a visit with the school children. He had promised a visit in November for We Give Catholic but was unable to do so. This is his first visit to us as a parish community. 

While many people are commenting about Lent beginning at the same day as Valentine's Day and seeking dispensations from fast and abstinence, I can remember a story from my seminary days that I think is applicable as we begin Lent. We were on our way to the dining room for lunch after the Midday Office and we had to pass through a hallway of the college to reach this dining room. This was a temporary setup because of the construction projects that were going on. 

While we were traveling this hallway, we passed a table where Valentine's Day corsages were being sold. I said to Bro Lambert, one of the oldest members of the community, "Look, all the flowers being sold for boys to give to their Valentines." We entered the dining room and Bro Lambert pointed to the great crucifix at the head of the room and answered me, "And here is our Valentine."

As we begin Lent this Wednesday, I think Bro. Lambert's comment puts the whole season into perspective. We give candy and flowers to those we love and spend much money on cards and gifts as a profession of our affection for them. This Lent is a time to profess again, with more fervor and convication, the love we have for Jesus. By prayer we spend time with our Blessed Lord. Praying the Stations of the Cross, going to Mass during the week, signing up and following through on the 40 Days for Life are some of the ways we can show our love. We fast, not just on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday when we must, but perhaps on another day of the week to identify with those who are poor. We give alms to share our time, talent and treasure because Christ shared his life with us and gave his life for us. 

In the days before Lent begins, let us remember that Jesus loved us first. In the 40 days before us, how will we return that love to Jesus, our Valentine?