1st Lenten Sunday (Note & Bulletin)

​Every morning when I begin a new day, I always have a concrete resolution – this day I will keep God as my focus.  But by the time I get the kitchen for breakfast, I’ve already allowed my focus to shift - thinking about myself yet again!  Often times we start with good intentions, of wanting to be a better Christian, of following the Lord more closely, and then life happens and we forget and derail, even just a bit.  This can cause great frustration and disappointment within us.  And yet, that frustration and disappointment is still another moment of focusing on ourselves instead of Him.  If we seek to keep God at the centre we will know that our times of failing do not have to mean some thing that is permanent.  Looking at Christ we can know that God does not share our frustration and disappointment.  I must remind myself countless times every day that the Lord is my focus.  We can freely remind ourselves without feeling defeat or fear because our God’s love is a merciful love.  For me, Lent is a time of doing two things more intensely.  First, with greater intention I seek to raise my life and soul up to God.  Second, with greater freedom I seek to let God see me.  

​In the Second Reading, St Peter tells us “Christ suffered for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous.”  As we try to allow God to see us, our full persons, we must keep Peter’s words in mind.  I can raise myself up to God only if I trust Him and trust that he will not reject me.  I can allow God to see me only if I know in my heart that God’s gaze will be loving.  And we can know this because Peter has reminded us that we need never be afraid – Christ went to the Cross out of love for each of us.  I focus on all me imperfections in my life and faith, why not focus on his merciful love?  Why not “repent, and believe in the good news”?  We repent of looking too much at how we fail and believe in the news that is truly good.  We believe, no matter how hard it is to do so, that Jesus gave his very self for each of us.  This he did out of love, his love for you and for me.  And so in Lent we rejoice.

God Bless and Take Care!   —Fr John

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