The ARISE faith-sharing groups have started to meet again during this Lenten Time of the year. I received a letter from a parishioner who described her long-desired need to reconcile with her sister. She asked for the prayers of her ARISE group, and they were thrilled to support her in her efforts as she made that difficult but all-important call to her sister. She received the response from her sister that she had so hoped for, and now their relationship is on the mend. She wrote this: “God’s wonder-working power is still available today, if we only remember to access it, collectively whenever possible, “for where two or three are gathered in my name, there I am with them (Matt 18:20). This Lent, the theme for the Arise sessions is Change Our Hearts; my group has helped me make a huge beginning towards this Change.” Beautiful words coming from the experience of change, which is what repentance is all about during Lent: a change of heart, then a change of mind, then a change of behavior, and finally a change of life itself. I hope that everyone who signed up for the ARISE experience will have their own stories to tell of how that opportunity helped you to change for the better in your relationship with God and others. And for those who have not signed up, please remember to do your part in praying for those who will be meeting weekly during this holy season of Lent. We will again say the ARISE prayer following the petitions during Lent.
We are also encouraged during Lent & Easter Time to use the Apostle’s Creed in place of the Nicene Creed that we normally profess on Sunday after the homily. The Apostle’s Creed (which is used in the rosary) is the “Baptismal Symbol of the Roman Church” and so we will use that creed (found on your Mass prayer cards) beginning today until the end of Easter Time. Speaking of the Mass prayer cards, some of them are getting worn and torn and we are trying to replace them with new ones.
After you have eaten your share of the loaves and fishes at our Fish Fry each Friday, you are welcomed to join us for the Stations of the Cross in the church which begin at 7pm. They help us not only to remember what Jesus suffered out of love for us, but they help us see how God can use our suffering for something good.
Since I was gone last weekend, we will have our Catholic Charities Appeal this weekend. What a great opportunity we have to feed, clothe and help Christ himself as our donations are used to help those in need.