Dear Parishioners and Friends,
Did you ever think about Lent having two stages? From Ash Wednesday through Saturday of the third week of Lent, our Gospels at Mass come from the synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke). This “first phase of Lent” calls us to self-empty, moving us away from attachments, sin and self-absorption to that of increased attentiveness to the Lord and others. By examining our guilt, regret and sorrow for sin (compunction) we rely more and more on the Lord for healing.
Beginning with the fourth Sunday of Lent until Holy Week, the Church uses the Gospel of John as we sharpen our focus on the paschal mystery and how we are called to participate in the suffering, death, and resurrection of Jesus. This phase, or stage, places emphasis on Christ’s redemptive love for us and—through this same redemptive love—we (re-)discover our salvation.
May this graced season fill our hearts with the desire to grow in our awareness of God’s love for each of us as we embrace the disciplines of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. Be assured of my continued prayers for you and your loved ones.
Yours in Christ,