Water in the Desert

Lent is a time of penitence and sacrifice.  It is also a time of promise and of grace.

icon

Jesus said to them,
“My food is to do the will of the one who sent me
and to finish his work.
Do you not say, ‘In four months the harvest will be here’?
I tell you, look up and see the fields ripe for the harvest.
The reaper is already receiving payment 
and gathering crops for eternal life, 
so that the sower and reaper can rejoice together.
For here the saying is verified that ‘One sows and another reaps.’
I sent you to reap what you have not worked for; 
others have done the work, 
and you are sharing the fruits of their work.”  (JN 4:34-38)

The seasons and days of penance in the course of the liturgical year (Lent, and each Friday in memory of the death of the Lord) are intense moments of the Church’s penitential practice.  These times are particularly appropriate for spiritual exercises, penitential liturgies, pilgrimages as signs of penance, voluntary self-denial such as fasting and almsgiving, and fraternal sharing (charitable and missionary works).

The process of conversion and repentance was described by Jesus in the parable of the prodigal son, the center of which is the merciful father: the fascination of illusory freedom, the abandonment of the father’s house; the extreme misery in which the son finds himself after squandering his fortune; his deep humiliation at finding himself obliged to feed swine, and still worse, at wanting to feed on the husks the pigs ate; his reflection on all he has lost; his repentance and decision to declare himself guilty before his father; the journey back; the father’s generous welcome; the father’s joy – all these are characteristic of the process of conversion.  The beautiful robe, the ring, and the festive banquet are symbols of that new life – pure, worthy, and joyful – of anyone who returns to God and to the bosom of his family, which is the Church.  Only the heart of Christ who knows the depths of his Father’s love could reveal to us the abyss of his mercy in so simple and beautiful a way.

Advertisements

CCD

Our Religious Education department is looking for volunteers to teach next year.  Two longtime teachers are ready to retire and need to be replaced.  Religious Education is also in need of a new Co-Director.  Please contact Earl McPhail at 805 901 1045 if you are interested.

Together in Mission

Thank you to all who have responded by mail or during our pew solicitations.  It is our hope that we will receive a pledge from all active households in our community.

“Together in Mission is a beautiful expression of our duty to love.  Because of Together in Mission, the Church is a force for human dignity and social justice for our families and our communities.  May Our Blessed Mother Mary teach us all to be more generous and loving with the gifts we have been given.” Most Reverend Jose H. Gomez, Archbishop