Pastor’s Keyboard: The Easter Season has finally come! Now we have 50 days in which to dive more deeply into deep prayer and study and meditation on the Resurrection of Jesus. So grate, so magnificent, so consequential-is this event, the church actually gives us 50 days to enter more deeply into it. Yet we should not leave all the penances of Lent behind. Recently a good priest friend of mine, who is often led by the Holy Spirit, sent a powerful message out to his Parishioners that I felt was truly inspired by the Lord. One that we should all embrace and strive to live. He wrote the following:
“I believe that we are at halftime of this pandemic battle. The Triduum was the Coach’s pep talk. But now comes LENT II. That is right all you LENT LOVERS. I feel in my heart that for the first time in my 31 years of life (LOL), I now see Lent differently. I believe that the evil one is going to mock Christians more than ever after today. WHY? Here is what I hear in my prayer: “If your Christ is so great and can come out of a tomb, how come you still have to wear a mask?”
I believe that now you and I have to make the decision to live this Lent differently. Before it was an obligation, but now is it LOVE. In the first Lent, I chose my sacrifices and mortifications. In Lent II, Christ is choosing. In Lent 1, it was 40 days and I wore purple. In Lent II, it will be 50 days (to Pentecost) and I will wear white. Lent I – no Gloria at Mass and very subdued. Lent II must be lived in the joy of the GLORIA and great hope. I hope I am clear. More than ever, the choice to love Christ and His Church is no longer just an obligation but a choice. And in my heart, I hear – to be a saint, you must choose Christ, love, joy and hope.
So, to answer the question that many have asked … Now what? For me – I am not stopping. I hope you won’t either. The evil one is very patient. He wants us to give up our mortifications and spiritual programs. Don’t. It is only halftime. I’m choosing to continue. Now it’s up to you. What will you choose?
Thanks, Jesus – what a great Lent. Thank you, Jesus, for finding a WAY for your Mercy to be shown, TRUTH communicated, and LIFE poured out.
So, I, too, as your pastor, invite you to enter Lent II. Maybe continue some Lent practices and take on some new ones or to change it up choose some new ones you can unite to the cross as we ask the Lord to get us and those we love safely through this pandemic and that He will help us become more trusting, more faithful, more peaceful in it and through it. It will not be easy, but since the Lord has allowed it, we can be assured that He will offer sufficient grace to make it through. Pray much, read more scripture (especially the gospels and Paul’s Letters), and make a good plan of life that includes exercise, spiritual and leisure reading, family time (if possible), and a good sleep and wake up time. These two will help you be healthy in mind, body, and spirit
Your brother and father in Christ,
Fr. Scott Woods