Lenten Note From the Pastor's Desk

Dear Parishioners, Alumni, and Friends,

I can hardly believe that it is almost Lent. We have just finished taking the Christmas decorations down in Church and here we are on the doorstep of Ash Wednesday. In preparation for Ash Wednesday, we will be burning old palms on Sunday, February 11th.

Lent is linked by two themes, the baptismal and the penitential. It is a time of purification and enlightenment, a time for the parish to join a spirit of repentance and conversion. We who are baptized, even if we do not remember our baptism, can prepare to renew the baptismal promises made for us by our parents. This season shakes us out of our baptismal complacency to remember our ongoing conversion journey, the already and the not yet.

Mary's complete confidence in Jesus was rewarded that day when he turned water into wine. What must the servants have thought when Jesus instructed them to fill the water jugs to the brim? After all, what was needed was wine, not more water. But with Mary's confidence in Jesus combined with the servant's obedience to a puzzling command, a miracle happened.

Isn't that what we hope for this Lent: more faith in Jesus and obedience to his Word so that our lives can be transformed? The words of Jesus were sometimes spoken to a crowd of people and sometimes to individuals. But the miracle of scripture is that, in these words, Jesus is also talking to us, right now. Sometimes His words are comforting; reminding us how much God loves us. Sometimes His words are challenging, reminding us that we are to take up our cross and live the Gospel in our lives. Either way, the words of Jesus will bring us to eternal life.

This Lent, gather as a family to listen to the words fo scripture, reflect on them together. Your daily Lenten prayer will strengthen you to follow Jesus in all that you do. May Jesus take the water of our daily lives in this holy season and change it into the wine of eternal life.

Wishing you a grace filled and prayerful Lenten Season,

Father Paschal A. Morlino, O.S.B.