It’s kind of hard to believe that we are already in the fifth week of Lent. Just two more weeks to go until the great and solemn feast of Easter begins. As the “high holy days” approach this coming Sunday with Passion Palm Sunday leading up to Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and the Easter Vigil we as the Church and as an individual walk with our Lord on his journey to Calvary. We all share in his bitter passion and even more in his glorious resurrection. Through His death, we have life. As we have journeyed through the desert these last 40 days we have focused on our relationship with Jesus deeply through our prayer, almsgiving, and fasting. We have also journeyed with our Brothers and Sisters who are preparing to profess our faith and begin living new lives as members of Christ’s holy and apostolic Church.
However, this is also a great time to walk with our brothers and sister who are no longer practicing the faith or who may have left the Church for whatever reason. Some may have been hurt, and rightly so, it’s ok for them to be angry with the Church. In these cases, all we can say is “I’m sorry.” Others may have just fallen out of the routine of going to Mass on Sundays. Well, it is our duty to follow through with the mission given to us from Christ to be his disciples and spread his gospel to “the ends of the world.” Why don’t we start with people we know and invite them back to Church. Statistics show that 1 of 4 Catholics attend Mass faithfully on Sunday. Personally, I find that a little alarming! So, in these final days of Lent, let’s go out there and simply invite someone back to Church this Easter and show them the joy in the risen Christ through the Catholic community. This Easter, Catholics Come Home!
Below is a brief video welcoming Catholics home. More information can be found at www.catholicscomehome.org
Novena to Reverse HHS Mandate
Father, You unite the human family
through the blood of Your Son Jesus Christ
and the gift of the Holy Spirit.
At this time of need,
when Your Church and all Your people
are called to stand firm against injustices
inflicted on us from our government,
we ask You to strengthen us in the bond of unity.
Strengthen the unity of Your Church,
that none of Your faithful may be on the sidelines,
but that everyone may be active in this battle.
Give Church leaders the grace to discern
the many varieties of the working of Your Spirit
that they may fan into flame the gifts that the Spirit
bestows freely on Your people.
And give us the wisdom to know
that no group has a monopoly on the defense of life and freedom.
May we work in an ecumenical and inter-religious spirit
and welcome the efforts of all people of good will
who believe in freedom of religion and conscience.
We pray through Christ our Lord. Amen.
(From the weekly “Enews” from the Diocese of Honolulu)
Not much is known about Saint Joseph, who’s Solemnity we celebrate today. We know from scripture that he was a “just man, unwilling to expose Mary to shame,” when he found out that she was with child and also that he was an obedient man listening to the Angel in his dream concerning Mary’s pregnancy and then after the birth of Jesus taking them to safety in Egypt. He and Mary were also observers of the laws of Judaism and quite devote by presenting Jesus in the temple and the annual trip to Jerusalem for passover.
The Church has named him the Patron Saint of the Universal Church and also the patron Saint for husbands, fathers, the unemployed, and those close to death. Just to name a few. In today’s Office of Readings Saint Bernadine of Siena says this of Joseph, “…Saint Joseph, the foster father of our Lord and the husband of the Queen of the world, enthroned above the angels. He was chosen by the eternal Father as the trustworthy guardian and protector of his greatest treasures, namely, his divine Son and Mary, Joseph’s wife. He carried out this vocation with complete fidelity until at last God called him, saying: Good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of your Lord.”
Saint Joseph is the model of vocation. He shows us what it means to truly serve the Lord by caring for ones family. As any model man, he cared for, worked for, and protected his family – his greatest treasure. He also had trust in God and was ever so obedient to his will and law and on top of these he was humbled. In whatever vocation we may find ourself in, may Joseph be our model and guide to never draw attention to the self, but rather always point to Jesus, his foster son.
Saint Joseph, just as you protected Jesus and Mary, protect the Church, the world, and the institution of the family through your intercession and for the glory of God the father. Be a model of humbleness for each of us and pray for all fathers and husbands that they may be good providers and protectors of their wives and children. Saint Joseph, pray for us!