As we begin together our Lenten journey, I would like to offer some brief reflections about this
penitential time of healing and conversion. The Lenten Season, which runs from Ash Wednesday to Holy Thursday, is the period of preparation for the renewal of our baptismal promises at Easter. It is a time to discover that the fundamental enemy of every Christian is sin. Once we identify our true problem in our own sins, aided by the sacramental grace bestowed by our Mother Church, we fight the good fight of faith armed with the powerful weapons of prayer, fasting and almsgiving.
Not by chance, the character of this liturgical season has always been deeply marked by the catechumenate (RCIA), that is, the process of Christian initiation into the sacraments of Baptism, Eucharist, and Confirmation. The time of Lent is the time of immediate preparation for the reception of these sacraments of initiation. It is a time of intense formation, not only for those
entering the Catholic Church, but for the entire Christian community. Lent is our great opportunity to rediscover, revive and renew our own Baptism, to reawaken our baptismal grace, to experience our total incorporation into Christ and to his Church in our daily lives. It is a time of conversion, of return to the way of the Lord, and of reconciliation with and service to our brothers and sisters.
We can't journey the path of Lent on our own. We belong to a community of faith which walks together towards the Risen Lord as the sign of God's saving presence in the world. Just as sin wounds our relationship both with God and with our neighbor, our Lenten sacrifices bring us closer to God, but also to our parish brothers and sisters. Our faith requires
concrete incarnation through real, personal and actual Christian deeds done to those we share our life with. During these days of purification and renewal, let us recall that “faith without works is dead” (James 2:26).
Currently, God is giving our parish family a wonderful opportunity to come together with our brothers and sisters to put into practice the power of our Baptism. God has given us the mission of building a new parish center, which will enable us to build up the Body of Christ. I hope that as we partake in the three pillars of Lent – prayer, fasting, and almsgiving – we may remember
this mission God has entrusted to us; that we will listen attentively to the Word of God and spend more time in prayer, asking the Lord for guidance and listening to Him. That we will fast from the things that keep us from Him – gossip, our selfish plans, etc; and that we will give of ourselves to our fellow brothers and sisters and to the many people in this world who desperately need to hear the Good News and have an encounter with Jesus Christ. Almsgiving is not giving the leftovers, or giving to feel good about ourselves. It means putting others’ needs before our own. I am truly grateful to everyone who has put the great need of our parish center before their own, making sacrifices in their lives to give for the New Evangelization. through Adoration of the
Blessed Sacrament, Confession, daily meditation of the Scriptures, supporting the needs of
our brothers and sisters, courageous giving, joining one of our parish ministries, etc.
Father Felix P. Medina-Algaba