Father Nathan Homily | Ash Wednesday|
February 17, 2021
Even now, says the LORD,
return to me with your whole heart,
with fasting, and weeping, and mourning;
Rend your hearts, not your garments,
and return to the LORD, your God.
For gracious and merciful is he,
slow to anger, rich in kindness,
and relenting in punishment.”
— Joel 2:12-13
Lent is not just a period of “fulfilling an obligation imposed on us by the church,” during this period of the year. Rather, it marks the beginning of an important part of our salvific history. It is truly a season of re-living or re-enacting the entire Paschal Mystery of Christ. On Ash Wednesday we express our love for God through the spiritual exercises of prayers, almsgiving, and fasting.
Paul calls this season:
“A moment of grace, a favorable time, very acceptable time, most lovable time, and of course, the day of salvation.”
Hence he admonished us to make use of this season in order to reconcile ourselves with both men and God. Like our first reading, the gospel reminds us of the most important virtues of this season: “almsgiving, prayer and fasting.” Not only did it highlight these virtues, it also reminds us that our Lenten observance must be carried out with humility.
On Ash Wednesday we express our love for God through the spiritual exercises of prayers, almsgiving, and fasting. It is a time when we make sacrifices of subduing the pleasures of the flesh in order to purify the soul. Yes, Lent is a matter of the heart as it affords us the opportunity to renew our hearts. In his Lenten message for 2021 Pope Francis says
“Lent is a time for believing, for welcoming God into our lives and allowing him to “make his dwelling” among us (cf. Jn 14:23).
Fasting involves being freed from all that weighs us down – like consumerism or an excess of information, whether true or false – in order to open the doors of our hearts to the
One who comes to us, poor in all things, yet “full of grace and truth” (Jn 1:14): the Son of God our Saviour.”
Let us pray that during this holy season, God will enkindle in our hearts the fire of his love. I wish you a very fruitful Lenten season. Amen
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Past Messages from Father Nathan
July 14 We Celebrate St. Kateri Tekakwitha – Patroness of ecology and the environment, people in exile, and Native Americans.
First Native American to be recognized as a saint by the Catholic Church
Praying a rosary has been a tradition in the Church for a long time. Praying the rosary is such a powerful means to reach Jesus. The rosary is the vehicle for Mary to intercede to her Son Jesus. It’s an extremely powerful weapon and Catholics need to hold it in their pocket at times.
44% of all Americans have received at least 1 dose of the COVID Vaccine. While India still struggles. We are blessed to Live in the USA!
Church tradition dedicates the month of May to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Ways to show devotion to Mary during the month of May.
April 18, 2021, Third Sunday of Easter. The majority of our parish has had a vaccine. It is time to move back to our regular mood of life.
At the Easter Vigil, the Exsultet is sung as Mass begins in darkness, illumined only by candles throughout the church. The Exsultet is a beautiful hymn of rejoicing in Christ’s triumph of sin and death.