Lenten Message 2016

Brothers and sisters: There are different kinds of spiritual gifts but the same Spirit; there are different forms of service but the same Lord; there are different workings but the same God who produces all of them in everyone. To each individual the manifestation of the Spirit is given for some benefit. To one is given through the Spirit the expression of wisdom; to another, the expression of knowledge according to the same Spirit; to another, faith by the same Spirit; to another, gifts of healing by the one Spirit; to another, mighty deeds; to another, prophecy; to another, discernment of spirits; to another, varieties of tongues; to another, interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit produces all of these, distributing them individually to each person as he wishes.
– 1 Corinthians 12:4-11

As we take a moment to reflect on our lives during this season of Lent, let us focus our thoughts and prayers on the unbounded Love and Mercy of Jesus Christ. Pope Francis has proclaimed this Year of Mercy to remind us of the ever present Love of Jesus and the many ways we can receive His Mercy.

Now, This year I’m not going to give you a long list of things to “give up” for Lent. Many of us will choose to limit our, or eliminate certain extras or luxuries as an offering of mortification. Rather, I’m asking you to take up a spiritual work of Mercy as your Lenten focus.

We learned the Spiritual Works of Mercy remember? Admonish the sinner, Instruct the ignorant, Counsel the doubtful, Comfort the afflicted, Bear wrongs patiently, Forgive offences willingly, and to Pray for the living and the dead.

I invite you to take a moment to reflect on these works and prayerfully consider taking one as your daily Lenten practice.

You may consider comforting the afflicted. How many different kinds of people there are in your life who are touched by sadness. And it’s not just a matter of going in with armchair psychology. It’s a matter of entering into their lives with the kindness and the compassion of Jesus Christ, comforting those who are afflicted. Expression of the problems or the difficulties in their lives and an awareness of your ability through the kindness and Mercy of Jesus Christ, to meet them.

These are just a few examples of how you can focus your Lenten time.

The culmination of your Lenten spiritual journey should be Holy Week. Starting with Palm Sunday, we remember how our lives have been forever changed. You might want to attend one of the special Masses or Liturgies that are unique to Holy Week, especially if you’ve never done so before.

My prayer for you this Lent is that the limitless Love and Mercy of Jesus Christ will transform your life, moving you closer and closer to a life filled with grace and the richness of his unconditional Love.

Blessed Lent to you – And I’ll see you at Sunday Mass!