Christ is Risen, Alleluia!

Christ is Risen Alleluia, Alleluia! Let the Alleluia's ring out today! Alleluia is an expression of joy or thanksgiving and is derived from the Hebrew word for "praise God." We have refrained from the joyful jubilant cry of Alleluia for the whole season of Lent. Now it is time to rejoice in the Lord's Resurrection. Let us praise God and may you all have a joyfilled Easter. May God bless us

Holy Week

We call this week Holy Week.

It begins today with the celebration of Palm Sunday, where we enter into the presence of Christ's triumphal entry into Jerusalem at the approach of His hour. The latter part of the Holy Week is known as the Easter Triduum, which includes Holy Thursday and the celebration of the Last Supper as we rejoice in the Eucharist and the priesthood, and Good Friday with the Passion and death of our Lord.

The Easter Triduum concludes with the celebration of Easter with the Vigil in the night and with the Masses throughout Easter Sunday. May this be a week where we grow in holiness as we accompany the Son of God through his passion, death and Resurrection.

May God Bless you.

We are Called to Wait and Believe

The way Jesus interacts with people in the Gospel is at times baffling to what I would initially think to be logical. Like the example in the Gospel that is related by St. John where the one Jesus loves is ill, which is a phrase used to describe Lazarus. The Gospel also lets us know of Jesus' love for Martha and Mary the sisters of Lazarus. Right after the description of the love of Jesus for all of them and the need of the healing presence of Jesus, we are given the detail that Jesus remained where he was for two more days. That is the part that is baffling to my logic! You love them all, one of them is at the point of death, and yet you stay where you are for two more days?

One of the details that comes at the beginning of the Gospel sheds light on where the logic needs to be adjusted. What is going to occur is to be "for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it."

I believe that we can also reflect on our prayer by the way St. John - through the guidance of the Holy Spirit - presents the Gospel account to us. We ask God for many things and sometimes we do not see our prayers being answered right away. If they are prayers being offered for a great length of time, there can be a temptation to believe that God does not love us or care for us. It is helpful for us that St. John leads off by describing Jesus' love for Lazarus, Martha, and Mary. When we are called to wait like they did, or often for a much longer time for our requests to be answered, let us continue in patient faith and hope for we can have the confidence that Jesus loves us and desires to do greater things than we may initially even ask for in our prayer.

May this time of Lent be a time where Jesus is revealed more fully to us and may we glory in his presence. May God bless you.

The Season of Lent

The season of Lent in preparation for Easter is a good time to reflect on the precepts of the Church. How are the precepts of the Church described?

The Catechism describes them as “positive laws...meant to guarantee to the faithful the very necessary minimum in the spirit of prayer and moral effort, in the growth of love of God and neighbor.

There are five of them:

1) Attend Mass on Sundays and on holy days of obligation and rest from servile labor

2) Confess your sins at least once a year

3) Receive the sacrament of the Eucharist at least during the Easter season

4) Observe the days of fasting and abstinence established by the Church

5) Help to provide for the needs of the Church During the season of Lent, and especially the upcoming weeks with our Lenten Penance services, we have a great opportunity to fulfill the second precept and to prepare for the Easter celebration with a clean heart.

May this time of Lent be a time where Jesus is revealed more fully to us and may we glory in his presence. May God Bless us.

How People of the Bible experienced 40 days

Last week I looked at some of the times the number 40 was used in denoting a time of prayer and Fasting during the season of Lent.

Three of the people who experienced the 40 days of prayer, fasting, and preparation are all seen in the Gospel account of the Transfiguration and can be examined further.

Moses and Elijah both receive messages from the Lord on a mountain. God is revealed to Elijah in the whisper and God gives to Moses the law. Jesus is manifested to us through the Transfiguration on Mount Tabor. He shows himself in direct relation to the great receiver of the law Moses and the great prophet Elijah. Even when Jesus performs some of his miracles some of the people around him are still blinded from seeing his divinity.

In the Transfiguration, Peter, James and John are given the gift of seeing Jesus' divinity in all its glory.

May this time of Lent be a time where Jesus is revealed more fully to us and may we glory in his presence.

May God Bless us.

40 Days of Lent

Why forty days of Lent? This is a good question.

First, we are not alone in our prayer, fasting, and almsgiving during this holy season of Lent. We do this as parish communities as well as a Universal Church.

Second, there are things that we do together. We accompany each other in abstaining from meat on Friday, fasting on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, and by taking up penance during the season. We can also go to the Bible to reflect with others who spent 40 days or years in similar ways.

• In Exodus 24:12-18, we join Moses in his stay of forty days on the mountain before receiving the Commandments.

• In 1 Kings 19:1-21, Elijah has a preparation of forty days and nights of walking before God speaks to him in a tiny whispering sound.

• The whole people of Israel had 40 years of wandering between the exodus from Egypt and their entry into Canaan the Promised Land. The account of their wanderings in the desert are found in the books of Exodus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, and Joshua.

May these 40 days be a time of deep renewal for each one of us and draw us into a deeper unity as we embrace the crosses of Lent together. May God Bless us.

The Season of Lent

The season of Lent is a season of penance, and a great time of the year. We pay particular attention to our unworthiness and the call to repentance. Unworthiness in the sense that we become amazed at the Lord bringing to us sinners redemption as we prepare for the celebration of the Lord's Resurrection at Easter.

During Lent, we are also called to prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. The three are linked together very closely and should overlap one another as well.

Here are some examples:

- We can grow in prayer by attending daily Mass or taking up a time for Adoration. Lent is a great way to show the Lord we have a love for the Eucharist and that we are willing to offer our time to worship Him.

- We can have a fast from watching television or limit our use of it so that we can increase our time in prayer. This Lent, let us heed the call to "Repent and believe in the Gospel."

- We could also eat simpler and less expensive meals so that we can practice alms giving by putting money into one of the rice bowls Catholic Relief Services gave us or by making an offering to a similar cause.

May God Bless you during this upcoming Lenten journey

Updates for all 4 Parishes

Just a couple of reminders this week…

For those who were not here a couple of weekends ago we have started to pray the St. Michael the Archangel prayer after Mass. We pray the prayer before the procession out at the end of Mass. We have made some prayer cards so that everyone will have the prayer easily accessible to them. We are praying this prayer to St. Michael the Archangel because he is the protector and defender of the Church. The card also includes the new verse that we sing after communion.

Lent and the celebration of Ash Wednesday is coming up soon. Once again, I would appreciate if anyone has old blessed palms at home to bring them to church so that we can burn them to make the ashes for this year. You can drop them off in the entry way of our churches.

Lastly, as a reminder Deacons Nicholas Ashmore and Dan Weger will be ordained as priests on Saturday, May 25 this year. I would imagine that most people have not witnessed an ordination and this would serve as a great opportunity to go to one. I was amazed by the number of people at my own ordination, who had not been to one before, who described it as an amazing experience that they were glad they could take part in.

May God Bless You

Love for God & Family

Here is a great quote from Pope Francis on the family…

“The family is a great training ground for the mutual giving and forgiving without which no love can last for long. Without self-giving and seeking forgiveness love does not last, it does not endure.”

This quote came from a General Audience Pope Francis had on November 4, 2015, but it is still very relevant for our lives today. These ideas of self-giving and forgiveness put into practice are ways that a family can grow in love for each other and deeper with our Lord.

May our families and our collective family of the Church always be places for enduring love.

May God Bless us.

Made In His Image to Love

We are made in the image and likeness of God and through the grace of God we have a share in his very life. For those reasons the Word resounds with us.

"The Lord said to Moses, 'Speak to the Israelite community and tell them: Be holy, for I, the Lord, your God, am holy.'"

"Brothers and sisters: Do you not know that you are the temple of God, and that the Holy Spirit dwells in you?"

"So be perfect, just as your Heavenly Father is perfect."

May the desire for holiness be strong in us.

May we learn how to love others, whether or not we receive love from them, so that we can have a share in the perfect love of the Heavenly Father.

May God bless us.

Archbishop's Call to Share

Thank you for all who have made a gift or pledge to the Archbishop’s Call to Share 2019. It is through your generosity that the Archdiocese continues to be able to offer a variety of ministries throughout Northeast Kansas and is able to spread the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to all. If you have not given yet please continue to pray about a gift you could make this year to the Call to Share. May God Bless you.