Voices of Faith

The Third Sunday of Lent

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Dear Friends:

I have always been moved by the account of Moses’ encounter with the burning bush. Moses was curious at what he saw and he was drawn to the sight; he didn’t appear to falter in fear. God called to him and Moses did not doubt, and he was not afraid to ask questions: “What am I to tell them?” (in other words, “Who are you?”). God gave him the answers he sought.
We have a lot we can learn from Moses about trust and boldness. Too often our fears and our questions prevent us from stepping forward in response to the promptings of God’s grace. How often do you let a moment pass you by for one reason or another? The unknown can be an opportunity to learn, to know, and to grow, but timidity creates missed opportunities. The psalm we are singing throughout the season of Lent (a single psalm for the season, which is a viable option rather than the prescribed psalm for each Sunday) is meant to be an encouragement so that fear need not win out: “Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you” (Ps. 33:22).

As we near the halfway point of Lent, a lot is going on in and around the parish. I am encouraged by the generosity of so many with our Lenten works of charity and service in donations to the poor box and the Archdiocese’s Annual Appeal for Catholic Ministries, and this year so many have taken advantage of opportunities to serve those in need in our various outreach projects. Thank you for your generous spirit! Those preparing to be welcomed into the Catholic Church this Easter are in their final weeks of prayer and study, and this weekend the “elect” (those preparing for baptism) begin their final steps in the Scrutinies, times of prayer at Mass over the next several weekends as we surround them with our prayerful support, praying for deliverance from evil and sin through the sacraments. We look forward to welcoming all these candidates at the Easter Vigil as the newest members of the Church.

This Sunday afternoon I will join representatives from our school faculty, school board, and school community who make up our school’s strategic planning team for a retreat to allow for some focused time for planning. We are forming a new strategic plan to guide the growth and progress for St. Joseph School. We will spend the next two days at Mount St. Mary’s University, working with consultants from the Mount’s School of Education. We ask your prayers for our work and for the continued success of St. Joseph School.

God’s peace to you this week,

Fr. Rick