Saints and Renewal

My sisters and brothers,

Praise to you Lord Jesus Christ!

On March 17 – Sunday this year, we will celebrate St. Patrick (an Irish saint). There were many stories about how he taught life and you probably already know—like the reason shamrocks are such a thing with the Irish people is because St. Patrick used to help them understand the notion of the Holy Trinity. One plant, three leaves—see, it actually does make sense!

Also on March 19 – Tuesday this year, we will celebrate St. Joseph, the husband of our Blessed Virgin Mary, the mother of Jesus. St. Joseph, “being a righteous man and unwilling to expose her to public disgrace” (Matthew 1:19), decided to divorce her quietly, but an angel told him that the child was the Son of God and was conceived by the Holy Spirit. The Scripture tells nothing of his death, although indications show he died before the beginning of Jesus’ public ministry. I just cannot imagine when he died in the arms of Jesus and Mary.

One week from now, its Holy Week – the most Holy of all the weeks of the year. Our readings this weekend, talk about renewal, authenticity and interiority. All three readings refer to the concept of repentance. If we want the life of grace to grow within us, we must be prepared to die to our pride and any other form of negativity. We need renewal – it is only when we die to ourselves that we can start living into Jesus. Then, we become authentic and active partners in the New Covenant. This is a call to act like Jesus who “although He was a Son, He learned obedience through what He suffered.” (Hebrews 5:8). This is a call to be like Jesus in His total acceptance of and resignation to His Father’s will: “It is for this reason that I have come to this hour. Father, glorify your name.” (Jn 12:27). May the celebration of the Eucharist be an occasion for us to look at this very important aspect of our Christian lives – our authenticity and interiority. AMEN

St. Patrick – Pray for us! St. Joseph – Pray for us!

God Loves You!

~ Fr. Neil