... Dear friends, it seems at times that this experience of COVID‐19 is like a long, extended Good Friday. Our whole world is suffering through a sort of Passion. Yes, when we offer these hardships with the mind and heart of Our Lord Jesus Christ, we share in his redemptive sacrifice. Indeed, in a sense we are these days carrying the Cross with Jesus.
Our Lenten journey of forty days this year has been unprecedented. Many people have written or called to tell me how much they miss being able to go to their parish church for Mass, how they long for the Eucharist and to see their friends. This Lent has been a time of suffering and privation for much of the world, as we see on the news every day, virtually all day long. At this point, we have only a few days left in Lent, but we are faced with an as yet undetermined time left in the country‐wide effort to limit the spread of the Corona virus
As the people of God left Egypt and wandered in the desert for forty years, they gradually came to realize they were on a journey towards a new beginning. They sometimes strayed from the path but they had a destination, a goal to reach–the earthly Promised Land of milk and honey pledged to them by GodIt is important for us to live with a goal in mind. We are heading to the eternal Promised Land! In faith, we can see ourselves invited to journey towards that goal with a spirit of hope. For we know that Lent will culminate in the mystery of Easter when we celebrate Christ rising from the dead, bringing life to us and freeing us from the burden of sin and death.
So too, we trust that we will come through this pandemic as well on the journey to a restored relationship with God. Each act of kindness reaching out to others, each offer to shop for an elderly neighbour, each rosary prayed and Mass watched online or on TV in a spirit of prayer is a concrete act of hope in God’s saving and renewing power.
We may be on a long journey this Lent but we can engage in it as a time of reflection and renewal on our ultimate journey home to God. May we see in this time of suffering and difficulty a time to renew our hope in the Lord Jesus Christ, to entrust our country and our world to our Blessed Mother Mary and to commit ourselves to being God’s agents of mercy, faith and hope for the world.
God bless you.
The month of April is dedicated both to devotion to the Eucharist and devotion to the Holy Spirit. April is a month of Easter, and we remember the Eucharistic sacrifice Christ gave us and the Baptism in the Holy Spirit, which comes from Jesus's resurrection.
The Eucharist (Holy Communion), simply is Christ's body, blood, soul, and divinity, but under the appearance of bread and wine. It is not a symbol, but the true Body and Blood of Christ - the real Jesus Christ! At the Consecration we kneel in adoration, because by God's divine power the bread and wine become His eternal Son, Jesus Christ (GIRM 21). The bread and wine become Jesus Christ's Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity!
The Catechism of the Catholic Church calls the Eucharist the "source and summit of our faith" (1324). It is in that moment when we receive the Eucharist that our soul is in ecstasy because Christ is truly in us. Jesus Christ loved us so much at the last Supper, even though He knew His death was near, He gave us the joy of being with Him eternally.
Clearly we need Jesus Christ as He is the "...only way, truth, and life", and it is in the Most Holy Eucharist that the veil between Heaven and earth is the shortest and we receive Our Lord, Most High. That intimate moment can not be put into words as it is only the soul that speaks with such fervent love that some are moved to tears. We truly are living Our Saviour's Command: "Take ye, and eat. This is my body" (Matthew 26:26).
The month of April is also dedicated to the Holy Spirit. To believe in the Holy Spirit is to profess that the Holy Spirit is one of the persons of the Holy Trinity, consubstantial with the Father and the Son: "with the Father and the Son he is worshipped and glorified." (Catechism)
The Bible Timeline study program takes you on a guided journey through salvation history. Presenter Jeff Cavins will show you how fourteen of the Bible’s narrative books tell the biblical story from beginning to end and give you the keys to understanding the amazing story woven throughout Scripture.
In this revolutionary approach to Bible study, The Bible Timeline divides the Bible into twelve color-coded time periods that make it easier to follow its narrative thread. Using a unique color-coded chart, you will learn the major people, places, and events of the Bible and discover how they all come together to reveal the remarkable story of our faith.
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For more information: Shannon McGruer firstname.lastname@example.org tel: 613-623-9289