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Feb 18th, 2024 | The 23rd Times

By February 16, 2024 No Comments
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A Message from Fr. Jay

Dear Friends,

This week the readings invite us to repent and believe in the gospel. The same words we heard while receiving ashes on our foreheads on Ash Wednesday. These are not simple words of mere actions but a calling to conversion. The First and Second Readings explain how God is desperate to make a covenant with humanity. Our God is not a God of destruction but God a of life. The water that took life during the time of Noah in the Old Testament, brings back life (through baptism of Jesus) in the New Testament based on the covenant established by God Himself. To receive the new life that God grants, it is not enough to have the one-time baptism alone but a continuous conversion.

Once again, it is a reminder to us how conversion takes place. It is by mending our relationships within ourselves (through fasting), with others (through Charity) and with God (through prayer). Let us reflect a bit more on each action.

FASTING: It is not only the fasting of food that matters, but anything that obstructs an individual’s dignity: Matters like materialism, consumeristic attitude, influence of social media, addiction to alcohol, drugs, or pornography. We need to extend our fasting to these areas. When we take a forty-day course of regulating our personal lives, we become fit to receive the new life.

CHARITY: Our love for others is extended by considering our time, thoughts, prayers, solidarity, and material help for the people in need. A compassionate heart – and hands – that can embrace anyone without prejudice is the charity needed for our time.

PRAYER: Being in the Eucharistic revival year, how much time could I spend with our Lord in the Holy Eucharist? A genuine conversation with our Lord every day, a little reflection or meditation every day, and seeing the greatness of God and being grateful to Him are some of the efforts that would automatically inspire conversion in our lives.

I am glad to announce some happy news: We are blessed with a new Music Director, Mr. John Renfroe. Please take time to welcome him into our parish family. You will learn more about him in the days to come!

You are all in my prayers during this Lenten season and please keep me, as well, in your prayers.

God Bless,

Fr. Jay Raju

  • Reading 1: Genesis 9:8-15
  • Reading 11: 1 Peter 3:18-22
  • Gospel: Mark 1:12-15