Bulletin for the week of March 19th - 25th, 2006.
A sincere welcome to those who are new among us. We hope you find a warm and welcoming faith-home with us. Please introduce yourself after Mass and call the Rectory to register.
40/3/50 - THE PASCAL SEASON
LENT - WE CLIMB THE HOLY MOUNTAIN OF EASTER:
Not all Scripture reading can be mentioned here, but notice this fixed pattern of the Gospel readings in Lent. The first Sunday always starts with the Temptation of Jesus in the desert, temptations that threaten every Christian, but that by the power of Jesus’ Spirit we are able to deal with. The second Sunday always gives us the story of Jesus’ Transfiguration, a preview of his resurrection and glory in which we are called to share.
When it comes to the 3rd, 4th and 5th Sundays of Lent, the Gospel Readings follow a different pattern over a three-year cycle. This year we are in “Year B”. The focus is on the coming exultation of Jesus. But it is an exultation that (typically of John’s Gospel) occurs at the hour of this deepest self-abasement: the death and resurrection of Jesus belong together and together make up the central mystery of our faith that we are preparing to celebrate.
SOME INTERESTING REFLECTIONS ON FASTING AND ABSTINENCE:
Fasting and abstinence has come to be associated with a particularly rigid and scrupulous attitude to church law—eating meat on Friday was a “mortal sin” to be confessed before one could receive Communion, and so on. That was never the point of it, and while breaking that sense of over-scrupulosity was doubtless a good pastoral move at that time, the climate now is entirely different.
Any return to a more general practice of fasting and abstinence would have to be seen as an exercise in valuable self discipline rather than as the empty observance of regulations, but that is something that modern culture, with its interest in “diet and detox”, could readily appreciate. If we are what we eat, then not eating for a set period makes a powerful point. Why should our bodies not worship as well as our minds and hearts? But to leave the choice entirely up to individuals would not be sufficient. It has to become normative again, a regular and routine feature of Catholic life. In 1967 it was abolished from the top down. Why not let it return to Catholic life from the bottom up, by the spontaneous initiative of local parishes seeking ways to deepen their faith?
And if we then make the money we save with our fasting and abstinence into our contribution to the upcoming Share Lent collection, then we really make our fasting and abstinence life-giving to others. And is that not part of Christian living?
WHAT IS THAT RAIN BARRELL DOING UP THERE?
Here is where Development and Peace, The Canadian Catholic Relief Agency, comes into the picture. If part of the Lenten effort is to deprive ourselves of something, then we can put the money we save that way to use. After all, there are so many in our world, especially in the developing world, who lack so may of the things that we have in abundance.
In that light, the rain barrel can become a helpful image. It becomes a source of life for those who thirst for the necessities of life. We can meet them with our attempts to cut down on some of the things we have plenty of. In that case, our Lenten effort becomes positive and other-centered.
GETTING READY FOR BAPTISM - PREPARATION STARTS MARCH 22nd:
However, the celebration of baptism is always preceded by a preparation. The form that we have given to that preparation is three evenings of reflection with the parents who have requested that their son/daughter be baptized. In other words, we need a fair bit of time to get ready for the baptisms.
The next time we celebrate baptism at OLV will most likely be Sunday April 30th or 23rd. The preparation for it begins on Wednesday, March 22nd, followed by sessions on March 29th and April 5th. That is a fair distance between the preparation sessions and the actual baptism. The reason for that is the celebration of Easter and the celebration of baptism at St, Al’s in Gatineau.
A REAL TREASURE, NOT HIDDEN, BUT RARELY SEEN:
The liturgies of those Three Great Days are unique. They are not simply three Masses on three consecutive days. They are really on liturgy in successive stages. Yes, they very much hang together. That stands to reason, because what we celebrate in those three Great Days is the very core of our Christian faith, the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and their saving significance for us who in those saving events are made into God’s cherished people.
How about taking a closer look at these liturgies? A little more familiarity with them may result in more people taking part in them. And, more importantly, we may discover how faith-forming they are. Monday, March 27th, at 7:30 p.m . in St. Aloysius Church.
Christ as a light, illuminate and guide me
BIRTHDAY WISHES TO:
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