My Dear Parishioners,
I have been hearing it from everyone! “This year Lent begins on St. Valentine’s Day and Easter Sunday is on April Fool’s Day!” Well to tell you the truth, I think these two days are very appropriate for these celebrations. Let’s face it: Lent is the season in which we ponder on the Love of Christ and how He gave His life for the sake of humanity! Every year we spend just one day, Valentine’s Day, recognizing how important our loved ones are to us, but this year during Lent we take a greater look at the Creator of love and see how important His love is to us!
I am reminded of the 1967 Beatles (McCartney) song of “The Fool on the Hill”, which achieved popularity by Sergio Mendes and Brazil “66 as a 1968 single, when I think of Easter being celebrated on April Fool’s Day. The song is one of the few songs the Beatles proclaimed the magnificence of God and how others often view Him. That is the story of the Easter Triduum of how someone offered His life so that all might be saved for all eternity. Our world would easily call this person a fool, wouldn’t it?
As we enter this Season of Lent, we realize that it is a special time during the year given to us to re-evaluate our relationship with God. During Lent we are told to Fast, Pray and Give Alms. These items are not listed for the Church to make money or make its followers miserable. It is all brought about to give us time away from our own concerns and desires to ponder and reflect on who we are and what God wants of us.
Let’s face it; we fast to be aware that we don’t need all that we have, but also to realize that God has already given us so very much. We give alms to share the gifts that we have so that we may move away from our selfishness and egotism to experience God who is the reality of giving and sharing. We are called to pray, not just for ourselves, but for others too, so that we realize that God is the one in control of our lives. The moment we allow him and accept Him in that way, the happier and Blessed we will be. Therefore, Lent is the time for an introspection of our lives and how our relationship with The Almighty is going, but it is also a time to evaluate how we are extending ourselves out from our own concerns. It is a good time to open us up to new ministry and prayer. To be the “Fool for Christ”.
I pray that this Lent you will use your time wisely and be filled with a sense of accomplishment that will bring much joy when the Easter celebration arrives. I pray that this Lent will bring you closer to God and that you will truly have a “Happy Lent”.
Very Rev. John C. Giel, V.G.,