Lent – 2016
At that time; Jesus said unto his disciples: When ye fast, be not as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, they have their reward. But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face, that thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father, which seeth in secret; and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly. (Matthew 6:16-18)
Once again the Lenten season is upon us; and we are reminded of our sinful nature and of the necessity for us to truly repent for our offenses. It is the season of fasting during which we will decide what luxury we will “give up”, or what task we will undertake in an effort to purify ourselves in preparation for the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Our Lord. But the manner in which we proceed in this undertaking, the attitude that we assume, must always reflect our Faith. And our Faith must always communicate one overriding message; Joy.
In other words, no matter what we decide to give up or take on for Lent, our motivation should never be to draw attention to ourselves. Rather, our trivial, human sacrifices should always be intended to draw attention to God and to Glorify Him. We should never seem to be suffering as a result of our Lenten discipline; instead, we should always appear to be Joyful in our offering of personal sacrifice and fasting, so that all who see us will recognize a people who are committed to following Christ.
Enclosed you will find a schedule of Lenten Services that will be offered at St. James in the coming weeks. Additionally, I have included information for a special class that will be offered each Sunday during Lent, from which I hope that you will gain further spiritual benefit during this Season.
I implore you to include your attendance at these events as part of your Lenten discipline this year; to avail yourselves of every opportunity to grow and witness your Faith; through your attendance at the Friday devotions of the Stations of the Cross and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament, and the regularly scheduled Requiem Masses and Sunday classes; through your presence at all of the Holy Week Services. I encourage you to join your brothers and sisters in Christ in the spirit of humility, penitence and contrition during this Lenten season, and at the end of it, to likewise join with them in expressing your Joy.
Yours in Christ,
Daniel J. Jennings+
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