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Fr. Ron's Blog

Fr. Ron's Blog

Before I get into the Liturgy of the Eucharist, as part of the ongoing series on the Liturgy, in preparation for the introduction of the 3rd Edition of the Roman Missal in November, I want to confirm some important moments here at Mount Carmel.

Below is a repeat of an article I wrote a few years ago.  The importance of Holy Week hasn’t changed; neither have my thoughts on the subject.  There has been some up-dating to reflect our current circumstances. 

Before reflecting on today’s scripture, especially the Gospel, I want to bring to your attention something that has been in the bulletin for the last couple of weeks.  Next Sunday is Palm Sunday, the day we commemorate Jesus’ triumphal entrance into Jerusalem and the beginning of Holy Week.  The commemoration is marked by the blessing of palms at the very beginning of the Mass.  Something that we have not been doing here at Mount Carmel is the Procession.

Here’s a question for all you football fans, whether Giant fans, or Jets or one of those “other” teams.  Have you ever noticed someone, usually sitting in the end zone (so that they can be seen at every touchdown, touchback, field goal, extra point, etc), holding a sign that read, John 3:16?  Tim Tebow often had it etched across his forehead when he played college ball.  Did you ever wonder what that stood for, or to what it referred?  If you had some inkling, perhaps, that it referred to a Scripture verse (which it does), did you ever feel moved to look it up.

For the past two Sundays, the Scripture readings have focused on sin, repentance and change of heart.  On the 1st Sunday of Lent we were challenged to come to grips with our personal sins, to understand them as the work of God’s great adversary, Satan, who, out of pride, seeks to lead people away from God and God’s path to life.  Following Jesus’ example in the desert, we were called to take on this war against sin in our own life.

A brief word on today’s 1st Reading.  I said last week that the first readings of Lent in the B Cycle all deal with the covenants God has made with humankind.  Last week, it was the covenant with Noah, and the entire human race, not to destroy the world by flood.  Today’s covenant relationship is the one god established with Abraham.  God has put Abraham to the test and Abraham has come through with flying colors.

In conversations outside the church last weekend (well, truthfully, in the vestibules – it was too cold outside), it was interesting to note the differing opinions in the change of “winter break” from the full five days, as in the past, to the present two days.  Some moms seemed happy to have the kids back in school sooner; some lamented the lack of an opportunity to really get away and, of course, some weren’t there because they went away anyway.  But here we are, back from whatever you did for the “winter break.”

Wednesday of this week is ASH WEDNESDAY, the beginning of Lent.  As you may have heard before, the word Lent derives from a Germanic root which meant spring (which, no doubt we are all eagerly awaiting), as in the season, but originally, long, referring to the time of year during which the days grew longer.

As a skier, I’ve always said I want a winter with plenty of snow – NORTH OF POUGHKEEPSIE!  Maybe it’s enough already.  As I write this, there may be another Sunday-Monday “event.”

First things first.  I want to say another word of our Parish Lenten Mission.  Over the years we have alternated various methods of presenting the Mission, both to try to reach as many people as possible and also to introduce people to different spiritualties, formats and experiences.  Once again, this year we are offering a different experience of Mission.  This year’s event will be a one-day Mission, early in Lent, to set the right tone and put people in the right frame of mind for a good follow-through for the rest of Lent.

Now that the “historic” blizzard of 2015 is behind us, maybe the wicked weather we’ve been experiencing, cold, ice, snow, will also be behind us.  But not if you believe the forecasters’ predictions for early this coming week.  And once the Super Bowl is over, we can face the February doldrums.  When I was in the seminary which was located in the Darlington section of Mahwah in those days, we used to call this time “Darlington February,” meaning nothing to look forward to.  I’m sure the current seminarians at Seton Hall don’t quite look at it in the same way.


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