THE THIRD SUNDAY OF LENT
"As Lent is the time for greater love, listen to Jesus' thirst...He knows your weakness.
One of the realities in life is that no one is without a challenge. Individuals have a challenge, families have a challenge and ultimately, every society has one. Now our challenge in the globe is the notorious novel coronavirus named COVID-19.
The rate at which it is spreading to infect people and taking innocent lives is becoming alarming, creating fear and panic in our world today. But in the midst of devastating circumstances where do we go?
It is almost coincidental that our first reading has a similar situation where the Israelites found themselves in stressful and frustrating circumstances as they were without water to drink and to give to the flocks. Moses led them to cry unto the Lord for answers to their issues.
Indeed, as usual, God did not fail them, but gave them solution to their predicament by asking Moses to strike the rock with his staff. Water flowed to give them refreshment and to restore their peace and happiness to continue their journey.
Beloved family of God, in the wake of this pandemic, which is the enemy of humanity, we need to go down to our knees to employ every available tool of prayer to cry unto the Lord for a cure, healing, divine protection and deliverance. There is nothing impossible with God. He will not fail us. We need faith, trust and hope.
Our Psalmist says, “Come, let us bow low and do reverence; kneel before Yahweh who made us!”- Psalm 95:6
Paul, in the second reading, insists on faith and hope. He echoes, ”Hope does not disappoint.” - Roman 5:5. Hoping against hope that God will hear our cry and save us from this dreadful disease, let us remain resilient and unrelenting in our spiritual approach to this battle with coronavirus as we take every precautionary measure as well.
In the gospel reading, Jesus was in an interaction with a Samaritan woman which seemed to be awkward. Samaritans and Jews had barriers, boundaries and ”no trespassing” amongst them. This is because the former don’t believe in angels, spirits and resurrection as against the faith principles of the latter.
But the irony of this is that they have the same ancestors (Abraham, Isaac and Jacob) and one God. Jesus Christ breaks and removes those barriers, boarders and “no trespassing” to bring fraternity and unity amongst them. This enkindled and renewed the fire of faith in them.
In the insurgence of this coronavirus pandemic there are barriers, boundaries and “no trespassing” created: since almost all social and religious events have to be suspended and cancelled. We are restricted from greeting and hugging even our dear ones. The consequential effect is creating fear and panic in people; as well as breaking family and relationship ties all over.
But Sisters and Brothers in Christ, I think Jesus is the only one who can break all of these and bring us together as one. So be inspired to understand the acronym COVID-19 as Christ Over Virus, Infections and Death. Remember, Joshua 1:9, “I command you: be strong and steadfast! Do not fear nor be dismayed, for the Lord, your God, is with you wherever you go.”
Do Not Be Afraid! Just take PRECAUTIONS and PRAY!!
You are still in my prayers as I say private Holy Masses... Be each other’s keeper. I love you all!
THE SECOND SUNDAY OF LENT
"Lent stimulates us to let the Word of God penetrate our life
Life comes with changes and transformations. In the season of lent, we are invited to confront certain things that need to be changed or transformed in our life. But it is one of the most difficult decisions to make in life when we have become very comfortable with it: good or bad. With the leap of faith and unrelenting trust in God it is possible to be transformed. Just take a determined step!
Abram, in the first reading had to take the hardest decision in life by moving from his comfort zone (his native land) to an unknown place. Because he trusted and had faith in God he obeyed His instruction, hoping in His promises even though he wasn't sure and certain of the future. This was a massive transformation of his entire life.
Brothers and Sisters in Christ, like Abram, God is calling you to make a decision and maybe a resolution in your life. There are certain behaviors, attitudes, characters, perceptions, etc. that are hindering your faith as a Christian; you need a transformation for the better.
In our case, we are always looking for assurances, better options available, certainties in life. Indeed, Christianity is not about doing what pleases you, but rather doing the will of God in your life. This is what made Abraham great... Think about this... Your life must be transformed!
As we allow transformation to take place in our lives, Apostle Paul admonishes us in the second reading to bear our hardship for the sake of the gospel. We are not to trust in our own merits but on the grace of God, hoping in the immortality and the Resurrection of Christ. We must be thankful to God for calling us to holiness.
Jesus is transfigured in the gospel to strengthen our hopes that if we rely on God the Father and do his will God will give a testimony of His approval and love for us.
In this Lenten season make a decision and resolutions in your life. Be determined to become a better version of yourself as a Christian. Remember God has a plan for you. Open up to than plan! Meditate and reflect. Just pay attention and listen!
Jesus is calling you to offer your TIME, TALENT AND TREASURE to build our parishes. Please take Time and Talent sheet and see where you fit.
”It takes volunteering to make our parish what it is.”
- Mike Baier
Think about this.
Love you. See you in Church.
Fr. Emmanuel hails from Ghana and is passionate about the Gospel and bringing the love of Christ to all people. He speaks several languages, enjoys soccer and cooking, and loves St. Francis of Assisi.