Monday, February 8, 2016

Pastoral Lenten Message

The works of mercy on the road of the Jubilee, said Pope Francis. 
     Divine mercy holds a central and fundamental place. It is “the beauty of the saving love of God made manifest in Jesus Christ who died and rose from the dead”. Mercy “expresses God’s way of reaching out to the sinner, offering him a new chance to look at himself, convert, and believe”, thus restoring his relationship with him. In Jesus crucified, God shows his desire to draw near to sinners, however far they may have strayed from him.
     God’s mercy transforms human hearts; it enables us, through the experience of a faithful love, to become merciful in turn. In an ever new miracle, divine mercy shines forth in our lives, inspiring each of us to love our neighbor and to devote ourselves to what the Church’s tradition calls the spiritual and corporal works of mercy.
Lent is a period when we are encouraged to think about the way we are living, the choices we are making in our life, and how we are responding to the teachings of Christ.
     We are challenged, at this time, to turn away from things that prevent us from being faithful to our commitment to God. The years are filled with excitement and temptations. We are pulled in many directions. It is not easy to avoid the things that attract us or the pressures to do what we know are wrong. There is a familiar saying, “What is right is not always popular, and what is popular is not always right”.
    During Lent, Jesus calls us to refocus our hearts and minds on our belief in Him. If we open our hearts and minds to Him, we are strengthened to do what is right. Our Lenten journey then is a new beginning for us.
      And our Pope Francis asking us not waste this season of Lent, so favorable a time for conversion! We ask this through the maternal intercession of the Virgin Mary, who, encountering the greatness of God’s mercy freely bestowed upon her, was the first to acknowledge her lowliness and to call herself the Lord’s humble servant.
     So, choose something you need to work on to make you a better person: greater respect from others; greater self-respect; a clear conscience; an inner feeling of peace; a new outlook on life; a brighter, happier future….
And certainly – ETERNITY!!!

Yours’s, in suffering Christ - fr. Mykhaylo.

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