4th Sunday of Lent
This inspiring reflection given by Pope Francis will help us to see our own selves during this Lenten season.
‘ According to Jeremiah…….God states with bitterness that his own people did not obey nor did they pay heed and walked in the hardness of their evil hearts. God gave them all, but in return received only bad things. Faithfulness had disappeared. This is the History of God. It`s as if God were weeping. And when Jesus looked at Jerusalem he too wept. Because in Jesus` heart was this history where faithfulness had disappeared. We follow our will, but doing so our heart hardens and becomes of stone. And the Word of the Lord cannot penetrate. Thus the people get more and more distant. This is also the risk in our personal histories.
Now, on this day of lent, we must ask ourselves: ‘do I listen to the voice of the Lord or do I do what I please ?. The Gospel reading from Luke also offers an example of a hardened heart, deaf to the voice of God. In it, Jesus drives out a demon from a man and in return, receives an accusation: ` By the power of the prince of demons, you drive out demons. You are a demoniac sorcerer`. This is the typical excuse of lawmakers, who think life is regulated by laws promulgated by themselves. This has also happened in the history of the Church! Think of poor Joan of Arc: today she is a Saint! She was burnt at the stake because she was considered a heretic……the inquisitors, those who followed the rules, those Pharisees: they were far from the love of God. And closer in time to us think of the Blessed Antonio Rosmini: all of his writings were placed upon the Index. You could not read them; it was considered a sin to read them. Today he is blessed. In the History of God with his people the Lord sent forth the prophets to tell His people that He loved them. In the Church, the Lord send forth the Saints. And it is the Saints who carry forward the life of the Church, not the powerful, not the hypocrites: the Saints. Saints are those who are not afraid to let themselves be caressed by the mercy of God. That`s why the Saints are men and women who understand pain, suffering and human misery, and they accompany the people of God. They do not despise the people: Jesus says: `whoever is not with me is against me.` And there is no compromising.
You are either on the path of love or on the path of hypocrisy. You either let yourself be loved by God`s mercy, or you do as you please according to your own heart that hardens day by day along this path. Whoever is not with me is against me. There is no third choice to be made. Either you are a saint or you take the other route. Whoever is not receptive loses out….No, it is worse: he wastes and wrecks. He is corrupted and he corrupts.
Sincerely in Christ
Fr Nicolas Tumbelaka
SECTION TWO – Article 1
III. ORIGINAL SIN
A hard battle. . .
407 The doctrine of original sin, closely connected with that of redemption by Christ, provides lucid discernment of man’s situation and activity in the world. By our first parents’ sin, the devil has acquired a certain domination over man, even though man remains free. Original sin entails “captivity under the power of him who thenceforth had the power of death, that is, the devil”. Ignorance of the fact that man has a wounded nature inclined to evil gives rise to serious errors in the areas of education, politics, social action and morals.
408 The consequences of original sin and of all men’s personal sins put the world as a whole in the sinful condition aptly described in St. John’s expression, “the sin of the world”. This expression can also refer to the negative influence exerted on people by communal situations and social structures that are the fruit of men’s sins.
409 This dramatic situation of “the whole world [which] is in the power of the evil one” makes man’s life a battle:
The whole of man’s history has been the story of dour combat with the powers of evil, stretching, so our Lord tells us, from the very dawn of history until the last day. Finding himself in the midst of the battlefield man has to struggle to do what is right, and it is at great cost to himself, and aided by God’s grace, that he succeeds in achieving his own inner integrity.
FROM OUR ARCHDIOCESE
Share Lent 2015: Responding to the cry of the rural poor with the bishops of Brazil: Development & Peace has been working with the Brazilian bishops for many years to respond to the cry of the poor. Your generosity helps fund their partnership with their Pastoral Land Commission, which works to support the rural poor through agricultural development & land reform. Please pick up Share Lent materials at the back of the Church or by visiting devp.org. The Share Lent collection Development & Peace is on the fifth Sunday of Lent, March 22. For more info please visit rcav.org/development-and-peace-ccodp/
True Strength Lenten Retreat for Young Men: Lenten Retreat for young men in Grades 8-12 on Sat, March 28, from 10:30 to 8:30 pm. Registration $15. To register, contact [email protected] by March 26. Space is limited.
Marriage Enrichment Pub Nights for Couples with Frantic Families: Enjoy a date night with faith, food and fun, door prizes, merchandise, and a draw for hockey tickets to help with a future date night. See the Canucks on TV at Jimy Mac’s Neighbourhood pub in Langley and be inspired by our speakers during intermissions. On Tuesday, March 24, watch the Canucks host the Jets and hear Dominic & Lisa Price speak on “Teaming up for a joy-filled marriage”. On Easter Monday, April 6, watch the Canucks host the Kings and hear Greg & Lesley Dumas speak on “Keeping the spark alive”. Free (on condition husband takes wife on a date!). Register at rcav.org/marriage-enrichment-pub-nights/
Presentation on ‘Mercy and the Catholic Family’: Come for a presentation on ‘Mercy and the Catholic Family’ by Fr Denis Lemieux of Madonna House, for families who strive to live the Gospel life and look for their unique vocation as a family. The presentation will be followed by adoration, a reflection, a potluck and fellowship with the Holy Family Apostolate that meets regularly with Madonna House to listen to the Holy Spirit and grow together as a community of families. Please bring a pot-luck dish to share, and babysitting will be available. Sunday, March 22 from 2:30 to 6 pm, St John the Apostle Church, Vancouver. For more information, please contact [email protected] or call 604.267.175