From Our Pastor: 6th Sunday In Ordinary Time
This weekend our readings not only focus on healing of leprosy, tells us of bringing one effectively back to life, but also Jesus taking their place in their death. Leprosy, or any skin ailments, meant you were not only excluded from the temple worship, but society as a whole. Jesus heals the man, effectively bringing him back from dead of being as an outcast of worship and society. This is an act of God alone who can heal leprosy and bring back from the dead. Jesus is a good Jew and tells the man to take himself to the priests to be declared clean so he may return to the community and right to worship. The man does not do this because, effectively, Mark is telling us this man has already brought himself to a priest, the great high priest Jesus Christ. Because of this healing and this man telling everyone, the man who couldn’t be a part of the community because of his leprosy may once again return to the community, but Jesus must leave the community and hide in the deserted places because of the amount of people that come to him. He trades places with the leper. If Jesus can heal leprosy, then what else can He do, because this means He is God or has divine power. The leper didn’t just wait for Jesus to come to Him but ran to find Jesus even against all odds and breaking all norms to get to Him. What are you waiting for? Run to him! Be healed! Be raised! Be made new!
This week we begin Lent, Mass times and Ash times are as they have been since I have been here. Remember this isn’t a holy day of obligation, so mass isn’t necessary, and honestly neither are ashes, but that’s why ash services are allowed. Mass at 6:30, 8:35, and 5:30. Ash Services are 12:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. Please remember if you are coming to get your ashes, you should also be fasting and abstaining from meat this Wednesday. You should be fasting from something this Lent, make it achievable, achievable doesn’t mean easy, but does mean don’t pick something impossible (i.e. I won’t eat this Lent). BUT also, you should be giving alms this Lent, whether that be the rice bowls, or maybe try giving more than normal in the weekend collection, or give to Catholic Charities, or to some other good Catholic institution or charity. BUT you should also be doing something more in prayer. Add a few passages or stories from scripture reading into your day, maybe start the podcast bible or catechism in a year, read a paragraph from a spiritual book every day, add the rosary or chaplet of divine mercy every day, or learn morning prayer or evening prayer or night prayer from the Liturgy of the Hours and pray one or all of these during Lent. We have a multitude of prayerful experiences, do them. Maybe as part of your Lenten practices you will do something extra or kind for someone every day. Don’t just give up soda or candy or liquor, although these are good things to give up, what I am saying is don’t stop there. Give up something, Give something, and Give more time in conversation with God. Lent isn’t a taking away, but a giving more of oneself to the Lord.
Happy Scout Sunday! As an Eagle Scout and still involved as a scouter, I could not urge you more to put your children in the scouting program. BSA changed my life for the better and made me better prepared for life, for priesthood, and to be your pastor. Everyone puts sports first, but I am telling you the experiences and discipline and growth in self-awareness and knowledge they will have in scouting will overshadow any other program you could give your child, especially with the amazing program we have here at St. Francis.
Lastly, I will be on the Women's Cursillo #366 this Thursday to Sunday. Please pray for the candidates, the team, and me, as we enter into this retreat weekend to deepen our relationship with the Lord.
- Rev. Steven Arisman