This week is Ash Wednesday and so begins Lent, and you can find our Ash Wednesday schedule in the bulletin. I remember when I was growing up and the arrival of Lent was always a time to think about what we were called to give up: chocolate, desserts, movies, anything that would lead to some kind of suffering. It was the Catholic thing to do.
You might have seen that this Lent, here at St. Francis, we are asking a different kind of question. Instead of “what am I going to give up” we have invited the parish to reflect on the statement “Because I dare to believe in God, this Lent I am called to_____________.”
You’ll notice the shift in emphasis. We talked about this at a staff meeting. The inclusion of “dare” adds an element of risk to what it means to believe; it’s belief not as something I simply hold to, but something I act on, something that I live out in my daily life, a word that joins my life to the daring life and witness of Jesus, which is a countercultural way of living in a divided world. It means to dare to live a life of forgiveness, peacemaking, reconciliation, mercy, kindness – to follow Jesus on our daily walk through our life.
A letter I received last week from Catholic Parish Outreach: “On behalf of the people we serve at Catholic Parish Outreach, we want to thank you and your parish for the generous donations during the St. Francis ‘Feed a Family’ food drive. The response from your parish was overwhelming, with a donation of 9,083 pounds of groceries and $8,551 for families in need!” Thanks to all who contributed for your generosity.
Blessings on your week!