Enjoy re-reading the weekly reflections from the Sisters of The Servants of the Plan of God.
During these times, there has been an urgent need to find the balance in meeting the spiritual needs and the physical well being of the faithful. One of the greatest concerns of the Church is offering the Sacraments to the faithful. Another great concern is to take care of the people’s health.
A few weeks ago, on the Sunday of the Good Shepherd, our parish, with deep joy, finally began offering Holy Communion to OLMC’s parishioners with the necessary precautions to keep parishioners safe.
For many, having been unable to receive the Lord sacramentally for more than a month became an occasion to grow in the realization of just how the Eucharist is one of the greatest gifts of our faith! It’s amazing how this unusual context of the pandemic could offer us a great opportunity to grow in the many ways we couldn't even imagine. It was deeply moving to see the reverence and the deep joy shown by many as they approached to receive Holy Communion. Parishioners showed so much gratitude for finally receiving Jesus again through this sacrament after several weeks. This must have touched the heart of our Good Shepherd who wants nothing but to give Himself to us!
In this time of the pandemic, one of the things that has been awakened in us, is reaching out to others. Living our faith demands in our hearts: charity! There’s a tremendous need to continue announcing the Lord, especially at these times.
We’ve been busy connecting online. Sr. Cristina with the RE team has created videos for their students. Sr. Maria Jose, with ASU Newman Center, continues to meet with the students virtually. Sr. Monica has been meeting with her RCIA Catechumens and Candidates online as they wait to receive their Sacraments. Sr. May organized a virtual retreat for the 8th graders and with Sr. Cristina, led the weekly rosary for OLMC School. We’ve been livestreaming Adoration from the Convent to pray for and with the parishioners. We’ve also been reaching out through phone calls to our parishioners especially the homebound.READ MORE
This Sunday we celebrate Mother's day. Today is a beautiful day for us to reflect on what it means to be a mother. Mothers are the women chosen by God to give us life, to carry us in their wombs for 9 months, to teach us how to walk, talk and many more things. Today is also a day to look at Mary. Mary was also a woman chosen by God to be a mother, the Mother of Jesus. She, with her yes, gave us Jesus, our life, and her fiat made us able to be born to the life of the spirit. She too taught us how to walk and talk spiritually. When we first started this journey of faith we didn't know many things; she was there, helping us to communicate with God, interceding for us, whether we were aware or not, there is no doubt of her presence. She helped us to speak to her Son, she carried us in her arms when we couldn't walk more. Today let's elevate a prayer of Thanksgiving to Mary, our Mother. She knows our heart, and with tender love she holds our hand to take us to her Son.
“Do not be afraid. Go tell my brothers to go to Galilee, and there they will see me.” These were the words Jesus said to the women who came to see the tomb. Go to Galilee.
Speaking of this emphasis on Galilee, Pope Francis said:
Faith always needs to go back to Galilee, to reawaken its first love for Jesus and his call: to remember him, to turn back to Him with all our mind and all our heart. To return to Galilee means to re-read everything on the basis of the cross and its victory.READ MORE
Lent is a special time of conversion, of healing to grow closer to God. It’s a special time of grace to ask ourselves what attitudes, sins or attachments that draw us away from God. Today’s Gospel relates the story of the man blind from birth to whom Jesus gave sight. Healing comes first of all because we recognize ourselves sick. Jesus came for the sick or the sinners, not for the healthy or the just. It is a favorable time to turn to Him and allow Him to cure the blindness that we have: selfishness, indifference, pride, resentment. Let us ask Him with deep humility and simple hearts knowing that if we do this, we recognize that Jesus truly came personally for us, that Jesus came to heal our own personal wounds. Jesus came to be our Light so we won’t have to live in darkness!
Eight days before His Transfiguration, Jesus told His disciples about the suffering and death He would go through and that He would be raised the third day. He promised glory and eternal happiness but He never hid the reality of the cross or sufferings. Jesus said that if we want to follow Him, we should deny ourselves and take our cross every day. However, sometimes we fail to remember this reality, especially when we are in the middle of difficulties: maybe in our families, our relationships, our work place, personal struggles, or suffering of our loved ones.
Following Christ is certainly not the easy path: choosing Christ means giving up our selfishness, pride or sinfulness, it means selflessness, forgiving, loving even our enemy. It is the narrow path that we should follow but it is The Way, the only way to eternal glory, the only way to be truly happy. Let us keep in our minds that the story doesn’t end on the cross but in His glory. And sometimes, all we need to do is to be faithful day by day and look for the little and simple moments of “lights”, when we “hear” His voice and “see” His Plan clearer.
If you attended 9am Mass, you will have seen our Catechumens receive a special blessing. In Sacred Scripture, the Book of Revelation makes reference to the “Book of Life,” in which are written the names of those who have chosen to follow the Lord Jesus. Those who are already baptized, as Catholics or in other denominations, had their names written in the Book of Life at Baptism. In this Rite, those preparing for Baptism are invited to come forward and sign a book, as a sign of their desire to be numbered among the chosen of God.
On the first Sunday of Lent, across the entire world, Catholic Bishops welcome those sent by the Parish to gather together with their Sponsors in what is known as the Rite of Election. This symbolic book will be presented to the Bishop and will mark their Election. Please pray for our Catechumens as they start their final preparationtowards their reception to the Church.