Jottings from Fr. J.J.

Clear Your Week
It is mission week and Lent begins on Wednesday! We welcome Meg Hunter-Kilmer as our presenter.  Not only will she speak, but we have Masses, music, food (including a soup supper), Benediction, opportunities for reconciliation, testimonies, and Ashes.  That’s all on the first night.  Not really, but it will be an enriching week. If you attend, I believe your Lent will be more focused, which will make your Easter richer, and thus you, as a disciple will become more who the Lord created you to be. So come and learn how to better fall in love with God, and how to stay in love. See you there.

How Do We Get Ready?
Often times when Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent, rolls around, we can find ourselves either unprepared or not in the correct disposition to benefit from what the season offers. This is why we scheduled our mission when we did.  The gospel for the first Sunday of Lent will deal with Jesus getting ready for His public ministry.  He is led by the Spirit into the desert and is tested for forty days.  The threefold test is aimed at Jesus’ core:  His identify, His fidelity, and the Covenant with God.  This can be our focus as well during our Lenten journey.

As you get ready for Lent, it may help you do address the following.  Identity: What stands in your way in accepting that you are a beloved child of God? How can you better stay true to your identity as such?  Fidelity: What fears do you need to let go of in order to live more faithfully and put your trust in Jesus?  Covenant:  How deeply do we accept that God is the source and reason for our existence?  In answering these questions, you may better narrow down what you want to do with your Lent.

This Month’s Prayer
As you may already know, we have been assigning a monthly parish prayer.  All of us are asked to offer this prayer (from the folks at adoration, daily mass attendees, to the homebound).  This month’s prayer is:
“That utilizing the graces received during the Parish Mission, the people of St. Anastasia will fall more deeply in love with God, and live out that love in all we do (our prayer, study, generosity, and in our evangelizing).”

You Are A Real Ham, and We Need You
Think of that juicy slice of meat with just enough of that crispy sweet glaze that you will be enjoying on Easter Sunday with your loved ones as you celebrate the gift of the Lord’s Resurrection.  Now think of all the folks in our area who won’t be enjoying that same thing since we dropped the ball.  We are requesting specific non perishable food in the gathering space to make Easter food Baskets for those who are less fortunate in our area (March 15-16).  For the last three weeks we have requested $20 gift cards from Kroger or Meijer to place in each basket.  We even accept cash donations if you don’t want to pick up one yourself.  We have only received one card so far!?!  I invite you to please help out those who do not have enough and purchase a card.  They will appreciate it, and you will be doing what Christ commanded.  Thank you.

Life Is Changed Not Ended
Last week I preached on those folks who go the second mile to serve Christ and how they do it without being noticed.  There is a program called No One Dies Alone.  It happens at Troy Beaumont, where folks go through training which hones their skills as they sit with a dying individual.  Many folks don’t have anyone to be with them as they make the journey to the other side.  Our parishioner Mark Garascia is our contact and has been doing a great job.  Without any ads to coax them, 24 of your fellow parishioners signed up for this ministry.  They saw it on our website.  Thanks to all you “second milers”:  1) for utilizing our excellent website (www.stanastasia.org) and 2) for utilizing your gifts and making someone’s journey to Christ, more fulfilling.

God bless,
Fr. J.J.