An Invitation to Imitate | Friar Reflections | Fifth Sunday of Lent

Dear Parishioners,

Saints of God, the Lord be with you!

As we come quickly to the end of Lent, it seems to me that Jesus in today’s Gospel according to John (12:20-33) is giving reassurance to His disciples that what is about to happen, while horrible in their eyes, will in truth be his moment of glory. Jesus understands that his death will be the source of true and lasting life for all who put their faith in Him. He then challenges them to follow in His example of laying down their lives, not necessarily by dying, but by living a life of service, “whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there also will my servant be.” Yet there is more. This service that we render to others because we are followers of Jesus will give to us the honor of God the Father, “The Father will honor whoever serves me.” Think about that for a moment—God the Father will honor us for imitating His Son by serving one another!

The disciplines of Lent have invited us to serve our sisters and brothers. Through prayer we may have spent a bit more time praying for the needs of others rather than the wants of ourselves. By fasting we may have been able to donate a bit more food to the food pantry, or the St. Vincent de Paul Society. If we fasted from social media, or words of judgement, we may have had our eyes open to the needs of those around us and offered words of encouragement. We may have been a bit more generous in our almsgiving to our parish, or charities, or perhaps even to our homeless brothers and sisters outside our church door.

I have often heard from visitors how beautiful our church is. I always respond that even more beautiful are the parishioners not only because you put up with my nonsense, but because of the generosity of your hearts and hands. Think of the many liturgical ministries you are a part of (it takes a village of good people to put on good liturgy!). Think of the catechists, who with our parents, hand on the teachings and the practice of the faith. Think of the number of men and women who stand with our catechumens and those seeking full communion in the Catholic Church. Then think of the numbers of those men and women who are drawn to this parish to make this life changing decision, trusting you all with their lives.

Today’s Gospel tells us the Jesus knew His hour of glory had come when ‘some Greeks would like to see Jesus.’  Because of all those who come through our church doors, and are welcomed and find a home here, Christ continues to be glorified through YOU, the good people of Sacred Heart!

– Fr. Steve