From the Pastor’s Desk

The First Sunday of Lent

Feb 18, 2024

Remember the Covenant with the Lord
“This is the time of fulfillment. The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent and believe in the gospel.”
-Mark 1:15

 

Brothers and Sisters,

Many people are stumped by a riddle that goes like this: “How many of each animal did Moses bring on the ark?” The natural inclination is to rely on what we learned from childhood: two. This scene is often depicted in children’s Bibles, and it’s easy to visualize the comical sight of animals being corralled onto the ark two by two. However, the answer to the riddle is that Moses did not bring any animals onto the ark. That was Noah’s job.

The story of Noah is not just a tale about saving animals. It’s a reminder that despite our shortcomings, God still loves us. Although God created us in his image and likeness, we have misused our freedom by sinning rather than responding to his love. Lent is an opportunity to reconcile our relationship with the Lord and walk in his ways. The first reading from Genesis reminds us of the meaning behind the story of Noah and his ark: God will always provide and make an unbreakable promise to us of an everlasting relationship.

How does God extend this invitation? Through the Eucharist, the abiding presence of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. The Church is entrusted with the Eucharist so that we may receive the only one who can redeem and sanctify us. However, like all invitations, we must respond. The penances, fasting, almsgiving, and prayer that we undertake during Lent are a way of accepting the invitation to go out into the “desert,” a space where we can encounter the Lord and become more aware of his graces. The Lord promises us the fullness of life.

During the season of Lent, I urge you to include our parish and the wider Church in your prayers. The Archbishop has called for a need for conversion and repentance and encouraged priests to observe the practice of Ember days. These include intentional fasting and prayer, particularly on Wednesday (the day of the Lord’s betrayal), Friday (the day of his passion and death), and Saturday (the day of his descent among the dead), to pray for the victims and survivors of abuse. Let us all pray for the renewal of our Church and, with the help of the Lord, the eradication of the serious evil of abuse that has affected us. Also, let us pray for the victims and survivors to find the courage to come forward and for the healing of the Lord.

In the Lord,

Rev. Michael S. Triplett

Going on at OLPH:

INDIVIDUAL UNBOUND MINISTRY PRAYER– Many of us are fighting invisible battles with anxieties, negative thoughts, sins, unhealthy relationships, destructive habits, resentments, and bitter wounds that never seem to heal. You can reach out and experience God’s merciful love, healing, and freedom! Unbound Ministry Prayer releases the power of Jesus into wounded lives. On Saturday, February 24th, trained teams will be available to provide individual prayers using the Unbound Model of prayer in Ellicott City, MD. Unbound Prayer is based on 5 scriptural keys that help you unlock those areas of your life where you want to receive greater freedom, healing, and spiritual growth. If you would like to schedule an appointment or want more information, please contact Dan or Peggy Gahagan by Monday, February 19th, at UnboundMinistryMaryland@gmail.com. We ask that you read at least the first seven chapters of the book Unbound by Neal Lozano before your appointment to receive Unbound prayer (available at www.Amazon.com OR www.heartofthefather.com).

A SPECIAL NOTE FROM FR. MIKE– As you may be aware, The Archdiocese of Baltimore filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Reorganization to (1) achieve equitable compensation for victim-survivors who submit claims and (2) to ensure the continuation of the Archdiocese of Baltimore’s ministries. The United States Bankruptcy Court granted the petition for the District of Maryland. The deadline for the filing of child sexual abuse claims related to the Archdiocese of Baltimore personnel is May 31, 2024. All parishes and schools must share the “Publications Notice” and the “Claims Deadline Notice” in various formats. This information is shared below and can be found on our website at https://olphparish.org/aob-update/. Please join me in prayer for victim-survivors and their loved ones. Join me in prayer for our Archdiocese. Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions.

KINGDOM BUILDERS invites all women to claim their inheritance of peace and joy and attend our next gathering at St Louis Church on Feb 28th from 7-8:30 pm. The evening begins with Scriptural teaching coupled with the lives and writings of the saints. The Teachings are humorous, deep, and inspiring, with real-life applications of living the faith. Then, the night continues with Adoration with contemporary praise and worship music that connects to the Teaching theme. Kingdom Builders empowers women to listen to the promptings of the Holy Spirit in setting goals for our physical health, family dynamics, holy friendships, strong marriages, and more. These are ALL part of what St. John Paul II called our – Feminine Genius. We want to honor God in all these areas of our life.

LENTEN RESOURCES – The USCCB offers a daily Lenten calendar and initial resources for the Triduum. Daily Lent Reflections visit: https://www.usccb.org/resources/2024-daily-lent-calendar-bilingual. Additional resources include “What is Lent?”: https://www.usccb.org/prayer-worship/liturgical-year/lent Various resources on the Triduum: https://www.usccb.org/prayer-worship/liturgical-year/triduum