From the Pastor’s Desk

The Second Sunday of Lent

Feb 25, 2024

The Eucharist as Sacrifice
“To you will I offer sacrifice of thanksgiving, and I will call upon the name of the Lord.”
-Psalm 116:17

 

Brothers and Sisters,

You’ve likely come across the age-old adage, “There’s no such thing as a free lunch,” woven into the fabric of advice from parents, grandparents, teachers, coaches, and mentors. It serves as a gentle nudge to remind us of the importance of hard work, emphasizing that life rarely offers something for nothing. While the sentiment behind this saying is noble, its simplicity can sometimes obscure a deeper truth.

Consider this: our earliest meals were likely provided by our mothers, a loving investment of time and effort long before we could contribute ourselves. Even seemingly “free” gestures, like the kind stranger ahead of my mother in the drive-thru line who unexpectedly paid for her meal, come with their own implicit cost. Grateful as we are for such acts of kindness, they remind us of the countless meals owed to our mothers (like mine!), debts impossible to repay fully.

Indeed, there is a cost, though we may find ourselves fortunate when others bear it on our behalf. This profound truth lies at the heart of the Eucharist, where Jesus’ sacrificial act on the cross provides an eternal banquet. It’s a meal of infinite value we could never fully repay. Yet, let us not misconstrue this as an invitation to take advantage of or “mooch” off the Lord’s generosity.

I’ve admittedly hesitated to advocate for sacrifice as an answer for our Lord’s bottomless kindness, mindful of the prophetic wisdom echoed by the prophet Hosea (6:6), and affirmed by Jesus (Matthew 9:13). Moreover, Jesus issues a stern warning to the religious leaders: “They tie up heavy burdens and lay them on people’s shoulders…” (Matthew 23:4).

The Church’s guidance on fasting and abstinence, such as the observance of Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, is tempered with this understanding. These practices are not about imposing great sacrifices but fostering awareness and self-discipline. Similarly, abstaining from meat on Fridays reminds us of our capacity for self-control amidst a wealth of culinary options.

I urge you to embrace the practice of sacrifice, starting with the small, everyday renunciations that open up more time for prayer, service, and meaningful connections with our loved ones. With careful consideration guided by trusted advisors and accountability partners, let us venture further into sacrificial living, understanding it as a humble participation in the profound cost borne by Jesus.

Join us this Monday, February 26th, at 7 pm in the Church for the Relics of Christ’s Passion Tour. This event offers a unique opportunity for introspection as we pray through Jesus’ passion and suffering alongside relics. RSVP at OLPHParish.org/reg-hub to help us plan and ensure the best experience for all.

In the Lord,

Rev. Michael S. Triplett

Going on at OLPH:

CATHOLIC MEN’S FELLOWSHIP CONFERENCE– The 25th Anniversary CMF Conference will occur on Saturday, March 9, at St. Philip Neri Church in Linthicum. Activities include presentations, Reconciliation, and Adoration. Tickets ($50) cover all programming, breakfast, lunch, and refreshments. Volunteers attend for free. Vendors will offer Catholic items and resources. Visit the Catholic Men’s Fellowship of Maryland website for details, speaker bios, and registration: https://catholicmensfellowship.com/. This year’s theme: “Jesus Christ – Yesterday, Today, and Forever” (Heb. 13:8). Key speakers: Peter Herbeck, EVP and Director of Missions for Renewal Ministries, and Dr. Edward Sri, founding leader of FOCUS.

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