3rd Sunday of Lent
From the Pastor’s Desk
March 12, 2023
“Sir, give me this water, so that I may not be thirsty or have to keep coming here to draw water.”
Brothers and Sisters,
Have you ever imagined what it would be like if Jesus showed up at your house one day? What would you ask? What might He ask you? The good news is that when it comes to our Savior, there is no need for hypothetical encounters. As His disciples, we have a standing invitation to sit with and encounter Jesus. While any space and time will do, as humans ( I should add, often as busy humans), the space and time we set aside for Jesus matters. So ask yourself, where do you pray? When do you pray? Remember, our Lord wants to hear what troubles or energizes you! Still, He can only know if we tell Him and, better still, listen to His response in our sharing. That’s why I strongly encourage everyone to set aside some time and space to encounter Christ. Our Good Shepherd Chapel (https://olphparish.org/adoration-chapel) is a sacred space for parishioners and visitors to meet our Lord throughout the day. If you’ve yet to spend time with our Lord present in the Eucharist, begin with 20 minutes or so, then work your way up. Also, consider visiting the Lord with a friend, spouse, or family.
The Samaritan woman goes unnamed in today’s Gospel. Yet, this woman at the well was far from unknown to Jesus. He knew her personally, her wounds, her wants, and most especially, her need for mercy and love. And Jesus provided, as he will for you! As an aside, after a quick Google search, I learned our woman at the well is named and honored as St. Photina of Samaria in Orthodox and Catholic traditions. Interestingly, the Eastern tradition notes that her inspiration and martyrdom led to many conversions that the number was “equal to the apostles.”
As his third pastoral priority In Light Brightly Visible 2.0, Archbishop Lori asks parishes to be “graced venue(s) of encounter.” Encouraged by this call to action, we should be ready, willing, and able to introduce others to Jesus, a personal Savior who welcomes the opportunity to lighten our burdens and shower us with grace. We’ve been blessed at OLPH, through our partnership with ChristLife, to witness firsthand the many people they’ve accompanied into a deeper relationship with such a Savior. And with thanksgiving, let’s call to mind the many among us, ministry leaders, catechists, volunteers, and staff members whose passion for Christ leads many to start their discipleship pathway with their horizon line set on Jesus. Let us also remember our recently deceased parishioners, Marty Kersse and Matt Shanley, who each loved to feed people but even more to introduce them to Christ — what beautiful legacies!
A quick reminder, this Friday, March 17, we celebrate the feast of St. Patrick. With the Archbishop’s permission, Catholics can forego the abstinence from meat but are encouraged to perform another penance. And when we do, let’s remember the deeper meaning of the day; Saint Patrick, a formerly enslaved person, was a conduit for Christ, helping introduce and convert the people of Ireland to Christianity.
And finally, ladies of the parish, you are encouraged to set aside Saturday morning, March 18, for The Well Lenten Retreat with Dominican Sr. Albertine Cevallos, OP, who currently serves at Mount de Sales. And gentlemen, please mark your calendars for the upcoming Outdoor Stations and Bonfire on Wednesday, March 22, at 7 pm, sponsored by the OLPH Men’s ministry.