2nd Sunday of Lent
From the Pastor’s Desk
March 5, 2023
“If you wish, I will make three tents here,
one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”
Accept my blessings to you and your families as we journey together this Lent. When reading the Gospels, have you ever noticed that Peter often speaks before he thinks? Today makes no exception, as we find Peter beside himself with excitement, asking Jesus, Moses, and Elijah to literally pitch a tent and stay awhile. Still, impulsivity is not always a bad character trait. It’s good to remember that even when those who tend to be more extroverted can come off as rash or unreflective, they can also exhibit admirable behaviors like authenticity or courage. That aside, how did Peter recognize Moses and Elijah; did these two appear with captions below them? Indeed, there were no photographs of these prophets for Peter to reference. Then, almost comically, Peter blurts out his intention to make tents for Jesus, Moses, and Elijah. Still, let’s quell our temptation to think of Peter’s intention as absurd. Especially considering churches worldwide host the Tabernacle or ‘place of dwelling’ for Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament to reside. And, just like Peter, we may be tempted to ask Jesus to do the heavy lifting by sticking around with us, yet our Lord likes to be visited. Still, even more than that, Jesus wants us to make a home for Him in the depths of our hearts and souls.
In Light Brightly Visible 2.0, Archbishop Lori named welcome or hospitality the second-most pastoral priority. Parishes have to be warm and friendly spaces, striving to invite the lost and visitors alike into the flock of Christ. However, extending welcome shouldn’t simply be assigned to our ministers of hospitality, the folks who warmly greet us at our church doors. No, being kind and hospitable should be the work of our entire parish family. With that challenge in mind, let’s redouble our efforts to be gracious to one another by making a real effort to greet each other in the parking lot, in the narthex, or by making room for an extra person in our church pews (even if this means that we forgo our favorite “spot”). As Jesus taught us earlier in the Gospel of Matthew, “Without cost, you have received; without cost, you are to give.” OLPH is a gift from the Lord to be shared with others!
When I first arrived here at OLPH, Family Dinner Nights were among the important moments that helped define the culture of this parish for me. That’s why I am grateful that we are bringing back our Family Dinner Nights with our first meal back together to be on Saturday, April 1. Please mark your calendars to join us for a delicious dinner and great company as we celebrate the entrance into Holy Week with Palm Sunday while honoring Marty Kersse, who helped make these events full of warmth and welcome for his fellow parishioners.
Before I close, I’d also be remiss not to mention what should be the true measure of our hospitality to one another, a willingness to invite others into an encounter with the Lord at the liturgy, or by attending a fantastic community-building event here at OLPH. With that said, our parish is abundantly blessed with a multitude of opportunities for us to deepen our faith and invite others to join us, like our monthly Festival of Praise nights on the first Friday of each month at 7:30 pm in the church or the annual Christ Life programming such as the vibrant Discovering Christ course. Now in Lent, we are honored to offer a weekly opportunity to participate in Stations of the Cross on Fridays at 2 pm or 7 pm, preceded by our Simple Soup Suppers at 6 pm in the Parish Center. Then we must consider all that our women’s and men’s ministries have designed on our behalf, like the “The Well” retreat series for women, which will host Sr. Albertine Cevallos, OP, on Saturday, March 18 from 6 to 9 pm as she shares her a talk “Christ our Bridegroom – Loving Jesus Through Holy Week.” Or the Men’s Lenten Hike at the Shrine of St. Anthony on Saturday, March 11, from 9 am-1 pm. Still, something is particularly compelling when both men and women join together to deepen their faith, like at our upcoming mini-retreat, The Beauty of the Cross, next Sunday, March 12, from 2 to 4 pm. Please take a minute to visit our dedicated Lenten landing page at https://olphparish.org/lent-2023/ for RSVP details and to explore all the ways we can step away from the busyness that often consumes our lives to experience God’s love at an unhurried pace this Lent.