Dear Brothers and Sisters,
There is something new here! In our Gospel, the people are astonished at the teachings of Jesus. Why were they astounded? Are we amazed at the teachings of Jesus? The people of Jesus’ time did not have Google or news outlets to get their information, but rather received it from the stories and witnesses of ordinary men and women that heard Jesus’ teachings and shared them. The witness of those early Christians fueled the Gospel message that still amazes us today.
We are beneficiaries of so many people of history that have shared their amazement of Jesus’ teachings. And we have that same opportunity to participate in the spreading of the Gospel. Throughout our day we encounter many people, both in person or through social mediums, where we share our daily life with people of multiple backgrounds. By keeping ourselves grounded in our faith through prayer, reflection, and study, we naturally will share our understanding of Jesus’ amazing teachings. Through our simple acts of support, friendship, and engagement we bring forth the three important virtues of faith, hope, and charity. Let us not allow these opportunities pass us by.
This past week we celebrated two important figures is education history. We celebrated the lives of Saint Angela Merici and Saint Thomas Aquinas. Both were bold in their desire to teach the faith to the poor and the educated. In thinking about these great figures in education, I am reminded of the challenges that students and educators face today as we journey through this pandemic. We need to support our students, parents, and educators with our prayers and interest in our students’ academic growth. Many of our local schools hold in person classes with many covid-19 protocols, but some students are still learning virtually. Both ways of learning encounter academic challenges, especially for students that may have educational concerns. These are unique times as we try to bring quality education to our young people. We pray that the gifts of the Holy Spirit are bestowed upon all involved.
In a few weeks we will begin the season of Lent. Let us start preparing for this season so that we can be transformed by it. One area I challenge you to reflect upon is how you, during Lent, you can, reach out to your family, neighbors, and friends, especially those that may be dealing with loneliness due to the isolation of the pandemic. A wonderful opportunity exists here to be the presence of Christ during that season of prayer, fasting, and alms giving.
Thank you again for your continued support of our parish community. The projects designated for the funds from “We give Catholic” are under way. Your weekly and monthly financial support continues to keep the parish financially stable and able to continue to provide assistance to Lakewood Catholic Academy and our P.S.R program. These are two very special ways the parishes support our children’s academic and spiritual growth.
May the amazement of the early followers of Jesus give us strength this week in showing our love and joy for our faith.