February 17-18, 2018

Feb 14, 2018

In today's first reading from the book of Genesis, we hear of God's promise made to Noah after the great flood. There is one word in the brief reading that is repeated five times: covenant. God promises to establish a covenant made with Noah, his descendants, and "every living creature." God tells Noah that whenever He sees the rainbow, He will recall this covenant never to destroy or devastate the earth again. The bow in the cloud is a sign or symbol of the covenant. Covenant is not a word that we use everyday, but it is an important biblical concept. It generally refers to the relationship that God makes with us: He will be our God, and we will be his people. It is also the word we use in Catholic theology to describe the relationship between husband and wife in a sacramental marriage, where the man and wife make an unconditional vow with each other. They promise to love each other in any and every situation (better or worse, richer or poorer, in good times and in bad) for all of their lives. No ifs or conditions! This is why we say married couples remind us of the God who enters into a covenant with us and who loves us that way. 

This Lent, many of the readings we will hear will remind us and encourage us to renew, deepen, and strengthen our covenant relationship with God. I invite you to look for mentions of this covenant as you read and listen to the Lenten scriptures. But perhaps more importantly, I also invite you to think about the relationship, the covenant you share with God. And each Lent, we don't just "give up something," because it is the season to do so, or maybe to lose a pound or two, but we do things that will renew this most special of relationships. And should we be blessed to see a rainbow, maybe it will remind us of this wonderful covenant bond we have with our God. 

Fr. Jeff 

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To Embrace Rather than Alienate 

In his homily Sunday, Fr. Jeremy quoted St. Francis: While I was in sin, it seemed bitter to me to see lepers. And the Lord led me among them and I had mercy upon them, and that which seemed bitter to me was changed into sweetness of soul and body.” 

“Since the essence of ‘Humility’ is ‘Truth’”, I can humbly boast that one of the many ways I observe Lent is to provide an opportunity to help those who, rightly or wrongly, feel justified in being genuinely and sincerely ‘bitter.’” I try to provide an opportunity for them to at least begin to become more able to turn that bitterness into the most compassionate “sweetness of soul and body”. St. Francis himself says it was by the direction and support of God that he was able to develop that “sweetness” and then maintain it under the duress of actually embracing rather than alienating each and every leper in his life. 

Barry Parmeter 

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What We Did During Lent 

We invite you to share in the bulletin special Lent practices of your family now or in the past. We are parishioners of different cultures and ethnic backgrounds. We can be inspired by each other. 

Limit is about 200 words. 

Give or email to Fr. Jeremy your Lenten stories. 

[email protected] 

Fr. Jeremy