From the Deacon’s Desk for March 6, 2022

Dear Friends:

There are many things we can look at as we ponder Lent. Here are two that strike me as very basic to our journey as Christians. The first has to do with our own reconciliation and the other with how we accept and welcome others. Others whom we think may be less than they should be. I’m reminded of a story of a man who dies and is sitting at a table in front of the gates of Heaven. The man has his head buried in his arms which are folded on the tabletop. Jesus walks by and says to the man, “Come into Heaven. We are waiting for you!” The man   answers “I can’t.” Jesus retorts, “Why not?” The man answers, “First of all I’m a sinner.  Everyone knows you can’t be a sinner and get into Heaven.”  Jesus says, “Don’t worry I took care of that for you, your sins are forgiven.” The man says, “I know. I just can’t believe it, and what’s more, in there you really have to love, and I haven’t learned how to do that either.”

We can start to accept the forgiveness God offers to us right now! There is no sin so big that God will not forgive if we come to Jesus with open arms and a willing spirit. Perhaps our lives have been touched in some way by sinfulness or greed. Maybe we have a streak of selfishness, or we feel we are better or holier than the next person. Maybe we are so full of ourselves we cannot bear to admit we might be wrong. If we really are trying to change our lives and do our best to reconcile with God and our community, we are forgiven. If we come to Jesus asking for help he will give us the courage to face our imperfections and faults. We will receive again and again the “life-giving water” the light we need to see through the darkness of our sins.    

We must then move from our comfort zone. We are prodded to go out from our midst and welcome home those who are estranged. We, as reconciling Christians, must offer the good news to those who have not heard. We must share what we know. We must be understanding of human frailty and welcome those, who like us, are struggling with the urge to sin. We must answer the call.  That is the command of our Baptismal promise and that is the challenge of the Gospel we live. Let this Lent be the one that changes us once and for all. Let this Lent be the one that really allows us to see the light of the world and drink of the water he offers.

Peace and All Good

Deacon Jim