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Dear St. Martin’s Parishioners,

Happy Lent! Lent comes from the old English word for spring. I pray that this holy season might bring about a springlike renewal of hope and love in your relationship with God. This Sunday’s first reading and psalm revolve around the theme of God’s covenant. A covenant is a sacred oath taken between persons or families that binds them together. It is amazing that God, who is utterly free in respect to his creation, willing binds himself to us in love. Through the various covenants of the Old Testament—those made with Noah, Abraham, Moses, David and Ezekiel—God promises to redeem his people. How he does so is astonishing, though: he makes us members of his own family. All of the Old Testament covenants point forward to the new and eternal covenant that God makes in sending us his Son, so that we might become adopted sons and daughters of God. Through baptism, we have been redeemed by becoming members of Christ’s body and participants in the life of the Holy Trinity.

Satan tempted Jesus in the desert by questioning his divine sonship: “If you are the son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread” (Mt. 4:3). Later, while on the cross, Jesus will be tempted again: “If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross” (Mt. 27:40). As we more consciously face our own temptations during Lent, know that Satan employs the same tactic with us. He will try to make us doubt our identity in Christ as beloved sons and daughters of the Father. Our sins stem from an often unconscious assumption that I’m on my own, that I can’t count on the Father, that he won’t forgive me, etc. The more we are able to abide in the Father’s love and allow ourselves to be cared for by him, the less power Satan has over us. May our Lenten practices of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving lead us to greater communion with God in Christ. Remember you are the Father’s beloved son or daughter!

From July 17-21, the Church in the United States is celebrating a National Eucharistic Congress in Indianapolis, Indiana. The Church desires that we delve more deeply into the central mystery of our faith, the treasure of Christ’s sacramental presence in the Eucharist. In the same vein, I will be leading a Eucharistic pilgrimage this fall to Fatima and Spain. We will celebrate Mass at the site of a Eucharistic miracle in Portugal, visit the shrine of Our Lady of Fatima, and follow the footsteps in Spain of one of the great lovers of Jesus in Eucharist, St. Manuel Gonzalez. There are only 35 spots available for this pilgrimage, so if you are interested in attending, please see the information on the flyers at the entrances to the church. Or click here.

Lastly, as you consider almsgiving this Lent, please keep our parish pantry in mind. Our average numbers are over 400 people per week, which is impossible for us to sustain without your donations!

In Christ,

Fr. Dave

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