Dear St. Martin’s Parishioners,
St. Paul exhorts his brother bishop Timothy in this Sunday’s second reading, “Bear your share of hardship for the gospel with the strength that comes from God.” His straightforward exhortation is for all of us, as well. Some bear that hardship by standing up for Christ in a pagan work environment. Others do so by taking care of an elderly, infirmed parent or spouse, thereby evidencing the dignity of human life in all its stages. Some bear that hardship by living their marriage open to life, when it would be simpler to adopt a contraceptive mentality. Many of our parishioners sacrificially serve the poor and downtrodden, sharing in their sorrows and misfortunes. A high school or college student bears his share of hardship for the sake of the gospel by refraining from participating in a hedonistic culture. All of us repent of our sins, struggle to grow in virtue, strive to forgive those who have wronged us, and courageously allow the Lord to heal our hearts from traumatic experiences. The examples are manifold and unique to each of us, but together we bear hardship for the sake of the gospel because we desire to share in the blessings of the gospel, primarily the gift of friendship and communion with God in this life and the next. Whatever cross we carry, our faith affirms that God’s power is sufficient for us.
Next week, Monday, March 13 and Tuesday, March 14, I encourage all of our parish to join in our Lenten Parish Mission. Fr. Joseph Mary Rogers and two religious brothers from the Servants of the Pierced Hearts of Jesus and Mary are travelling from Miami, Florida to lead our mission. The title of the Mission is The Eucharistic Heart of Jesus, Life of the Church and Hope of Humanity: “I have come that you may have life.” Beginning at 6:30pm each evening, we will have mission talks, Eucharistic adoration, Mass and, on Tuesday, a penance service with many confessors. I promise that this mission will pack a powerful spiritual punch that you don’t want to miss out on.