March 1, 2020 - Pastor Message05/19/2021
THE YEAR OF DISCIPLESHIP COLLABORATION (CONCLUSION) “When the news [of Jonah’s warning] reached the king if Nineveh, he rose from his throne, laid aside his robes, covered himself in sackcloth, and laid in ashes. Then he had this proclaimed throughout Nineveh: Neither man nor beast, neither cattle nor sheep, shall taste anything; they shall not eat, nor shall they drink water. Man and beast shall be covered with sackcloth and call loudly to God; every man shall turn from his evil way and from the violence he has in hand. Who knows, God may relent and forgive and withhold his blazing wrath, so that we shall not perish. When God saw by their actions how they turned from their evil way, he repented of the evil that he had threatened to do to them; he did not carry it out” (Jonah 3:610).
We have been reflecting together for the past month on our need for collaboration, of working together, to accomplish our shared mission as disciples of Christ. An important area of collaboration that we stress each Lent is our need for shared prayer, charity, and penance. These three hallmarks of Lent draw us together in common purpose around the greatest unifier of all, Jesus Christ, whose saving death and resurrection we prepare to celebrate throughout the Lenten season. He is the Son of God, to whom we pray. He calls us to charity and gives us the greatest example, serving the lowliest and the least. He challenges us to works of penance, by his own forty day fast in the desert at the beginning of his ministry and by his passion and death at the end.
While Christ certainly calls his disciples to individual prayer, charity, and penance, he also calls us to come together and pray, serve, and repent as his Body, the Church. Like the story of Jonah and his call to the people of Nineveh to repent of their sins, we know that sin is not only a private affair. Just so, the remedy for sin is not a private affair.
During Lent, we do our works of prayer, charity, and penance together. Here at St. Boniface, our communal prayer will include weekly Stations of the Cross on Fridays at 7:00 PM and our Parish Alive retreat April 34.Our communal charity will include the annual Catholic Services Appeal (CSA) and the Knights of Columbus food drive. Our communal penance will include fasting on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday and abstaining from meat on all Fridays. Sin affects us all, but so do our common efforts to overcome sin and repair the harm that it does. Let us work together this Lent to pray, serve, and repent, and may the grace of God that comes through our shared efforts bring us all closer to Christ who unites us.
Fr. Marc Stockton