Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Dear Friends,

Listening Sessions for Synod: Some of our parishioners were able to attend the deanery ‘Listening Session’ in Somerville on 2/18/22, in preparation for the worldwide “Synod on Synodality.” It was a very special experience. As announced, I wish to offer more of our parishioners that opportunity, and that is why we will have two listening sessions here at St. Matthias. One will be via zoom at 7 pm on Thursday, March 3. The other will be in person at 10 am on Saturday, March 5, in the Cafeteria. Kindly register for the one you wish to attend (see links on page 1). In case you are unable to attend these, you are still most welcome to send in your answers to the questions online at: www.stmatthias.net/synod-2023

Lent is upon us! You have been hearing about preparing for Lent. Contrary to some misconceptions, Lent is not a time for self-punishment or condemnation, but a time to concentrate on fundamental values and priorities. If Lent is a season of preparation leading up to Easter, then the focus is on the new life that is our guarantee through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. During Lent we make a self-examination to see how we are faring in our efforts to achieve that new life. It is interesting that ‘Lent’ comes from the old English word ‘Lente’ meaning spring. As we do a spring cleaning, Lent is a time for spiritual cleaning. How do you do that? The Church offers various opportunities:

1. Ash Wednesday: On this first day of Lent, we are reminded of our fallen nature; that we are fallible human beings who have made wrong choices that hurt us and others in our life. Yet we are not without hope, because the grace of God gives us a second chance to reform. This is symbolized by the ashes that will be imposed on us with the words, “Repent and believe the good news,” or “Remember you are dust and to dust you shall return.” See page 7 or our website for our Ash Wednesday schedule.

2. Stations of the Cross or Way of the Cross: This is a prayerful biblical meditation of 14 incidents from the Gospel accounts and traditions of the journey of Jesus from Pilate’s house to being placed in the tomb. Let us do it on Lenten Fridays.

3. LIVE LENT! This week, many of our parishioners will begin this wonderful experience of Bible sharing in small groups six times during the six weeks of Lent. If you have not signed up yet, you are welcome to do so now.

4. I would also like to recommend a Bible Conference offered online by the famous Augustine Institute, on Saturday, March 5, exploring the graces of this penitential season in Scripture and Tradition. This three hour conference is free and open to all. Go to this link to register: https://bibleconference.augustineinstitute.org

These and other possibilities are worth considering doing. You will be amazed at the positive spiritual benefits. Thus we can make Lent a meaningful time of spring cleaning for our souls and you will see what a great difference it will make in all of our lives.

Your brother in Christ,

Fr. Abraham Orapankal