Dear ones in Christ,
It is with joy that I write to you again today as we continue both our Lenten journey and this time of Eucharistic fast. Your faithfulness in these days is inspiring to say the least! Today’s first reading is from Daniel 3. It’s the well-known and well-beloved account of the three Hebrew men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, being thrown into the white-hot furnace. Can you somewhat see the parallel in their experience as being similar to the test of faith that we are all facing these days? I am deeply encouraged by their response of faith, “There is no need for us to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If our God, whom we serve, can save us from the white-hot furnace and from your hands, O king, may he save us! But even if he will not, know, O king, that we will not serve your god or worship the golden statue that you set up.” They, of course, were thrown into the furnace, and it was in that supreme trial of their faith that “… one like a son of God,” was seen walking with them. We miss our fellowship together. We miss being able to freely receive the Eucharist, but it’s in these times of trial that the Lord desires so fervently to walk with His people to comfort, console, encourage and strengthen each one of us. May these days open us up to a deeper communion with the Lord that will help us to look forward with keen hope to those days when once again we can look upon each other in joyful fellowship with the Lord.
Of course, we will not be able to gather this Sunday due to the pandemic. However, one of our priests forwarded the following to our Bishop who would like to share it with all of us.
“Due to Covid-19 this Palm Sunday we are omitted the blessings of palm branches. However, we can put a green branch (any greenery) on our doors to celebrate the beginning of Holy Week, remembering the Triumphant Entrance of the Lord to Jerusalem. This is not taking place of the tradition of blessing palms, but it will be a beautiful sign of our unity as a Church and of our reverence to our most important week of faith. Separated by distance, united in Love and Faith.”
Some have asked if I am planning to record or make videos of any of my homilies, private masses, reflections, etc. I’m aware that there are some other parishes that are doing this, but in reflecting on it I realize that by using these emails to communicate with you that I’m opening a channel for you to email me any time. For reference, my email address is frjay5101(a)yahoo.com. Please feel free to use it any time. This form of communication feels more intimate to me than using any other technology.
Did you happen to watch Pope Francis’ “Urbi et Orbi” reflection and blessing last Friday? If you missed it, the entire reflection is on our diocesan webpage: www.diocesetucson.org It’s absolutely beautiful.
We’ve received calls asking how parishioners can continue to make their weekly offertory to the parish. How deeply I appreciate your thoughtfulness and generosity. You can come by the parish office and slip your envelope through the mail slot in the door or drop it in the mailbox attached to the wall by the main door. You can also mail it in, although that is a slower method. Finally, you can make contributions to our parish via the diocesan website.
- Go to diocesetucson.org
- Scroll down to the “Provide Hope”/”Helping our Parishes Endure” graphic and click where it says “Click Here to Donate.”
- Select our parish from the drop-down menu. You can choose from options to select a custom or standard amount and make either recurring payments or a one-time payment, and then complete the credit card information requested and click “Donate.” If you have any trouble with this process, please call the parish office and Connie or Eileen will be in touch with you to walk you through it.
Just these lines for today. It’s been said that absence makes the heart grow fonder. In these days of our separation may we find our love for each other and for our Heavenly Father growing and growing.