Message: Put your relationship with Jesus first and all other relationships will find their correct place.
Welcome to Lent! Many of you remember during Lent 2015 taking a survey about your beliefs, spiritual practices and relation to St. Mary of the Valley Parish. These survey results will provide a baseline as we observe Lent 2016. The most important question addresses your spiritual journey - your relationship with Jesus. It has four possibilities:
Your responses pleased me: 41% say your relationship with Jesus Christ is the most important relationship in your life. Another 40% say you have personally encountered Jesus Christ and are growing as a disciple. Now, I want all of us to encounter Jesus and recognize the relationship with him as the most important in your life.
You might ask, More important than my mother or father? More important than wife and children? Yes! If you put Jesus first, all other relationships will find their proper place. You will do right by your children, your spouse, your parents, your friends. That's the goal of Lent: To encounter Jesus and give him first place. Repent and believe in the Gospel.
This Lent I want to help you in your relationship with Jesus: to not only discover that all-important relationship, but live it. In the survey results I am most disappointed by your practice of prayer. I will give specifics this Sunday. For today I note that Jesus tells us to pray, fast and give alms. The three go together. Almsgiving is Stewardship. Some people avoid prayer because they are reluctant to give their time, talent and treasure to God.
Prayer also requires fasting. We have minimum rules for fasting, for example, to not eat meat on Ash Wednesday and the seven Fridays of Lent. Besides giving up some favorite food, we should consider other forms of fasting - TV, Internet, Facebook, Smart Phone... I'll address this on Sunday as we see Jesus going into the desert for 40 days of prayer and fasting. This will inaugurate five homilies titled "First Things." Don't miss it. For today our message is: Put your relationship with Jesus first and all other relationships will find their correct place. Repent and believe in the Gospel. Amen.
From Archives (Ash Wednesday Homilies):
Homilies for First Sunday of Lent ("Temptation Sunday"):
Seapadre Homilies: Cycle A, Cycle B, Cycle C
Audio Files of Homilies (Simple Catholicism Blog)
Are these homilies a help to you? Please consider making a donation to St. Mary of the Valley Parish.
Bishop Bob Barron's Homilies
Fr. Brad's Homilies
Fr. Jim's Homilies
Fr. Michael White's Homilies ("messages")
Parish Picture Album
Parish Picture Album
(February of 2016)
Rite of Enrollment (Adapted from Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults)
Rito de Entrada (Adaptada del Rito de Inciciacion Cristiana de Adultos)
MBC - Mary Bloom Center, Puno, Peru