Isaiah 58:9b-14; Luke 5:27-32
There he goes again, upsetting the order of things. Jesus had been very busy healing the sick, forgiving sins and irritating the Pharisees. They were the ones that were hung up on order and structure, particularly since they were the ones at the top of the order. When Jesus came along, they were no longer the ones at the center of attention---the ones to whom others looked to for guidance and authority. Now the ones at the center of attention were the sinners. . . . tax collectors and crooks, the very dregs of society. Jesus had just encountered Levi, known in the community as a despised tax collector. Those in that profession were known for their scandalous practices, extorting money from the poor, skimming off the top and giving the rest to the Romans. And to everyone’s amazement Jesus chose to go to dinner at Levi’s house. . . a party big enough that they were spread throughout the courtyard. It was a party of crooks and sinners, in plain view of everyone. The Pharisees, who had not been invited to the party, loitered around the periphery, complaining about Jesus eating and drinking with the dregs of society, the very ones they took great pains to stay away from.
A video presentation of the Stations of the Cross.
Text and images provided by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
Music from various sources.
MESSAGE OF HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS
FOR LENT 2021
“Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem” (Mt 20:18)
Lent: a Time for Renewing Faith, Hope and Love
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Jesus revealed to his disciples the deepest meaning of his mission when he told them of his passion, death and resurrection, in fulfilment of the Father’s will. He then called the disciples to share in this mission for the salvation of the world.
Each year on the 17th of February, the Pallottine Family commemorates Blessed Elisabetta Sanna since her beatification in September 2016. This year the occasion was celebrated on the 16th because of Ash Wednesday, which fell this year on February 17. However, the church at Salvatore in Onda unlike other years, when it was fully packed on such occasion, also with people from Sardegna, this time was half empty. The reason is the global pandemic that is still hindering society from its normal activity. We pray that Mama Sanna will accompany us during this challenging time to grow more in our faith.
▪ Pope Francis opened his first Angelus of the New Year inviting us, the faithful, to join in “placing ourselves under the maternal and loving gaze of Mary, Most Holy. This gaze ensures that this time given to us by the Lord can be one that is spent for our human and spiritual growth.” The Pope continued saying that “it is time to iron out hatred and divisions, to feel that we are all more brothers and sisters, to build and not to destroy and to take care of one another and of creation. We do not know what 2021 holds for us, but what each one of us, and all of us together, can do is to take care of each other and of creation, our common home." He expressed his wish that the year 2021 be a year of peace and of hope.
Isaiah 58:1-9; Matthew 9:14-15
What a great reminder for the beginning of Lent. According to today’s first reading, from the Prophet Isaiah, there is a right way and a wrong way to fast. It’s a wonderful and challenging passage that has applications far beyond this one religious act (fasting). As Isaiah puts it here, the right way to fast is really a way to be genuinely religious and, for the Christian, adequately to imitate Christ.
First, how NOT to fast -- that would be to be so focused on ourselves that we can’t really see beyond ourselves. Isaiah’s words excoriate those who (allegedly) fast and yet “drive all your laborers,” and let their fasting end in “quarreling and fighting, striking with a wicked claw.”
Deuteronomy 30:15-20; Luke 9:22-25
“Whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.” -- Luke 9
In two paragraphs, today’s Gospel gives us a summary of the life of following Jesus. It will not always be easy and it requires living in a different way than others in the world.
Christian history is filled with people who sacrificed their lives for their faith, but for most of us, “losing our life” does not mean physical dying as we try to live out this life as followers of Jesus. The way most of us “lose our life” is much less dramatic, much less memorable, much more … everyday. How area we being asked to give ourselves away in the here and now?
Joel 2:12-18; 2 Corinthians 5:20—6:2; Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18
Today begins the six week season of Lent. Ash Wednesday reminds us of the fragility of life and the fact that what we have now is not a permanent dwelling place (“Remember that you are dust and unto dust you shall return”). What might be understood Initially as an unwelcome reminder can be seen as a crucial and even joyous experience when we see how it fits into God’s plan for us.
“Do you still not understand?” Mark 8:21
In the gospel, Jesus scolds his disciples. They are with him every day. So much has happened to them already and still they still do not understand.
We are like that. Things happen all around us that we look past. We see in the same old ways; what is closest must struggle to dislodge our wooden habits of perception and awaken our hearts. Skipping over what is truly present, we ogle the spectacle. Without understanding, our lives slip away and what matters is forgotten.
Today’s readings are an example of how much God loves us by giving us the ability to choose. There are no predetermined options, the way we live is up to us. There are no illusions. Our choices are on us.
On February 11, 2021 the General Government and the new Provincial Council of South Africa held an online meeting. The meeting dealt with the major issues of the Province. In her report Sr. Prabha Varghese, the Provincial Superior, shared the challenges of community life, formation, apostolic service and current difficulties.
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” Mt 11:28.
The Central Assembly, yet another milestone of the Pallottine Missionary Sisters was organized by the General Council via Zoom from 25 – 29 January 2021. For the first time in the history due to COVID–19 Pandemic, the Provincials/Regional/Delegature Superiors were connected virtually to discuss numerous Congregational matters. The theme for the Assembly was “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” Mt 11:28. Our meeting began with a warm welcome and the reflection by the Superior General. Sr. Izabela Świerad said: we are living in a difficult time and we need to strongly place our trust in God and learn to live in the present - our now. We can’t only long for the past, neither fear for the future. The most important thing for us is to reflect here and now the present reality of the World, the Church, and our Congregation in the eyes of faith and face the challenges in order to bring new life.