Dear Fellow Parishioners,
Last Monday night, SV hosted our Lenten Reconciliation Service. After a handful of years of COVID-suppressed demand, this service attracted more people than I have ever seen. We had 9 priests and began hearing confessions shortly after 7 p.m. and I didn’t finish until about 9:45 p.m.
I understand that many people left when the long lines caused them to lose heart. I can only imagine the frustration that may have caused, and I apologize. It caught me by surprise as well. While I am gratified that so many were “led by the Spirit” to avail themselves of the Sacrament of Reconciliation, we need to find additional ways to make it available to those who wish to receive it.
For those who came but were not able to confess, I recommend a sincere Act of Contrition, and that you apply the time and effort spent in attending as your penance. I will add confession capacity and times between now and Holy Thursday for those who still wish to go to confession.
We are approaching the Fourth Sunday of Lent – Laetare Sunday, which means “Rejoice”. It’s a sign, first of all, that our Lenten journey is well underway. It’s slightly past the mid-point of Lent, and the reason for rejoicing is the anticipation of Christ’s resurrection at Easter. The prayers of the Mass take on a distinct note of anticipation, preparation and hope, and Easter is three weeks away. Make no mistake: the authenticity of Christian belief is dependent on the power and truth of His resurrection, His conquest over sin and death.
This Sunday’s gospel of the Man Born Blind is taken from the beginning of the gospel of John, chapter 9. It is especially pointed in its descriptions of different forms of sin and blindness, physical and figurative, and in its description of Jesus ministering personally to someone who had been written off as beyond anyone’s power to heal. It is no surprise that this Gospel has been read at the Sunday Eucharistic liturgy every year during Lent since the 1st century.
Fr. Bill Donahue