Being Changed

This weekend, we continue hearing from Jesus about the Kingdom of God. These verses from the Sermon on the Mount are challenging for us. What does it mean when Jesus says, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the law and the prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.” There’s so much richness and revelation here for us. I can’t even begin to hope to truly address it all in the 750 words I have, but the timing resonates with me in a particularly inspiring way today.

February, with the deepening of winter but also the hope of sunshine filled days, inevitably turns my heart toward Lent.  Just as Jesus is encouraging us in today’s reading to live out God’s law more fully, Lent calls out to us with this very same invitation. Jesus warns us that, although it’s right to follow the law, it’s not enough to merely satisfy them superficially. We must live the laws in our hearts. The laws should change us and mold us so that, in obedience to them, we are better able to receive the love of God. In the same way, we must take care that we don’t miss out on the opportunity that Lent presents by simply checking off the boxes next to the rules. If we do Lent properly, the prayer, almsgiving, and fasting will change us.

What would a Lent that is informed by today’s Gospel look like? Attending Mass on Sundays and Holy Days is right, it’s obedient, it’s necessary, but this Lent, might we take the act of meeting Christ in the Eucharist further? What if we attended Mass when we don’t “have to,” or made visiting Him in Adoration a priority? Might you find an hour a week just for Him? Our adoration chapel is here for you to do just that.

Sharing our material goods through alms is right, obedient, and necessary as well, but could we reach out with greater intent and also spend time with those in need of our help and love? There are many who could benefit from a visit from you, an old friend, an elderly relative, a stranger seeking shelter or food.

Growing closer to any other person requires an investment of time in getting to know them. Growing closer to Christ requires no less. There are many beautiful ways to start to get to know Christ better through formation opportunities here at St. Peter’s.

Beginning in March, Fr. Steven will lead talks on the Beatitudes, conveniently scheduled in both the evening and morning. Jesus has a unique relationship with the law of God. He comes as the one human able to live in a perfect relationship with God. To see Jesus is to see what human beings are created to be. Jesus reveals much in the Beatitudes. Here’s your chance to learn more about what Jesus sought to teach us.

Alpha, with its emphasis on creating for each and every person a deep, personal encounter with Jesus, is another terrific chance to foster greater closeness to Him. We offer Alpha twice a year, and you will always be welcome.

Great care has been taken to provide you with spiritual reading and enriching recorded talks in our Resource Center. Take a few minutes each day to read or listen to recordings that lift your spirit and open your heart to the Holy Spirit. Turn your commute to work, carpools to those countless hockey practices, or your workout into moments of discovery by taking advantage of our parish subscription to Formed, where you’ll find stimulating and informative talks, Bible studies, and audio dramas about inspiring Saints.

Many of us will seek the mercy of His Love in confession.  If you haven’t already done so, I encourage you to listen to a series of homilies Fr. Steven gave on confession. These are available on our website. 

This Lent, let’s all endeavor to be changed when we come together in celebration of His Resurrection. We can still give up our chocolate and sodas, bring in those overflowing bags of groceries for the FoodShare Drive, and dedicate more time to prayer, but I invite you to join me in making those choices with more intention—allowing ourselves to be open to how the Spirit may use those sacrifices to shape us more fully into the beloved daughters and sons of God, through Jesus Christ.

Lisa Amos
Director of Mission and Ministry

 

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