Fourth Sunday of Lent

03-10-2024From Fr. Antony's DeskFr. Antony Arockiadoss

Dear Family!

‘Laetare’ (Rejoice) Sunday (In Advent we have ‘Gaudete’) is a mid-point of reference to look back at our Lenten Journey and thank God for those moments of purification and enlightenment and ask God’s grace to give us more opportunities to see the Light of Christ in the remaining weeks of Lent. As there are two kinds of blind people - physically and spiritually, there are two kinds of people who can see!

It is interesting to note both Laetare and Gaudete come from Latin root which are principally used to express joy. "The difference between the two is that Laetare reflects a joy that is manifest outwardly whereas Gaudete reflects a way of rejoicing internally” (The Mouth Piece). The Rose color of ‘Gaudete’ is a softening of violet; it is violet approaching white. It anticipates the pure white of the Resurrection of Jesus.

We invited all our RCIA candidates last Sunday for the 9am mass for the First Scrutiny. We had a great opportunity to pray for them. As they continue to grow in their faith and love for the Church, we support them and encourage them with our prayers.

This ‘Laetare’ Sunday we have the ‘Second Scrutiny’ for the Catechumens. Thus, the Gospel for the Scrutiny is from John 9:1-41. One of the powerful themes of Christology is Christ being the Light. Lent is also seen as the period of ‘Purification and Enlightenment.’ Meditatively reflecting on the gospel, reveals to us that there is an inward journey taking place in us when we encounter Christ. This journey from darkness of sin to light of Christ requires a progressive movement of fixing our whole being to Jesus.

Second Scrutiny for the RCIA Candidates
On the 3rd, 4th, and 5th Sundays of Lent, Catholic Churches with adults preparing to be baptized at the Easter Vigil will perform three successive rites called “the Scrutinies”. These rites, with roots dating back to the early Church, are part of a larger process called the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA) or by the new name since 2021, Order of Christian Initiation for Adults (OCIA). In our parish, we pray for our three catechumens Preston Cryan, Emmanuel Sostre, & Tairina Paul as they prepare themselves to receive baptism. Please remember all the candidates who are receiving their sacraments at the Easter Vigil. For Scrutinies, the readings from YEAR A are used at mass.

Bible Study: All are welcome! As you probably know, it takes hours of preparation to put together one lesson. I thank all those who have signed up for this study. The more you show interest, the more I am encouraged to cater to your needs. Lent is a good time to begin something of this nature - to reflect and pray with the Word of God. We have begun the new Bible Study on The Acts of the Apostles on 29th of Feb. Every Thursday at 1:30pm in Mercy Hall we gather to study the scripture. It is never too late to join the study. Every time you participate you will appreciate the rich treasures of the Wisdom of the Word of God. This will be in preparation for the Easter Season 2024.

I thank all the priests who came for the Penance Service on Tuesday, March 5th. I thank all the Children and parishioners who participated in it. It is never too late to go to confession. The priests are available during office hours on weekdays. Please call the parish office for more information.

Deacon Randy Gamboa Espinoza’s Visit
We thank Deacon Randy in accepting our invitation to share his vocation story with a great devotion to the Eucharist. We continue to encourage young men to respond to God’s call to become priests or deacons in the Church. We thank all the volunteers in hosting the event and all who participated in the event. Please continue to remember Deacon Randy in your prayers as he prepares himself for the Ordination to Priesthood.

Ordinary Maintenance Projects:
There were 17 volunteers who helped the parish in working on the floor of Mercy Hall and cleaning the rooms within the Choir loft. The volunteers came back last Saturday and completed the project in Mercy Hall. Our sincere thanks go out to them. We are still looking into renovating the Chapel Floor; I will keep you posted. I also thank the volunteers who signed up for the garden ministry. Your participation is always needed! Please call the office for more information.

Be assured of my love and prayers for you and your family!

Fr. Antony