Happy Second Sunday of Lent!

04-16-2023Pastoral ReflectionsFr. Brian Manning

It is essential to realize that the actions of the earliest believers were filled with joy. They had faith and thus were filled with great joy over the News of the Risen Lord Jesus. Some people who think they are being authentically Catholic and  “pious” or “holy” often have a weary, down trodden or sad face. They believe that authentic piety can only look morose and be sad and negative. They miss the obvious that there is joy in the Resurrection of Jesus. His Death did happen, but more importantly His Death led to His Resurrection. Our first reading this weekend tells us that they were filled with joy.

It is important that we realize that the church authorities deliberately selected this to be the very first Sunday reading after Easter. It is not by mere happenstance or by error that the church wants us to know that our faith, despite the suffering and difficulties at times, should bring joy and happiness into our hearts and lives. Some people who take religiously themselves too seriously miss that the message of Jesus about hope, grace and a new and wonderful life. We do not deny the Cross of Jesus as we are sharers in it, but we recognize that the Cross is followed by the Resurrection of Jesus.