A Message from the Pastor…………

This week we get a Vision of where Jesus’ desert time took him, and can take us. Through the ancient wisdom of the church, at the start of Lent we get a prefigurement of Easter in the Transfiguration. Not just a time of sacrifice and penance for its own sake, but to lead us into the amazing victory of Jesus over sin and evil in our lives and, ultimately, like him, over death. From their long journeys over dusty roads, he was lifted up—I like his clothes becoming “dazzlingly white”, shown with the great figures of their tradition, and pronounced “Beloved” as at his Baptism. As they resumed their mundane life, he told the disciples that it was a sign

of where they were all going—into glory with God. This vision was to give them encouragement to keep walking those dusty roads with him.

And so with us. The meaning of Lent is not penance and gloom, but our journey of transformation into the heart and love of God. As St. Paul says today: “Bear your share of hardship for the gospel with the strength that comes from God. “

Last week we heard Jesus in the desert resisting temptations to an easy life, and suffering hunger, abandonment, and powerlessness. He entered all human suffering in his own suffering. I recounted some ways we as human suffer, and priests too. In experiencing others’ grief and sadness; in experiencing undue judgement and criticism, and hurting for the pain and violence of our times, we priests share in the sufferings of Jesus, and of our whole race.

Thanks to many for your “welcome back” and interest in my recent trip. The overseas travel both ways went very smoothly. The Lapland Arctic in Finland was a wonder—good snow, just modestly cold. Along with cross-country skiing, a night snowshoeing excursion was a magical delight

under a clear sky of stars and Northern Lights. The Finnish people were a delight too, along with others from Europe, and they were all good companions.

Fr Tom Wyrsch

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