Dear Faithful Friends of the Sunday Mass,
It is a bit difficult to be thinking about Lent and Easter on a cold rainy December day but that is what I must do today. It is only early December, but my Lent/Easter Letter is due in about a week. If I do not get it done today it will get lost in all that has to be done before Christmas. I am not even in the Christmas spirit yet. But, let me take a moment to daydream a little about a warmer, late winter, or early spring day, and I pray Covid- less days.
My main reason for writing is to invite you to celebrate Lent and Easter with us in this New Year of 2021. We didn’t get a chance to celebrate these two wonderful seasons of our Church in 2020 so as I sit here on a December day my hope is that we will get to celebrate them in 2021. Lent and Easter always give us the opportunity to pause and remember Jesus’ great love for us that includes the Cross and the Empty Tomb. This year our Lenten and Easter journey will hopefully help us move beyond the struggles of the Covid 19 Virus and the starkness and cold of winter to the colors and warmth of spring and life a little more normal than last Lent and Easter.
I pray that we all will have a blessed and graced filled Lent, one that will help us to come closer to God through reflection, sacrifice and prayer; a Lent that will help us to be honest with ourselves and God; a Lent that will help us to encounter God’s mercy, forgiveness, healing and most importantly God’s love.
I also pray that the long journey of Lent from Ash Wednesday in mid-February to the Cross on Good Friday, April 2nd, will give way to us standing in front of the empty tomb on Easter Sunday not in fear but in the joy that God so loves us that he gave us his only Son, who has broken the bonds of death. And because of God’s great love we will in joyful hope be able to continue our journey with the song of Alleluia alive in our hearts!
We here at The Sunday Mass want you to know that you will not make the journey through winter and Lent into spring and the Easter Season alone. You will not be alone because God and all of us here at The Sunday Mass are with you. Every week we come to you via the internet, the television, celebrating the great mystery of our faith, the Eucharist, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and on April 4th, we will celebrate the gift of the Easter Eucharist. In Lent, we will focus on the mercy and forgiveness of God and while during the Easter Season we will enliven the song of hope and healing within us. Jesus lives! And our lives will never be the same.
Please know that you will remain in our thoughts and prayers throughout the Lenten and Easter Seasons. We will pray that the mercy of God and the hope of new life and the unrelenting love of God will enliven your life and the lives of those you love. If the struggles of life are weighing on you, we will hold you in the healing presence of the Crucified and Risen Christ.
Please share with us your needs, the people you want to remember, and your hopefulness, on the form provided on this letter. Is there a situation, a person, a struggle, a hope, a prayer of thankfulness you want us to remember in a special way? Please allow us to pray with you throughout the Lenten and Easter Seasons. As always whatever prayers and needs you send us will be placed next to the altar each week as we gather to celebrate The Sunday Mass. We will lift-up you and your prayers to our loving and merciful God, confident that the power of prayer allows the light of hope to shine on.
Pope Francis tells us that, "Prayer brings you to hope, and when things become dark, with more prayer there will be more hope." Let us together bring more prayer trusting that we will encounter more hope!
Have a blessed and holy Lent and Easter and know you are in my prayers twice every day.
Peace in Christ’s Passion,
Fr. Paul R. Fagan, C.P.
Shepherd of The Sunday Mass Faith Community
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