Saint Paul teaches us today that “the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom.” (Second Reading) This affirms these verses in today’s Responsorial Psalm: “The precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the command of the Lord is clear, enlightening the eye. The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever; the ordinances of the Lord are true, all of them just.” As people of faith we must recognize the underlying values that God’s commandments—although stated in negative fashion in the First Reading—are intended to teach us.
While the first three commandments address the reverence we owe to God, the last seven teach the values that are fundamental to every human society: respect for parents and legitimate authority, for human life and dignity, for marital fidelity and sexual chastity, for the property of others, for honesty and a person’s good name, and other people’s rights to hearth and home. As such the commandments of God express our Creator’s design for human society. Why are they even necessary? Shouldn’t they go without saying? Perhaps, were it not for original sin. The final verse in today’s Gospel sums it all up: “Jesus…did not need anyone to testify about human nature. He himself understood it well.”
This Lent it is time again for us to “turn away from sin and believe in the gospel.” (Mark 1:15) The sacrament of penance is the most powerful means of persevering in this resolve, because its grace is the result of Christ’s obedient sacrifice for the redemption of the world. The Lenten discipline of prayer and penance finds its completion in a good confession and act of contrition. The prayer of absolution frees us from the sinful entanglements into which we fall. Remember also to participate in Operation Rice Bowl or in some other charitable cause this Lent.
Please remember and try to attend the Stations of the Cross at St. Peter’s along with the Mother of Perpetual Help Novena on Monday evenings at 6:30 and with the students of St. Peter’s School in the church on Thursdays at 12:00 noon. At St. Charles they are celebrated before the Blessed Sacrament exposed on Friday evenings at 5:30. Try to participate with the members of your household at any of these times. These devotions are great for families and remind us all of the redemptive sacrifice of our Lord, which is the source of all sacramental grace and serves as a fitting preparation for the liturgies of Holy Week.
Daylight saving time begins next Sunday morning, March 14, at 2:00 AM; so be sure to turn your clocks ahead one hour before retiring or you will be late for everything next Sunday.
Pray the Rosary this week for all throughout our diocese who are preparing to receive the sacraments of initiation this Easter. Pray for people experiencing turmoil in their lives, for whatever reason. Pray for all who are struggling with illness and for the people who care for them. Pray for Christians who are suffering persecution around the world and, as always, pray for peace.
May God bless his people with peace.