Dear Friends in Christ,

On this Fifth Sunday of Lent, Christ reveals to us the greatness of the Father's love for us.  This covenant of love was sealed by the most precious Blood He shed for us on the Cross.  By His sacred Blood, God's love is forever inscribed in our hearts.

In love, Christ unites with us in prayers and supplication, with loud cries and tears to our Father in Heaven who alone could save us from all those which lead us to death--our sinfulness, rebellion, and refusal to serve and follow Him.  We still hear Christ's loud cries on the Cross as He begs God to deliver us from the scourge of this pandemic and from all our tribulations, pain and sufferings.  Christ consoles us, we need not suffer alone.  He bears our Cross for us, if we just surrender all to Him.  

During these remaining days of Lent, even though we might have fallen short of our promises, let us continue holding on to Christ who is the goal and center of our Lenten practices.  He does not let go of us even if at times we might have let go of His love. He does not withhold from us His most Divine Spirit to help us in our struggle to always be His faithful and obedient followers.  Christ comes to our rescue through His sacraments of great love.  In the confessional, there is no condemnation but only fullness of God's grace, as we come to know His never ending forgiveness and loving embrace.  In the Eucharistic Sacrifice of the Mass, Christ offers Himself anew as the grain of Wheat, the Bread of Life, the Son of Man glorified by the Father, lifted high on the altar, drawing us into communion with Him, uniting our hearts to His self-sacrificing love.

With hopes that through the intercession of our Blessed Mother and St. Joseph, our Lenten pilgrimage will lead us to God's glorious gift of love, salvation and eternal life as Christ empowers us to become His servants, becoming like a life-giving grain of wheat to our brethren, producing much fruit for the sake of God's kingdom here on earth as it is in Heaven. 

In Christ, with Lenten graces,

Rev. Jonathan Paala


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