FOURTH SUNDAY OF LENT
FOURTH SUNDAY OF LENT (A)
We can only imagine your heartaches and worries as our country joins the world in facing this CORONAVIRUS-19 (COVID-19) pandemic. And how much more frustrated and disappointing you might be when masses as suspended during weekdays and on weekends.
And I told myself, “you don’t become a priest to cancel the Mass and other sacraments. These are sources of making alive my priesthood. It is very difficult for me to take, but I have to adhere to State’s order and to the diocesan directives for the good, protection of the health and ensuring the safety and welfare of the Holy People of God we serve!”
Our top priority right now is to ensure the health and welfare of those entrusted to the pastoral care and temporal care of our Church.
Now that we are geographically and physically separated from each other, and “social distancing” and “stay-at-home” prudently advise us to do so for our protection from contamination to COVID-19, we decided to “live stream” our private masses. We believe that through the use of social media, we will re-awaken ourselves a habit of drawing near to God and to others through prayers and mutual help. Remember, God is always by our side. God never abandons us, he said: “Do not be afraid… when two or three are gathered in my name, I am in their midst… I will be with you until the end of time!”
Therefore, in the midst of this pandemic, we must be strong in the practice of our faith through:
- Individual time of prayer,
- Increased family prayer times,
- Spiritual reading and reflection on God’s word,
- Praying the Rosary together,
- And other meaningful devotions and spiritual practices.
Now, our sources of revenue (Sunday collections and stole fees) are significantly and critically affected at this time. Please know that we depend on YOU for financial support for our ministerial operations, salaries and programs.
I know very well that some of you are affected financially by this pandemic, yet, as your pastor, I would like to appeal to the generosity of your hearts to please continue your on-line giving, continue mailing your Sunday offering envelope or drop them on the mail box at the office.
My beloved parishioners, please do listen to your heart, and remember, how blessed you are to have the means and opportunity to give: “it is so much better to give than to receive, because it is in giving that we receive a hundredfold”.
Again, we are all in the midst of this terrible crisis. It has affected all aspects of society and family life. It paralyzes many of us, physically and especially financially. But God calls us: “Do not be afraid!” Our faith keeps us going; our faith keeps us centered; our faith reminds us that “out of darkness, the light will shine”.
Please know that Fr. Joseph, Fr. Mike and I are keeping you and your families in our prayers.
Now, then, bow your heads, or put your right hand above your heart, as I will pray this Act of Spiritual Communion prayer written by St. Alphonsus de Liguori:
I believe that You
are present in the Most Holy Sacrament.
I love You above all things,
and I desire to receive You into my soul.
Since I cannot at this moment
receive You sacramentally,
come at least spiritually into my heart.
I embrace You as if You were already there
and unite myself wholly to You.
Never permit me to be separated to You.
God bless you all!