Lent 2020: Seeking Jesus. Together.

“Yet even now,” says the Lord,
“return to me with all your heart,
with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning;
and rend your hearts and not your garments.”
Return to the Lord, your God,
for he is gracious and merciful,
slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love,
and repents of evil.

—Joel 2:12-13

A Lenten Message from Fr. Jim

At that time Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. He fasted for forty days and forty nights…

-Matthew 4:1

Which voices do we listen to? The world is a noisy place and we are bombarded by voices telling us what to wear, what to buy, what to believe, what is beautiful. During this holy season of Lent, we are invited to enter the desert with Jesus. Here we will learn, like Jesus, to discern the voice of our loving God against the din of competing voices. As we allow God’s voice to speak deep in our hearts, we discover ourselves as loved unconditionally, as beloved. As we come to know ourselves as God’s beloved, we are more able to see the face of God in the needy around us and to become instruments of God’s love and mercy to those we encounter.

Pope Francis encourages us “to lose ourselves decisively on the path of Jesus, the path which leads to life…Let us enter into the desert without fear, because we are not alone; we are with Jesus, with the Father and with the Holy Spirit. In fact, as it was for Jesus, it is the Holy Spirit who guides us on the Lenten journey; that same Spirit descended upon Jesus and has been given to us in Baptism. As we cross the Lenten “desert,” we fix our gaze toward Easter, which is Jesus’ definitive victory against evil, against sin and against death.”

We invite you to enter fully into this Lenten journey into the desert. Take advantage of the offerings of our collaborative for prayer and reflection, for service and for reconciliation. Let’s listen together to the voice of God.

Yours in Christ Jesus,
Fr. Jim

Our Collaborative Lenten Gift

Special Collection March 28-29

Each year, in preparing for Lent, we reach out as a community to one particular place of suffering, amid so many in the world, through our Collaborative Lenten Gift.

In the parable of the Good Samaritan, Jesus reminds us not only that we must love our neighbors – without boundaries – but that our love must be manifest in action. This year, our Collaborative Lenten Gift will help us manifest our love into action by establishing a St. John-St. Paul POWIR Ministry Fund to support our ongoing immigrant and refugee resettlement work in partnership with Catholic Charities Boston. POWIR (Parishes Organized to Welcome Immigrants and Refugees) programs have helped thousands of refugee clients find places to live, make friends, learn English, find work, receive pro bono legal counsel and medical services, and achieve social integration.

Throughout Lent, in the bulletin and on the website, we will share the POWIR story with you as we prepare for our collaborative-wide Special Collection on March 28-29. Click HERE to make an online donation today!

Our gift will allow each of us to share in easing the suffering
and to answer Lent’s clarion call to love extravagantly.