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2nd Sunday of Lent Year B
A pregnant woman was walking in the store and met an old friend. Her friend exclaimed, “You are absolutely beaming!” The new life God placed in her womb radiated throughout her body. It was brightly visible on her face and in her eyes. Transformation and change usually happen from the inside out. It is very rare that simply imposing structure from the outside does any good. Yes, it is true that routines and habits can change when things are done differently. But, for this change to last there has to be an interior renewal and metamorphosis as well. Simply regulating behavior and bringing someone into conformity with accepted protocols doesn’t mean their heart and soul come with them. Peter was a homeless man who lived in a very remote and rudimentary tent community. He was happy to make his daily trip to McDonald’s and always welcomed a gift card or two so that he could buy some coffee and something to eat. A generous advocate worked to secure him an apartment in hopes of moving Peter out of his makeshift housing and into something safer. Peter finally got the grand tour of his new “digs,” received his own key, remarked how wonderful the place was, closed the door behind him when they left and never returned. He preferred his tent. No matter how much things changed on the outside, Peter was happy where he was. A poignant lesson was learned that day. How is your Lent going? By now you ought to have a sense of whether you’re really “into it” this year and something transformational is happening. For many, it’s only the stuff on the outside that changes for a few weeks and then they return to business as usual. For others, there are some real inner changes happening that are deepening their relationships with God, others, self, and creation. If we are serious about moving to a new place and radiating with the presence of new life and joy, then we have to clear the way to listen for God’s call. Then, there is God’s request to change things up a bit and order our lives differently. After realizing we have been called and given a mission, we have to trust that this is where we need to be. And then, after all of this hard work we are asked to act. The fruit that is revealed will indicate whether our journey is authentic. The brilliance of conversion will begin to shine on our faces as we contemplate the One to whom we are asked to listen.

My dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
Since we are in Lent, the season of repenting from our sins (though we are called to repent from them all year round) I thought this would be a good time to share a story about our Blessed Mother Mary. I was speaking to my brother who sadly has left the Catholic Church (please pray for him – his name is Jim) and he stated that one thing he likes about his “new church” is the fact that they do not see Mary as being anything special. That they knew she was only human, she and Joseph had lots of kids together and she sinned like everyone else. There is no point in praying to her for she is no different or better than us. My heart breaks for him and anyone who thinks the way he thinks. I however, also understand why he wants the above to be true about our Blessed Mother. It is because it allows him to sin and hide behind the statement, “it is not my fault for I am only human”. Whereas when you admit the truth about our Blessed Mother Mary and that is the fact, that yes, she was only human for she was not and is not divine for she is not God or equal to God. However, the fact that she was only human is what takes away the excuse of stating I sin because I am only human. For Mary could have sinned, for she had free will like we all do, but she did not sin! She and Joseph did not have any other children for they both consecrated themselves to God and remained virgins their whole lives. Only being human is not a free pass to sin, for Mary was only human and did not sin, ever! My brothers and sisters let us pray for my brother and all those who think the way he thinks. Let us also strive to following the example of Mary and even being only human, let us live sin free!
God Bless you and have a wonderful week, Fr. Michael


That God will relieve their suffering and restore them to health. Please pray for: Kellie Salata, Kelly Chinchar, Jessica, Carol Mangino, Gloria, Daniel Breslin, Stanley, Helen Traina, Joseph Marrone, Bill Marshall, Anthony, Michael, Joseph, Jessica Esopo, Bill McShera, Theresa McPeak, Walter Eckel, William, Steve, Audra, Philip, Frank Bennick, Larry Purcell, Bernadette, Francis Reilly, James Weiss, Chrissy Martin, Anne Trainor, Don Trainor, Rosemary Malangone, Elizabeth Malangone, Maricel Dino, Baby Ford, Carly West, Marie Goodman.

Prayer for A Pandemic

It is the best way to ensure our parish receives the support needed for our operating expenses and ministries by eGiving through Parish Giving! We are excited to introduce “Enhanced Stewardship through Electronic Funds Transfer” for your weekly offertory. No more envelopes or last-minute check writing! Electronic giving is safe and easy for you and good stewardship for the parish. Please enroll today by visiting www.icchackensack.com. and click on the logo that is on top of the website. Increased enrollment with Parish Giving will help stabilize our parish finances. There are brochures in the pews or visit Parish Giving at www.parishgiving.org

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