ASH WEDNESDAY SCHEDULE - Lent Begins February 26, 2020. Mass timings for Ash Wednesday will be: 9:15am – St. Paul’s School, 1:00pm – St. Dominic School & Queen of Heaven School. All are welcome for the school Masses., 7:00pm – Mass



In today’s first reading Sirach tells us how we have been given a choice to keep God’s commandments. We are told that we have to choose between fire and water, life and death, good and evil. Our great gift of free will requires the even greater gift of wisdom to use it well. Wisdom, however, can often be gained through learning from our mistakes, and the mistakes of other people. We should be grateful, then, for the times we do fail, because these are precisely the opportunities that will occasion our growth in wisdom in the future. Our free will is always something we can learn to exercise with greater wisdom. God wants us to make best choices. Every time we come to Mass, we acknowledge to ourselves and to each other that we fall short in choosing that best choice when we pray the Penitential Rite together. God forgives us and we are able to start afresh and that’s why we say, “Glory to God in the highest!” because he does indeed have mercy on us. God’s wisdom is often communicated in the language of laws. Our choices should not be done out of obligation but out of love. The greatest act of free will is the choice to love and to be loved. We are truly acting out of freedom. Jesus is inviting us to go beyond the letter of the law. Jesus looks at three areas where we can make the best choice. He takes the existing laws of not killing, not committing adultery and not swearing falsely, and takes them further by going deeper and explaining that the best choice is rather to choose to be peacemakers to be faithful and to always be fruitful.



“You are the light of the world – You are the salt of the earth.” These words of Jesus are not addressed privately to the group of his twelve apostles. They are directed instead to all his disciples. That this is the case, is underlined by the fact that in today’s liturgy the church links this Gospel passage to the first reading from the prophet Isiah. There the Lord, speaking through his prophet, addressed not just a special group but the whole people of Israel. “Your light must shine like the dawn – your light must rise in the darkness.” This means of course that as disciples of Jesus, we are meant to hear these words being addressed directly to us both as individuals, yes, also as a community of faith. We together are called to be salt for the people of our time. We are called to be present in the midst of our society as a community of faith which preserves the integrity and wholeness of our community, just as salt preserves food from decay. We are meant to be like salt added to food, a presence which brings out the best in our society. And we are meant to be like a light shining in the darkness of our society, helping people to find their way to the fulness of life God so deeply desires for all his children. This is a responsibility we all share as brothers and sisters in Christ. It is the task we have been given by the Lord who has called us into his church so that together we can be a clear and living and attractive sign of the ongoing presence of Jesus in our world today. And because of the greatness and importance of this task this vocation, the Lord has called and continues to call from among us men whom he chooses to live the priestly life and ministry and men and women whom he calls to religious life. For all those extraordinary women and men who have given their lives in generous service to us. We should give thanks to God and show our support for them through our prayer, our encouragement and our friendship.



Have you ever thought about the things that we all do every day? Like reading the newspaper, making your bed, eating breakfast, exercising, watching television etc. etc. Today, we hear the story of Simeon and Anna. And the Gospel tells us that they went to the temple every day, because both of them believed that one day, they would see the Messiah there. So, this is something that Simeon and Anna had done for a long time. And they were rewarded for their Faith and their perseverance, by the fact that they got to see Jesus on the day that He is presented to God in the temple. God fulfills His  promise to Simeon and Anna. All those days, all those trips, all that time they spent at the temple they get to see the Messiah that will save them and us. It must have been quite a day. Simeon even says, “Lord, now I can go in peace, my eyes have seen the salvation.”
This Feast  day and this story has got to make all of us think, how much is God a part of our lives every single day? We don’t all have to come to the temple every day, like Simeon and Anna did. And yet shouldn’t there be some acknowledgement of God everyday in our lives. God wants us in communion with Him all the time. What if Simeon and Anna decided NOT to go to the temple that day when Mary and Joseph brought the child Jesus in the temple? They would have missed out! Are we missing out on a lot of great things, all because we are not there for God? Sometimes we really do need to show up. Sometimes our presence can make all the difference in the world. Sometimes our prayer life and our relationship with God can’t wait and can’t be put on the back burner. Sometimes God wants us right now! We have got to make God more and more a part of our daily lives, or else we can miss out on so much! Don’t let that happen. Let God fulfill his promises to you every day.