Dear St. Peter and St. Casimir Family:

“With the Lord there is mercy and fullness of redemption.” These words from the responsorial psalm reminds us of the gifts God wants to offer to us. In a Particular Way, God wants to offer to us the gift of his mercy and redemption. Through the forgiveness of our sins, we are redeemed and set free from our enslavement to sin which distances us from God and from each other.

Today we have reached the fifth Sunday of Lent. For these past five weeks we have been preparing through penance and works of charity for the celebration of the resurrection. Our first reading from the book of the prophet Ezekiel tells us: “O my people, I will open your graves and have you rise from them.”  Through penance and works of charity we have been preparing ourselves for the great celebration of the resurrection. Our Lord strengthens us on a journey of faith through the gift of the spirit. Lent has helped us to become people of the spirit rather than people of the flesh. Our second reading from Paul’s letter to the Romans tells us:” Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. But you are not in the flesh; on the contrary, you are in the spirit if only the spirit of God dwells in you.” On the day of our confirmation, we were sealed with that gift of the Holy Spirit. It is up to us now to continue to live as people of the spirit.

Our Lenten discipline is intended to help remove the flesh from us. By removing the desires of the flesh from our lives we then can allow the spirit to take over our lives totally and completely.  I pray that everyone is having a holy and blessed Lent thus far. If for some reason, we have fallen off our Lenten discipline it is not too late to start again. If we need to let’s make today this new beginning, so that we can remain a person of the spirit rather than a person of the flesh.  With the spirit alive and well in each of us we will want to do everything we can to please the God who gives us life. God promises us eternal life with him forever. All we need to do is remain faithful. To remain faithful and please God we need to remove the desires of the flesh from our lives.  We can remove things from the flesh by remaining faithful to the commandments as well as the teachings of the church. Every day we are given the opportunity to witness to our faith through our fidelity to God’s will. May God help us to be that faithful witness by living worthily the vocation we have received.   The vocation we have all received is to be a faithful disciple of Christ. My prayer for all of you today is that nothing will get in the way of you being that faithful disciple of the Lord, so that on the day he calls us to himself we might all share in the glory of the resurrection that our Lord wants to share with us all.  May God bless you and keep you sealed in the spirit which will help us to do what is pleasing to God.