Lent is a word meaning “springtime.” It is about casting aside our old selves and becoming something new — a kind of metamorphosis. Just as with spring when the flowers start bursting out of the ground and trees and bushes bud forth, so too do our lives.
During Lent, we specifically cast off our sinful and selfish ways and commit ourselves more fully to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is our best hope that our new self will “stick” at Easter and beyond, that we become changed people. Our adherence to Jesus makes us more perfect in Him. What is it in our lives that needs to change?
I believe the best proof of our conversion is in the way we treat and serve others, for as the gospel relates, “Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.’ (Mt 25:40 NAB)
Last Thursday, the proof was in the pudding — or the pork loin and chicken entrees. Yes, I had the opportunity to attend the annual Relevant Pregnancy Options Center banquet. What great witness it was to see the banquet hall filled with people who believe in life, from the very moment of conception until natural death. The two main speakers gave testimony to how God is working in their lives and in their work as staff members at Relevant.
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They treat each and every client/person they minister to like Jesus, and by extension, each person at the banquet made a prayerful, financial commitment to support the center, just as this community has for over two decades. And we did it for Jesus — Jesus in the men and women who choose life, those who need post-healing from abortion, and those who need help in parenting.
A big thank you to the Highland community for allowing this season of Lent to issue forth with justice on behalf of the Gospel. I consider myself so blessed to be a part of the Highland faith community.
May God bless you with changed hearts during this season of Lent leading us to fruitfully celebrate the gift of the Resurrection of Jesus at Easter.
In His grace,
Father Pat G. Jakel, pastor
St. Paul Catholic Church