GOD’S GRACE AT WORK IN US: “God’s love is always greater than anything we can imagine. It even reaches beyond any sin which our conscience may charge us. God’s is an infinite love, one that knows no bounds. It is free of all those obstacles that we, for our part, tend to set in front of others, out of fear that they may strip us of our freedom. We know that the state of sin distances us from God. But in fact, sin is the way that we distance ourselves from God! Yet, that does not mean that God distances himself from us. The state of weakness and confusion that results from sin is one more reason for God to remain close to us. The certainty of this should accompany us throughout our lives. God’s grace is constantly at work in us, to strengthen our hope that his love will never be lacking, in spite of any sin we may have committed by rejection his presence in our live. “ (Pope Francis I)
This weekend is the Fourth Sunday of Lent, traditionally known as “Laetare Sunday.” These words are taken from an old Gregorian Latin chant, “Leatare Jerusalem et conventum facite omnes qui diligitis eam…” Translated, “Rejoice Jerusalem and come together all you that love her…” This is why you will often see a presider wear pink vestments. The reason for pink vestments has several origins: It was once known as Mothering Sunday, Refreshment Sunday, Mid-Lent Sunday and Rose Sunday either because the Pope used to send blessed roses to the Catholic Sovereigns or because of the option to wear rose vestments itself! Today, it’s really a sign that beneath this season of repentance is a reason to have joy for the Lord will soon visit Jerusalem with his great sign of compassion, forgiveness, reconciliation and salvation for all come Holy Week!
Speaking of forgiveness, I encourage everyone to consider receiving the Sacrament of Reconciliation in one of our Lenten Penitential Services this week at either: St. Paul on Tuesday, April 2nd at 6:30 p.m. or at St. Peter this Saturday, April 6th at 1:00 p.m. This is a beautiful service which celebrates God’s grace and forgiveness in us. As always, we have a number of other priests who will help make this service both meaningful and yet keep things moving along. If you are unable to make either of these times, listed in our bulletin are other opportunities in other parishes to receive the sacrament in the St. Cloud Area. Lent is a good time to tap into the mercy and forgiveness of our God, to be set free from our sin with a clear conscience and so live in the freedom of the Children of God! Hope to see you there and rejoice!