March 5, 2023

Dear Parish Family: 

Lent is a time of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving – not just to go through the motions – but to bring us somewhere. They are intended to lead us closer to Christ and each other! Remember, it doesn’t have to be complicated. Simple is good! 

Over the last 10 days, we have asked ourselves and most probably will be asked by others, what are we doing for Lent? That question has to be answered by each of us individually. The spelling of the word Lent (L-E-N-T) itself can give us a structure in which to work.

L stands for: Leave something behind. This is the “giving up” part of our Lenten practices – the sacrifices. And this can be both material and non-material. We can give up sweets, or soda, or beer, or even screen time. But we are also called to leave behind those things that keep us from God: attitudes, bad habits, preferences, comforts. So what are we going to leave behind this Lent?

E stands for: Evangelize. We are called to share the story – to proclaim Jesus to others – to invite others to know and love Jesus as we do. A brochure was mailed to all parishioners describing all that is happening at Good Shepherd this Lent. Post the brochure on your refrigerator or in your office at work. Share it with a family member, neighbor, friend, or co-worker who may not be practicing their faith. There are extra copies by the bulletins in church. So who are we going to invite to come with us to Mass, Eucharistic Adoration, Stations of the Cross, or confessions? Who will we share the good news with and how will we do it?

N stands for: New. Do something new this Lent. Maybe it’s a new devotion, a new prayer, a new book on the spiritual life. Maybe it’s Daily Mass or Eucharistic Adoration. Lent comes from a word that means springtime – when new things happen. So what are we going to do new in our spiritual lives this Lent?

T stands for: Time. Lent provides us with the opportunity to slow down, to take time to speak to God, to listen to God, to simply spend time with God. Lent offers us a chance to take time – and in our world time is a commodity – time means money. But we can use the time to slow down and simply be with Jesus. So what time can we set aside just for us and Jesus this Lent?

Remember, it doesn’t have to be complicated. Simple is good. It allows us to make more room for God in our lives this Lent. 

Love and prayers,

Father Neil Sullivan