Holy Cross Catholic Church

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6th Sunday in Ordinary Time - February 14, 2021

Dear friends,

Today I am torn between delivering two messages: one related to the celebration of 02/14 (Valentine Day), and another which prepares us to the celebration of the high season of life in desert with Christ, Lent, leading us to the resurrection to new life.

One thing is clear however, the central message is LOVE in both ways. The question is the nature of that love. While on Valentine Day the common understanding of love focuses on love as “eros” that highlights the idea of it as pleasure and jouissance, today’s scriptures invite us to move beyond that sectorial and imperfect meaning of love that keeps us stuck on hunger for worldly and early feelings of illusionary happiness and joy. The gospel tells us the story of the cleansing of leper. It is the presence of true love that cleanses him; Jesus Christ who is the epitome of love and who is LOVE itself. No wonder why Saint Paul urges us to imitate him as he is of Christ. This means that love is not just a matter of feelings; it defines who we are and who we should be as disciples and followers of Christ who is but Love itself. When we love, we can but strive for the good of those around us in need. For Christ himself said, “Of love there is no greater than to give own one’s life for the sake of others”.

This insistence upon the true meaning of love leads us to ponder on the mystery of the journey we will embark on next Wednesday, 2/17. It is Ash Wednesday and the beginning of the sacred season of Lent. Opportunity is afforded us to reflect of the meaning of love and on the ways we can implement it in our own lives to impact the lives of those around us. Lent is the time we are invited as disciples of Christ to focus on three pillars of our faith and our Christian life: Prayer, Fasting and Almsgiving. Time has come for us to start reflecting on our Lenten resolutions and the ways we would, in the footsteps of Christ, be the cleansing presence of love that heals the brokenhearted and the less fortunate among us. In our deeply divided country, Lent affords us the opportunity to work towards unity and healing. Love makes us dig out and lower the mountains that refrain us from seeing those in front us, yet who do not share our ways of thinking as enemies. Loves gives us the impulse to always break ourselves into pieces to offer opportunity for others to grow. Love makes us declare as John the Baptist at the sight of others: I must decrease for them to increase…

As we celebrate the meaning of true love with our eyes fixed upon the One who loved us up to death, let us continue to pray for one another and for our parish family. Happy Valentine Day and Blessed preparation for our Lenten Season…!

Fr. Emery


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