Below are resources and suggested activities for your Lenten journey. Please come back frequently as this issue will be updated regularly during Lent.
- Bishop Barron's Reflections | Sign up for Bishop Barron's Daily Lenten Reflections
- Matthew Kelly's Best Lent Yet | Sign up for Matthew Kellys' Daily Reflections
- 40 Simple Lenten Activities for Kids | Check out this resource> for some great ideas & resources
St. PATRICK'S DAY
- Father Gabriel's Corner
- Rend Collective - some videos from our favorite Irish Christian Band
- The Real St. Patrick
- The Miracles of St. Patrick - How He Really Converted Ireland to Christianity
- Lough Derg - St. Patrick and the Lesson of Lough Derg (an Irish Pilgrimage)
- Pope Francis | Read Pope Francis' message for Lent 2017
- Bishop Barron - For so many of us, Lent mean sacrifice for weeks, and then a big celebration at the end of it all. But why? What does it all mean? Bishop Barron explains (video commentary)
- Music Video | 40, by Matt Maher - song about 40 days of Lent and a great tie in with this week's Gospel
Below are recipes and ideas that are consistent with the Lenten spirit.
- SJA Lenten Soup Suppers are back! Each Friday at 6 pm in the Parish Center, followed with a prayer service in the church at 7 pm (Taize Prayer or Stations)
- Try eating what the world eats: Lent is a communal act. As a means to be in solidarity with the poor people of the world, consider eating, on a daily basis, what much of the world eats - just beans and rice. Eat Rice & Beans for 3 weeks | See the various rice & beans recipes below
- Recipe | Pretzels - Did you know pretzels are the official food of Lent. They symbolize praying
- Recipe | Simple Fish Meal - Enjoy these simple recipes for Fish during Lent
- Preparing for Sunday: The Third Sunday of Lent (Mar 19). Gospel: John 4:5-42 Jesus reveals himself to the Samaritan woman at the well
St. PATRICK'S DAY
Father Gabriel's Corner
As you are all aware, this past Friday (March 17,) was the feast of St. Patrick or, as he was originally known by his Roman name, Patricius. His feastday is celebrated with great festivity (but not always great religiosity) in this country because of the many immigrants from Ireland who graced this land during the devastating Potato Famine of the 1800s. In Ireland Patrick’s feastday is celebrated with more sobriety that typically includes participation in the Liturgy.
While I am not of Irish heritage, I have enormous appreciation for Celtic spirituality and its ritual practices that were in place on the Emerald Isle long before the arrival of Christianity. This spirituality, with its rich incarnational focus, actually made it possible for the Christian faith to take such lasting root. In other words, it was the fertile soil that nurtured the seeds of the Gospel. Because Ireland was never dominated by the Roman Empire and the form of Christianity that emerged in that part of the western world, Irish Catholicism developed a unique style, no less faithful to the Church, but certainly distinct.
Rend Collective - Our Favorite Irish Christian Band
Rend Collective took an old Irish (Catholic) hymn based on the writings of St. Patrick that was written at least a millenia ago and retranslated it from the Irish and the old English to give what we feel is the best modern version.
The Real St. Patrick
St. Patrick, the Apostle of Ireland, born at Kilpatrick, near Dumbarton, in Scotland, in the year 387; died at Saul, Downpatrick, Ireland, 17 March, 461. His parents were Calpurnius and Conchessa, who were Romans living in Britian in charge of the colonies. As a boy of fourteen or so, he was captured during a raiding party and taken to Ireland as a slave to herd and tend sheep. Ireland at this time was a land of Druids and pagans. He learned the language and practices of the people who held him.
During his captivity, he turned to God in prayer. He wrote:
“The love of God and his fear grew in me more and more, as did the faith, and my soul was rosed, so that, in a single day, I have said as many as a hundred prayers and in the night, nearly the same.” “I prayed in the woods and on the mountain, even before dawn. I felt no hurt from the snow or ice or rain.” Read Full Post
The Miracles of St. Patrick - How He Really Converted Ireland to Christianity
"Ireland, which never had the knowledge of God, but up till now always adored idols and things unclean — how are they now made a people of the Lord, and are called children of God? The sons of the Scots and the daughters of their chieftains are seen to become monks and virgins of Christ."
Our family wears green on St. Patrick’s Day or else we answer to the lady of the house. Her March 17 excesses have included making perfectly good food unpalatable with green dye. Sometimes I think my dear Irish wife’s blood must run emerald.
I wonder what Patrick himself would make of the shenanigans that mark his feast day in the United States. Would he be comfortable with the festivities of his annual commemoration? Would he wear a shamrock? wield a shillelagh? dance a jig? recite limericks? eat green food and drink green beer? Read Full Post
Lough Derg - St. Patrick and the Lesson of Lough Derg (an Irish Pilgrimage)
By: Bishop Barron
A few years ago, our CATHOLICISM series film crew arrived at the shores of large lake in far northwest Ireland, in the county of Donegal. We stepped onto a ferry and were taken to an island in the middle of the lake. On the island was a collection of buildings, which in both architecture and color reminded me vividly of Alcatraz prison. The weather that day was horrific: temperature around 50, heavy winds, and a steady cold rainfall. Our hosts offered us tea and scones and then we made our way onto the island to begin our work. Out of the mists and the rain emerged the figures that we had come to film. They were swathed in raincoats, hoods, and jackets, but their feet were bare. Most of them carried rosaries in their hands, and some of them were praying aloud. A few were making their way, on their knees, around rude “beds” of stone, and one woman was standing against a wall in the attitude of the crucified Christ. Some of the more elderly denizens of the island were walking with a halting, pained gait. We had come to Lough Derg, otherwise known as St. Patrick’s Purgatory. Read Full Post.
Pope Francis' Message for Lent
Dear Brothers and Sisters, Lent is a new beginning, a path leading to the certain goal of Easter, Christ’s victory over death. This season urgently calls us to conversion. Christians are asked to return to God “with all their hearts” (Joel 2:12), to refuse to settle for mediocrity and to grow in friendship with the Lord. Jesus is the faithful friend who never abandons us. Even when we sin, he patiently awaits our return; by that patient expectation, he shows us his readiness to forgive. Read Full Text.
Bishop Barron - Why Lent
For so many of us, Lent means sacrifice for weeks, and then a big celebration at the end of it all. But why? What does it all mean? Bishop Barron explains.
MUSIC VIDEO | 40, by Matt Maher
Catholic tradition teaches that the number 40 refers to a time of testing. God told Noah to build an ark, and that it would rain for 40 days and 40 nights to flood the world. Moses was on the mountain with God for 40 days. The Israelites spied in Canaan for 40 days, and, as a result of their poor report, the Israelites wandered in the desert for 40 years. Before he started his ministry, Jesus fasted in the desert for 40 days. So, you can see that the number 40 is very important in Catholic theology.
One of Matt Maher's Lenten songs is '40 Days'. The first verse states: '40 days to wander, 40 days to die to self, 40 days to grow stronger as faith breaks open the gates of hell.' This clearly refers to Jesus in the desert, where he fasted and prayed, and was tempted by the devil. Jesus was tempted as the Israelites under Moses were tempted. In contrast to the Israelites who did not trust God and failed, Jesus put his faith in the Father and passed the test.
Try eating what the world eats: Lent is a communal act. As a means to be in solidarity with the poor people of the world, consider eating, on a daily basis, what much of the world eats - just beans and rice. Given this is the Year of Mercy - this seems like a very apropos way of celebrating Lent.
Recipe | Hunger Challenge Beans & Rice. Beans and rice, rice and beans. As a Dave Ramsy fan I hear this phrase all the time, and get the impression it’s meant to depict the image of eating the absolute cheapest most boring and monotonous food possible. In fact this recipe is so filling and satisfying, you won’t believe it’s only 40 cents a serving.This year, I’m making the Hunger Challenge all about bulk bins
Recipe | Black Beans with Rice. Your family will never miss the meat in this hearty, colorful and fresh-tasting main dish. Served over brown rice, it makes a healthy, stick-to-the-ribs dinner.
Pretzels During Lent | Did you know pretzels are the traditional food of Lent?
See Recipe for Homemade Pretzels > | When early Christians would pray, they would cross their arms and touch each shoulder with the opposite hand. They also fasted very strictly during lent, making their bread with only water, flour, and salt. A monk shaped this in the form of praying arms for children, and the pretzel was born! To read more about the religious history of the pretzel and for the pretzel prayer, check out Catholic Culture’s pretzel page. See also this recipe for Whole Wheat Pretzels.
Simple Fish Recipes for Lent
LIVING THE GOSPEL (Mar 19th) - Third Sunday of Lent: Jesus reveals himself to the Samaritan woman at the well
God tells Moses to bring forth water from the rock.
Sing joyfully in the presence of the Lord.
Christ died for us while we were still sinners.
Jesus reveals himself to the Samaritan woman at the well. (shorter form: John 4:5-15,19b-26,39a,40-42)
Background on the Gospel Reading
On this Sunday and the next two Sundays, we break from reading the Gospel of Matthew to read from John's Gospel. The Gospel of John is the only Gospel not assigned to a particular liturgical year. Instead, readings from John's Gospel are interspersed throughout our three-year liturgical cycle.
In today's Gospel, the dialogue between Jesus and a woman from Samaria is among the most lengthy and most theological found in Scripture. The most startling aspect of the conversation is that it happens at all. Jesus, an observant Jew of that time, was expected to avoid conversation with women in public. The animosity between the Jews and the Samaritans should have prevented the conversation as well. The woman herself alludes to the break from tradition: “How can you, a Jew, ask me, a Samaritan woman, for a drink?” Yet Jesus not only converses with the woman, he also asks to share her drinking vessel, an action that makes him unclean according to Jewish law.
The initial conversation between Jesus and the woman is better understood if we consider the importance of water, especially in the climate of Israel. At first, the woman understands Jesus' promise of “living water” in a literal sense: “Sir, give me this water, so that I may not be thirsty or have to keep coming here to draw water.” With no running water, the daily trip to the well by the women of the community was of paramount importance. The women of the town would have traveled to the well in the early morning, but this woman came to the well at noon, the hottest time of the day. The timing of her visit is a clear sign that she is an outcast within the Samaritan community. We learn in her conversation with Jesus that she is an outcast because of her “many husbands.”
Behind the conversation lies the animosity and rivalry between the Jews and the Samaritans. Samaritans shared Jewish ancestry, but Samaritans had intermarried with foreigners when they lived under the rule of the Assyrians. Samaritan religion included worship of Yahweh, but was also influenced by the worship of other gods. When the Jews refused Samaritan help in the building of the Temple at Jerusalem, the Samaritans eventually built a temple for themselves at Mt. Gerizim (the same mountain mentioned by the woman at the well). Like the Jews, the Samaritans believed that a Messiah would come.
The high point of the conversation is when Jesus reveals himself to her as the Messiah. His answer to the Samaritan woman's questions about worship is meant to predict a time when worshiping in truth and spirit will become the way to worship.
After the conversation, the Samaritan woman becomes a disciple. Even though she is an outcast and not a Jew, she returns to her town to lead others to Jesus and to wonder whether she has found the Messiah. The Samaritan townspeople return with her to meet Jesus for themselves, and many are said to come to believe in him.
The significance of the encounter between Jesus and the Samaritan woman has many levels. The first is personal: The woman is herself converted to belief in Jesus as Messiah because he knows her sin but speaks with her just the same. The second is social: Having come to know Jesus as the Messiah, the Samaritan woman becomes an evangelist to her own people.
The third level of the story is educational: Jesus uses his encounter with the Samaritan woman to teach his disciples that God's mercy is without limit. The disciples return from their shopping quite confused to find Jesus talking with a Samaritan, and a woman at that! But the conversion of the Samaritan townspeople is a foretaste of the kind of open community that will be created among those who believe that Jesus is the Messiah.
PAINTING - Jesus answered and said to her, "If you knew the gift of God and who is saying to you, 'Give me a drink.” (Gospel) Jesus and the Samaritan Woman at the Well German, 1420