Journey through Lent 2018 at St. Anthony's
Monday - Holy Week of Lent
March 26, 2018

As a candidate for full communion in the Roman Catholic faith (receiving sacraments of Confirmation and Eucharist at the Easter Vigil), I can see how it is tempting to feel overwhelmed by the sheer breadth and depth of knowledge about Mother Church and her sacraments and traditions. However, in my experience, knowledge fosters hope that God will not give me more than I can handle, in learning faith as well as negotiating life, and hope creates purpose. We disciples and servants of Christ our Lord and example have been chosen, anointed, by God for a purpose (Isaiah 42:1-7).

I feel it is fair to say that an important aspect of our purpose is to create justice and refuge for us many souls as are willing to explore God's grace (Isaiah 42:3-6) and Psalm 27:1-3); to shine the light of the Gospel into the darkness of persecution and ignorance of mercy and solidarity. In my experience, this can be a difficult task. Sometimes I feel grateful when I pray and meditate on God's grace (Psalm 27: 13-14). Other I struggle for recollection and acceptance of that grace. But I think that for those who have struggled yet overcome and claimed the occasional victory, this fair refuge in God's congregation feels like home and impenetrable interior castle.

I find hope and purpose creates courage in my life- the moral courage, for example, to speak out against injustice and choose the right thing to do, even when the right thing to do may invite derision and threats of violence. This, too, may be a difficult task, and it is a species of the courage of Jesus Christ who, in full knowledge of a plot against his life, returned to the vicinity of Jerusalem to break bread with those whom he loved (John 12:1-11). But the anointing at Bethany was different from the anointing of baptism in the Jordan. No, anointing at Bethany was one of the last rites in preparation for burial (John 12:7-8). Jesus knew he was going to die and he faced death with courage, in willingness to abide by his Father's will. May God be our just refuge and grant us all the hope, purpose and courage of our faith in full and humble knowledge that we so often fall short of God's will for our lives. Let us look to the Lord, for He is good (Psalm 27:13-14). 

Jeff Mason
St. Anthony Parishioner (and coming into the church with the sacraments of reconciliation, confirmation, and Holy Communion at the Easter Vigil)