I did attempt a walk in the park at Expedition Island. However, the cold and wind convinced me to go find somewhere indoors to get a little exercise. As I drove back to the church I noticed that the huge flag flying over the football field at the local school was standing straight out. It was a pretty sight to behold (from indoors).
I then had the privilege of preaching at the three weekend Masses. Preaching the homily is a responsibility that weighs heavily on my heart. It is a time when people can encounter the Lord in a powerful way as the Sacred Scriptures are opened and expounded upon in a way that allows the Holy Spirit to move in our midst. Due diligence in prayer, study, and preparation for these moments stays in the forefront of my mind. I never want to get sloppy or negligent with this awesome privilege of preaching God's Word.
The parish mission consisted of three nightly presentations each lasting one hour each. Parish missions are sometimes preached in the context of Mass. Other times, they are done outside of Mass. Obviously, the Eucharistic liturgy is our greatest prayer, and it is always beautiful to have a mission in that context. However, there are also benefits to having a mission outside the context of the liturgy. It gives an extended period of time for teaching and preaching on a given topic in greater detail. Opportunities for this type of in-depth teaching is rare in the usual life of the parish. That is what makes the parish mission a beautiful gift to God's people especially during the holy season of Lent.
I frequently offer individual prayer with the people at the conclusion of the mission. I firmly believe that when two or more are gathered together in the Lord's name we will indeed encounter the living God in our midst just as the Sacred Scriptures promise. This experience at the conclusion of the mission is becoming my favorite part. God's people have needs, hurts, and struggles that we should be bringing to prayer. This is a profound way to do so. I am touched by the openness and sincere humility with which people seek God's healing and blessings at these times of prayer.
People of Green River--please know of my gratitude for your kindness and hospitality during my time in your parish. My best wishes to you for a blessed and holy Lenten journey.
Next parish mission--the Cathedral of St. Mary--beginning with the weekend Masses on March 18 and March 19. Following that mission, I will be headed to Wheatland and then Casper for the final two Lenten missions.
"Repent and believe in the Gospel." How are you doing so far with your Lenten resolutions?