Lenten Season 2017
We find ourselves in the middle of Lent, with days quickly passing as we await the celebration of Easter on April 16. During this season, we have an opportunity to join other parishioners on Friday’s at 4:30 for the Stations of the Cross. A variety of prayer experiences have been prepared for the celebration with the latest addition titled, Praying the Stations of Mercy with Pope Francis. Pope Francis has become a beloved pope by many in the world, including those who are not of the Catholic Tradition. He speaks well for the marginalized, the refugee, those suffering in poverty and those who are suffering because of the injustice of others. He does not always endear himself to even Catholic Christians and yet he does challenge us to see things in light of the Gospel.
As we prayed the Stations I was especially drawn to this quote of Francis, “We must learn to be on a journey of faith that involves taking the time to savor God’s presence but not stopping so long that we miss our goal. There will be dark days on this journey, days when we fail. But don’t be afraid of failure; get up right away and keep moving forward. We cannot make this journey alone so we walk together in community with friends, with those who love us, and with those who help us along the way.” (June 7, 2013, To Students in Jesuit Schools)
With the cross bearing our fingerprints in the sanctuary, it is easy to be reminded that we are making this Lenten journey with others. Some of those are not from the Church of St. Mark but simply those who help us on the way. When we understand the concept of community we cannot help but be concerned about all who need our assistance when they suffer dark days. Caring for the marginalized, the poor, the refugee, those who suffer economic hardship is part of our Lenten journey. Don’t let the days slip by without making this journey meaningful.
~by Helen Ackermann