Dearest Brothers and Sisters,
A wedding celebration to begin our Lenten journey? Yes, my brothers and sisters, the Maronite
Season of Great Lent begins with a wedding feast. But it is more than just a feast where the wine runs out and the water is miraculously turned into the best wine. The Wedding Feast of Cana is a foreshadowing of the greatest banquet that awaits those who trust in the
Lord – the Resurrection.
Throughout the Sundays of Great Lent, we stop each week at a different healing story. Each Sunday is a
reminder of what sin does to the individual. Sin causes isolation from society, it causes the loss of life eternal, it separates us from God, it disables us, and it distorts our vision. The Gospels each Sunday throughout Lent, serve as a reminder to each baptised individual to repent and return to the Lord, trusting in His bountiful and unending mercy and love: This is the purpose of Great Lent. It is only through our repentance and our
denouncement of sin that we can share in the Eternal Wedding Feast of the Resurrection.
Just as we prepare ourselves, from hair and makeup to clothing and transport to attend a wedding or any other function, so too must we prepare ourselves, mentally and spiritually, for the Resurrection. Lent is the time for fasting and abstinence. Lent is a time of prayer and reflection. Lent is the time where we reflect upon our sinful ways and turn to the Lord for forgiveness and spiritual growth. It is the time of dying to our old habits only to be reborn anew and afresh at the Resurrection.
With the Season of Great Lent beginning with the distribution of ashes on our foreheads, it is important to plan our time so that we can attend Mass and to take proper time for prayer, asking the merciful Lord for assistance and guidance during this Season. Receiving the ashes should be more than a carefree attitude where we attend because it’s a must or because the Church tells us to do so. It should be about a deep desire within us to want to be with the Lord; a deep desire to want to change and become the best person God intends us to be. By doing so, we can then arrive with the Lord at the Port of Salvation where He will call us and tell us “Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world” (Mt 25:34).
On a different note, there has been some exciting news within our Eparchy and especially for our Parish, with the announcement of Deacon Danny Nouh being ordained to the Priesthood of Christ on March 17th, 2018 at 3:00pm by the Imposition of Hands by
His Excellency Bishop Antoine-Charbel Tarabay. We congratulate Danny and the Parish on such amazing news.
Furthermore, last week the Stewardship Committee resumed its meetings and welcomed on board 5 new members. We thank them for accepting the invitation to join the existing members and I sincerely thank the former members for their dedication and commitment during their time of service.
The Parish Pastoral Council also resumed this week after the Christmas break with Sub deacon Charbel Dib being appointed as the new Coordinator of the Council. The Parish Pastoral Council has already begun planning and preparations for the Season of Great Lent, Holy Week and Easter.
Our Parish First Holy Communion students began preparations to receive the Body of Christ for the first time with their first lesson on Wednesday 7th February. I thank the volunteer teachers who have dedicated their time to teach the students and prepare them for this wonderful Sacrament.
Filled with the new wine of Christ, our Parish committees and Councils are full swing into their activities and programs and I ask the good Lord to fill you with zeal and strength for the year ahead.
Father Tony Sarkis