Pastor’s Letter, February 19th, 2017: Deepening our Spiritual Lives
Lent is almost upon us, with Ash Wednesday on March 1st. Lent is that season when we are called to conversion and repentance. Lent is a favored time of grace to deepen our spiritual lives and come closer to our Lord. Life is really a journey. We are always moving forward – or should be moving forward – to a better place. Jesus came to teach us about that better place; he called it the Kingdom of Heaven. This should be our life’s goal, toward which we keep moving forward.
Jesus used many images for the Kingdom: one is that we have to become like little children; another is our faith grows like a mustard seed. It begins now, starts small and grows larger. The Kingdom is nonetheless a dynamic and eventually all-encompassing reality that will fulfill every desire of our body and soul. “Eye has not seen, nor eye heard what God has prepared for those who love him.” This is what we are moving toward and look forward to.
This journey should be a theme of our lives. In Christian spirituality it means we are pilgrims. As pilgrims we are people on the way, moving to a particular destination. This theme of pilgrimage goes back to the Jews who would make a pilgrimage up to Jerusalem every year to worship and make sacrifice to the Lord. Christians continued this idea of making pilgrimage to Jerusalem, Rome and later, from the ninth century, to Santiago in Spain.
During the first weeks of Lent I would like to offer the parish a presentation in two parts on the spirituality of the pilgrimage. I will include the historical context of pilgrimage and share my experiences and slides of being a pilgrim on the Camino to Santiago, Spain, where I walked over 500 miles. I plan to offer this two- part series on March 7th and 20th at 7PM.