The promise of glory provides hope during Lent
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
The Season of Lent is now here. Please know of my special prayers for the priests, deacons, consecrated persons and laity in our diocese for a special time of continual conversion and growth in holiness. I know that all of you join me in special prayers of support, healing and strength to our brothers and sisters in Japan and elsewhere who have suffered such devastation and loss of life in these past days. How true it is that when one suffers, all suffer.
ELECTION AND CALL TO CONTINUING CONVERSION
SECOND SUNDAY OF LENT
For the Apostles, it was not until after our Lord’s Resurrection, that the glory of the Transfiguration took on its full meaning. The glory of the Lord, the glory fulfilling all the old testament prophets and commandments, is a promise of our true end with Him. However cold and dark our struggles, our disappointments, and our sins may seem to make our lives, this promise of glory holds out to us the hope that this is not all there is. St. Peter knew this clearly, when he spoke his love for Christ three times, after having denied Him three times.
But sometimes, we seem to take this glory, this Transfiguration which is supposed to change us along with Christ, entirely for granted. Is it so familiar to us? It was not to St. Joseph, the patron of our Diocese, and whose solemn feast we celebrate this Saturday. He entrusted himself and his whole life and family to God’s glory, when he took Mary as his wife, and when he fled with her and Jesus into Egypt. What of Mary herself, whose faith was so great, and so clearly shown, at the Annunciation which we celebrate on March 25? Nor was this glory too familiar to St. Patrick, (March 17) who returned as a priest to the people who had beaten and abused him as a slave, in order to bring them the light of Christ. Do we have this kind of courage to reflect His glory in our lives? We need these days of Lenten renewal and conversion to lead us to joy and the Light that Christ is.
When we hold fast to the light, the warmth, and the joy of seeing Christ’s glory at work in our lives and hearts, we will have such courage. Again, the sacrifices we make this Lent are an invitation to loosen the grip of whatever keeps us from reflecting His glory clearly to our family, friends, and neighbors. Keep your Lenten charity burning brightly, so that your hope can be seen by others. Please pray for me, and for all our priests and deacons, and most especially for each other. You and your needs are always in my prayers. Happy Spring and Happy Lent.
One final note of congratulations to both St. Mary's, Storm Lake and Bishop Heelan, Sioux City boys basketball teams. (And to the good effort by St. Edmond's in Fort Dodge!) They have made us all proud by winning their respective State Championship games in recent days. Congratulations to both teams and to all those who worked so hard for the sports programs at all our Catholic Schools. Athletics and the opportunities to share sportsmanship, dedication and Christian values are added advantages to our Catholic schools. Please continue to do all you can to support our Catholic schools. Good things are happening among our young.
Your brother in Christ,
Most Reverend R. Walker Nickless
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