6th Sunday of Ordinary Time
RCIA SESSION, February 21
Psalm 1:1-2, 3, 4, 6
1 Corinthians 15:12, 16-20
Luke 6:17, 20-26
Cursed is the one who trusts in human beings, who seeks his strength in flesh, whose heart turns away from the LORD. ...Blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD, whose hope is the LORD. He is like a tree planted beside the waters that stretches out its roots to the stream: it fears not the heat when it comes; its leaves stay green; in the year of drought it shows no distress, but still bears fruit. -cf. Jeremiah 17:5-8
Blessed are you who are poor... -cf. Luke 6:17, 20-26
TOPIC THIS WEEK: Lent; Final Discernment for Sacraments
GOALS THIS WEEK: Prepare for Lent and Lenten Rites
- Adults will have 15 minutes to talk with their sponsors again
- Parents of youth in RCIA will have 15 minutes to talk about how it went this past week talking with their children about "readiness" for the Sacraments
- There will sign-ups for the Rite of Sending and Rite of Election for those who are ready for the Sacraments
- There will be a presentation about the liturgical season of Lent and its significance for RCIA and the whole People of God
HOMEWORK THIS WEEK: Lenten Plans
- Every person should make a plan for how he/she will enter into a spirit of prayer, fasting and almsgiving for Lent this year - as a way of humbling ourselves and making our hearts open, grateful, willing to receive what God wishes to give.
- Make the RICE BOWL a part of your Lenten plan - see this website for lots of Lenten materials, for individuals and whole families!
This week the Gospel speaks to us of "beatitude" - that is, of true happiness. The Beatitudes are one of our most beautiful and helpful spiritual guides. Rather than a set of commandments, they are a set of paradoxical truths that we can understand only if we are LIVING in Christ. As these attitudes take root in our hearts, minds and lives, we come to know God in new ways - our hearts, minds and lives are opened to God and we know things we could never have guessed before. For the first time, we know fullness of JOY.
I myself seldom get past the first Beatitude. To allow ourselves to be poor seems to go against human nature: sometimes when we let go of ourselves, we find a DIVINE life we did not recognize before. The very first part of believing is actually letting go of ourselves, becoming poor. But how often do we consider this the final part of the spiritual life, rather than the beginning? How often we think of becoming poor as an optional perfection that we do not really need to aspire to, something we make excuses about. Often we hear it is only a "spiritual poverty" that God wants - as if our spirits were not connected to our lives. So much of our lives, at least if we are materially and intellectually "gifted," are built on trust in humans or organizations, positions of power or prestige, or even just trust in our closest friends and family - only to realize that even the holiest person/family or the most comfortable home cannot take the place of God in our hearts and lives. We do not take seriously enough the words of the first reading, trusting that all will happen beautifully and we will bear the most wonderful fruit when we gain all our strength only by grace. Only then do we begin to love as God loves. And only then do we know the fullness of joy that we were created for.
As we learn about Lent this week, let us consider our lives honestly - and then strive to take action in a way that leaves us completely open and vulnerable to be surprised again by God.