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The Transfiguration of Our Lord. We come to the Second Sunday of Lent as the disciples are coming to truly see and understand who exactly is Jesus of Nazareth. He is the Son of God. The message from the heavens is appropriate for all disciples. See that He is the “beloved Son” and “listen to him”. We listen to his words of course. But we also listen by watching his actions. The Lenten Season allows us the opportunity to take a closer look at the actions of Christ so that we come to know him. Our intention is to know him that we find him within ourselves. We see how Jesus prays, how he interacts with the people, how he remains steadfast in his mission to announce the Kingdom of God in our midst. Our second session of The Search focused on finding Jesus within our very selves.

The Search is a Lenten weekly series of videos, discussion and prayer. We meet in English on Tuesdays and in Spanish on Wednesdays. Please see the information in today’s bulletin on page 5. We began last week with nearly 25 people in this online series. This second week invited us to see our lives as more than merely flesh and blood with endless physical urges. We are also made up of Spirit. We discussed a profound quote in this week’s session. C.S. Lewis said, “If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most notable explanation is that we were made for another world.” Our ultimate identity is found by meditating on the life of Christ and allowing his transformative light to shine within our own lives. Know that you are warmly invited to our weekly gatherings throughout Lent.

There is another Lenten opportunity this year being offered in Spanish. We are joining with the ministers of Sr. Mary of the Lake Parish on Monday evenings via zoom for a Lenten reflection that is entitled “From Love to Service.” Again, I invite you to view the information in today’s bulletin. I distributed a flyer last weekend about these reflections and additional flyers are available at the back of the church this weekend.

By now you have noticed that we are welcoming Fr. Manuel Dorantes to celebrate and preach at each of our masses and I do so at St. Mary of the Lake. Our intentions with this exchange is to provide you the opportunity to meet Fr. Dorantes, who will be the pastor of St. Mary of the Lake / Our Lady of Lourdes Parish as of July 2021. Fr. Dorantes and I have also met with both of the pastoral staffs and initiated discussions of hopes and dreams along with fears and hesitations that accompany any significant changes. Fr. Manuel generously led us on a tour of the campus at St. Mary of the Lake. The church and facilities are impressive. I hope you may take an opportunity to journey to St. Mary of the Lake for mass one day. I think you will find a sacred space that inspires awe and worship. Fr. Dorantes brings great enthusiasm and initiative to our important mission of sharing Christ in our world. I hope you can meet him this weekend.

Finally you may recall that our Awakening Concert was initially viewed a couple weeks ago. This concert is still available at ololchicago.org/AWAKENING. Click on YouTube. For me, this concert was a dream come true and we thank you for your support. We are most grateful to more than 500 viewers of this concert who contributed a free will offering. The total gift to the parish from this concert is $56,188.

The most significant reason for our gratitude is that your donations will assist many who are still in the midst of a difficult time. Hunger (when you don’t have enough to eat) and food insecurity (which are circumstances that prevent you from accessing food) is a year-round problem. As the coronavirus pandemic continues, the mounting hunger and food insecurity crisis is set to grow even more dire in 2021. The United States Census Bureau* data from mid-November 2020 showed that around 26 million adults reported not having enough to eat. In our neighborhood of Uptown, which has a population of 58,424, 29% or 17,179 are at risk for food insecurity. Thank you for showing your solidarity with those who live with hunger. Your generosity is a testament to your faith and commitment to the spirit of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish. God bless.

You can still make a contribution if you would like: 

The AWAKENING on our website

 

*https://www.chicagosfoodbank.org/covid-19-data-map/
** https://www.chicagosfoodbank.org/hunger-in-our-community/

 

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