Saint Paul tells us on this Second Sunday of Lent that our citizenship is in heaven and maybe you wonder what that means. One possibility is that it means we imitate Christ, the one who saved us for heaven and grants us our citizenship there. But do we try to imitate Him? That’s the bigger question isn’t it? If we try to imitate Christ my guess is sometimes we will be successful and sometimes not, but we must also continue trying.
Imitating Christ can take many forms, but one important form is being careful with what we say about others. Gossip. It seems so harmless doesn’t it? A funny word here; a strategic slam there, all the while smiling as the person being gossiped about may not even know about, at least at first. As someone who hears many confessions, I can assure you that gossip is not confined to high school mean girls. Sometimes it comes from the people you’d least expect it.
Thankfully we have a remedy in the Sacrament of Confession, and during Lent at both parishes we will have extra chances for receiving this sacrament of reconciliation with The Light is On for You. Every Wednesday in Lent from 6:30pm to 8pm, a priest will be available for confession at both Blessed Sacrament and Saint Mary’s and in fact at every parish in the Archdiocese of Boston. This initiative begun by Cardinal Sean has continued through the years as a great opportunity for more people to experience God’s grace through sacramental confession. As citizens of heaven we must avail ourselves of these grace-filled moments that bring us closer to Jesus Christ, and it is my hope that we’ll all take the time to bring ourselves to this beautiful sacrament.
For your Lenten reading pleasure, I’d like to recommend the book 247 Days: Father Dan Kennedy, A Proud and Happy Priest, written by Father Dan’s father, Daniel Kennedy, Sr. Father Dan was a friend of mine at Saint John’s Seminary and his untimely death at the young age of 34 left a hole in the heart of the presbyterate of Boston. The book is more than just a biography; it is a father’s tender remembrance of a son’s journey of life to the priesthood. I recommend it to parents of young men and young men themselves because I believe both audiences can gain much from this wonderful book. Our individual vocations need to be nurtured and whether it be marriage, the priesthood or religious life, it helps to have supportive parents and siblings. I knew Father Dan as a man who liked to laugh and kid a lot, but this book also provides another aspect to the Father Dan I knew in his more private side as well. Parents will learn that often other people see in their kids a vocation they might not see themselves and young men will learn that the journey to the priesthood is often not a straight line but is a journey led by being open to the call of the Lord. I really hope everyone will give this book a read. It is worth your time.