From the Pastor’s desk—March 20, 2022

Fr. Ray Smith, CMF
Parochial administrator

Dear Sacred Heart Family

This week in addition to celebrating the 3rd Sunday of Lent, we celebrated the Solemnity of St joseph (March 19) and the memorial of St Patrick (March17). Of these two latter events, I believe that St joseph is truly a model for us this Lenten Season. Even though very little is written of him in the scriptures, what we do know is enough to guide us as he did Jesus.

Foremost, St Joseph teaches us how to enter into the silence of Lent. The absence of any spoken words by St Joseph reminds us, we will not be able to hear God without cultivating silence in our lives, this was also reflected in the 1st week of Lent with the image of the desert. When we make this silent space, it is then we can hear what God is asking of us, like becoming an altar server, lector, or joining the Knights of Columbus or Hispanic Committee.

Another of St Joseph’s traits that leads us to a closer walk with Jesus is his humility. St Joseph was obedient to God’s will even when it seemed impossible, such as taking in a woman he did not impregnate into his home and fleeing to Egypt on a moment’s notice. The strength of his humility gives me encouragement when I think my Lenten sacrifices are too hard, he reminds me nothing is impossible. Jesus came into St joseph’s life in an unexpected way, and Jesus will with us, if we can grow in humility.

Another reason I think St Joseph is a great model for us this Lent was that he showed us life takes work. God did
not hand St Joseph everything just because He invited Jesus into his home, he had to work to provide and protect
Jesus. The same is true with us, Lent will be work to make a fitting home for Jesus in our lives. It may mean leaving the place we are comfortable or leaving the selfish ways of our lives and consider the needs of others.

I cannot help but think as millions of Ukrainians flee for their lives so too St Joseph fled to Egypt to protect Jesus and Mary. St Joseph reminds us Lent is a time for caring for the most needy, what we call almsgiving. Last week we did this through the special collection for Ukrainian refugees and I imagine we will encounter more calls for help in the coming weeks everywhere we turn. I am proud to share that our Claretian Missionaries are working in the Ukraine (Truskavets) and opening all our houses in Poland to receive these refugees. If we can follow St Joseph in more silence, humility and caring for the needy, we will have the strength we need for Holy Week and Good Friday, for the crosses of our lives and tombs of despair. St joseph this week gives us a hope for the challenges ahead because as St Paul tells us this week, “hope does not disappoint.

With a heart for Mission,
Fr. Ray