From the Pastor – February 23, 2020

We begin the Holy Season of Lent on Ash Wednesday. This season is a time the church gives us to look atour relationships with God and each other and to see what we need to strip away to make them better. The asheswe wear on Wednesday are not a social statement but a reminder that we are sinners and in need of redemption.That happened with the death and resurrection of Jesus.In today’s Gospel, Jesus reminds us that our lives are not about getting even with others but about being a viableand visible sign of his presence for others. It means that our lives are different because of the presence of Jesuswithin them, and so we are to behave differently with each other. This doesn’t mean we can’t disagree with others,but that we are called to behave differently because of what Jesus calls us to be as his people. Sometimes, though,when someone says or does something against us, we react against them with words or actions instead of thinkingbefore we say or do something. This is something we can improve upon during Lent. Jesus calls us to holinessand goodness and gives us the opportunity to become better people and better signs of his presence.There are as many ways to celebrate the presence of Christ in our lives as there are God’s people. We must look tothe Lord and follow his example. He has shown us how to live with each other, care for one another and helpeach other discover the wonder that Jesus is for us. As we grow in our relationship with God, our lives areimproved and so are the lives of our families and our parish. When we become part of that intimate relationshipof Father and Son, we gain a better insight into what that relationship means for us, and how we can reflect thatrelationship to all we meet and in all the events of our lives. We have to be patient with ourselves, though, as Godis patient with us. It’s the only way we can come to understand and experience the impact and difference thatJesus makes in our lives. The best thing is that Jesus gives us the rest of our lives to grow in holiness and goodness.On another page in this bulletin is a message from Matt Wilson informing all of you that he is resigning as MusicMinister Director, effective after Mass on Ash Wednesday. In the name of the Parish Staff, all of you, and myself,I want to say “THANK YOU, MATT,” for being a part of the life of Saint James, for your service to ourparish, enriching our worship with your musical talent and abilities. I wish you well wherever you go toserve the People of God, GOD BLESS YOU!  HAPPY ORDINARY TIME!!~  Fr. Joe