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Catholic Church / Pacoima, CA

Bishop Joseph Brennan to Lead the Diocese of Fresno

Bishop Brennan

First Sunday of Lent

As we begin our Lenten journey, I would like to share with you some great news that are happening in our Archdiocese and in our own San Fernando Pastoral Region. Last Tuesday, Pope Francis announce the appointment of a new auxiliary bishop to serve the family of God in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, Bishop-Elect Alexander Aclan whom I have the privilege of knowing him since I entered the seminary. We are truly blessed by his appointment and look forward for his for episcopal ordination on May 16 at the cathedral of Our Lady of Los Angeles. On another sour-sweet news, that same morning, Pope Francis also named our regional Bishop Joseph Brennan as the head bishop for the diocese of Fresno. I am very happy for them because I am sure Bishop Brennan will continue the awesome work he has done here in our region. He will truly missed by of all us and his pastoral visits here at Mary Immaculate church. By the way, he will be here next Sunday to celebrate the 8:00am and 10:00am Masses. Please come and celebrate his new appointment (and his birthday too which is March 20th). Once again congratulations to Bishop Brennan. Now, a brief reflection on this beautiful season of lent that we just began.

Two years ago Pope Benedict XVI wrote on the season of lent:

“The Lenten season offers us once again an opportunity to reflect upon the very heart of Christian life: charity. This is a favorable time to renew our journey of faith, both as individuals and as a community, with the help of the word of God and the sacraments. This journey is one marked by prayer and sharing, silence and fasting, in anticipation of the joy of Easter.”

The joy of Easter is the Joy of the Resurrection is a Passover, that is, a transition from death into life. The price of sin is death, for this reason every time we humbly recognized our sins and ask God for forgiveness, He will forgive us, and every time we are forgiven, we experience a resurrection within us. Thus, Pope Benedict XVI invites to prepare our hearts through prayer, fasting and penance to experience God’s love and compassion in our lives. In the long gospel we have this Sunday we heard how the woman felt ashamed when Jesus mentions to her that she had five husbands and the one she was living with was not her husband. She felt dead inside. That is what sin does to us. It makes us feel like we are dead. But Jesus had promised her living water. She received it. She received forgiveness. And she went into town exuberant, full of life, full of love and full of hope. This hope exists for us too. We have the hope that despite our sins, God’s compassion and mercy has restored us to life with him. His forgiveness is infinitely more powerful than our guilt. This is what is Lent all about an invitation to experience God’s love and forgiveness.

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