Word for Word 2/17/21

Fr. John Moser

Years ago when I visited with a parishioner he told me that a groundhog was coming onto his deck and eating the food he would set out for his cats. This bothered him so much that he prepared his shotgun; a few days later the groundhog came onto the deck and he shot at it. But he had forgotten to open the glass patio door before firing! Needless to say, the glass in his sliding door had to be replaced.

Removing obstacles (more important than a glass door) is on my mind as the season of Lent begins on Wednesday, February 17. I am thinking of ways to remove one or more of the obstacles in my heart which prevents a deeper relationship with Jesus. I was amazed by a recent national poll; it reported that a majority of US citizens stated they intend to be a different person after the COVID-19 pandemic ends. They want to lead a different life once the coronavirus subsides.

Why wait? Lent is meant to be a season of new beginnings in our spiritual life and relationship with the Lord. I think everyone could benefit from removing or stripping away the dirt and grime (of sin) from our soul and heart. A common phrase heard on Ash Wednesday will be “Repent, and believe in the Gospel”. Repentance is a common Lenten practice and an effective way to remove the obstacles that are holding us back from the best relationship possible with Jesus. Here are some scripture passages to reflect upon: 1 - Jesus tells a parable about a tax collector who beat his breast and prayed, “O God, be merciful to me a sinner.’ - Luke 18:13  2 - “When you stand to pray, forgive anyone against whom you have a grievance, so that your heavenly Father may in turn forgive you your transgressions.” - Mark 11:25  3 - “… there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents that over ninety-nine righteous people who have no need of repentance. … I tell you, there will be rejoicing among the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” - Luke 15:7b, 10b

During the days and weeks of Lent 2021 together let’s focus on removing an obstacle between God and our self. In addition, through repentance may we forge a new beginning to our relationship with Jesus.

Fr. John Moser
St. Patrick Catholic Church, Waukon
St. Mary Catholic Church, Hanover and Dorchester


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