St. John Vianney

Catholic Community
180 St. John Vianney Lane, Sedona AZ  86336 l 928-282-7545


Pastor's Note




February 2, 2014  


It’s February already! Oh my! This is the first weekend of February and February is a short month! Does it really ever slow down?  All the frenetic activity that accompanies the preparation of the Advent and Christmas seasons is barely behind us.  All this activity seemed to move from one season to the next and now we are already in preparation for the Lenten season. It’s never too early to begin to prepare for our Lenten journey which begins this year with Ash Wednesday, March 5th. It seems there is always more to read, more to study, and more to know.  There is, it seems, more to understand.  A good place to start is with this weekend’s proclamation of the Presentation of the Lord. As well, in this weekend’s first reading, we are reminded to “Prepare the way of the Lord”.

            The late Pope John Paul II’s call and challenge for modern day Catholics to become “adolescent” or even “adult” Catholics, really underscores the need for us to realize what our discipleship is truly about in light of how quickly life passes.  Pope Benedict XVI asked us to be respectful and sensitive in the proclamation of the Gospel. Our new Pope Francis stresses, “It’s key that we Catholics, both clergy and laity, go out to meet the people”.  The Pope calls us to use our gifts and talents to proclaim the Good News. Underneath all the reading, studying and understanding is the simple fact that we are loved.  We have a loving Creator who bestows His love on all of us.  We can be respectful of the differences that are innate in our relationships when we base all we do on Love.

            The coming Lenten season, is in our human time, another opportunity, another chance to begin again.  It’s a time to move beyond ourselves and to be a greater reflection of love in our world.  As a human people we are always looking for a chance to try again, start over, and begin anew.  Some of us attempted to start the New Year, a few weeks ago, by making resolutions that would improve our lives.  In all honesty, it is so simple.  We are loved.  We have opportunities, new chances, and new beginnings every day.  Our loving God never ceases to call us to something better.  This something better is the opportunity to begin again to be better reflections of His love. Whether the opportunity is the beginning of the liturgical year—Advent, or the beginning of the Secular New Year, or the season of fasting, penance, and almsgiving—Lent, or just the beginning of a brand new ordinary day; we have many opportunities to realize we are loved and to seek our God.  We can begin in a new way to reflect that love more perfectly.

            It may very well be that it never does slow down, what with all the demands placed on our time.  Yes, there is always something we could read study and learn. The challenge of today’s gospel underscores Jesus’ ministry and the difficulties and resistance one may encounter as they attempt to follow this Sunday’s readings.  The need to see beyond the moment and into the significance of what the moment can mean for the future is indeed a challenge for most of us.  The most important aspect of life to truly understand is that, yes, we are loved and we are called to be examples of love despite any difficulties we encounter.  We can open ourselves to the power of love at this moment in time and allow this love to change our futures.  This love is always available to us and we always have the chance to reflect this love to one another as we live out the example of the Gospels in our lives.  It is just that simple—we are about love and we are blessed when we are examples of this love!




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