St. John Fisher Roman Catholic Church

30 Jones Hollow Road, Marlborough, CT 06447

“Who can know God’s counsel, or who can conceive what the Lord intends?”1

In Luke’s Gospel Jesus is journeying to Jerusalem. The great crowd of followers expected him to be welcomed as the Christ, the Messiah; and, they were hoping to bask in his reflected glory.

Not so fast!

Jesus suddenly turns and cries out:

 “If anyone comes to me without hating his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple… anyone of you who does not renounce all of his possessions cannot be my disciple.”2

What’s this: hate your closest and most loved people and even your own life; carry your own cross; renounce all your possessions? What he’s asking is impossible. Even if “hate” means having an attitude to make him first in importance, even if “carry your own cross” means only to imitate him in bearing suffering or hardship for his sake, even if “renounce” means do not become more attached to things instead of him, it’s still very difficult.

I imagine the “great crowd” lost its enthusiasm and slowly melted away. They were expecting a coronation. Instead Jesus promises a cross and a crucifixion.

Stay forever or leave now. Continue with the journey and give up your own expectations of glory, comfort, and ease.

That’s our choice.
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1 Wisdom 9:13
2 Luke 14:26- 27, 33

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23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time, C16

LENT: Fasting and Abstinence

Ash Wednesday and Good Friday are days of fasting and abstinence. All Fridays of Lent are days of abstinence.
FASTING means to refrain from eating food between meals and to eat only one full meal with the other two being lighter meals. It is required of those who are age 18 to 59. Liquids are permitted between meals.
ABSTINENCE means to refrain from eating meat. It is required of those 14 years of age and older.

DO YOU PLAN TO FAST THIS LENTEN SEASON?

When pondering what to give up this year, consider Pope Francis’ suggestions to observe this Lent:

  • Fast from hurting words and say kind words.
  • Fast from sadness and be filled with gratitude.
  • Fast from anger and be filled with patience.
  • Fast from pessimism and be filled with hope.
  • Fast from worries and have trust in God.
  • Fast from complaints and contemplate simplicity.
  • Fast from pressures and be prayerful.
  • Fast from bitterness and fill your hearts with joy.
  • Fast from selfishness and be compassionate to others
  • Fast from grudges and be reconciled.
  • Fast from words and be silent so you can listen.

“Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”

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