During this Holy Season we listen to the readings proclaimed and attempt to understand them through the filtering lenses of Holy Conversations. The Book of Genesis features a conversation between God and Abram. Scripture scholars inform us that Abram was about seventy-five years old when God invited him to leave his homestead and take his family and possessions to a land that God would indicate. I don’t know about you but many of us do not deal well with change sometimes revisiting our childhood phrase “Do we have to?” However God invites and Abram doesn’t even question God but follows trusting that God’s blessing will come upon him and his family if he obeys. In the Holy Gospel according to Matthew, Jesus, when transfigured before the Apostles, Peter, James and John, engages in Holy Conversation with Moses and Elijah the prophet. What were they conversing about? Maybe how Moses revealed the commandments of God and how Jesus would summarize them and the whole Law by the two commandments that were the greatest. Maybe Jesus spoke of the yearly Passover celebration and how He would forever change it into a presence of His own sacrifice upon the cross as Jesus Himself then becomes the Passover Lamb of Sacrifice. With the great prophet Elijah Jesus may have been speaking about the great signs and wonders that God would work through Him in order to manifest God’s glory and give witness to the fact that He was sent by His Heavenly Father. This glimpse of heavenly glory was most affirming to all who participated within it. It would strengthen them all for the betrayal, agony, and suffering that was to come in order to accomplish these purposes. Let us engage in “Holy Conversations” with one another this Lenten season so that we may recognize the Holy within our midst and give glory to our heaven Father for calling us to be active members in the Body of Christ in the Church.
LOCAL LENTEN PRACTICES assist us in realizing that it is not “business as usual” in this holy season. Right when we come into the church our right hand is greeted with dry “holy water fonts” at the door. This dryness assists us in longing for the new Baptismal Water of Easter time. Purple is the Liturgical color we use to indicate that we are in a penitential season of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. We have been invited to confess we are sinners with the “Confiteor” prayer followed by a sung “Kyrie.” We refrain from singing or even speaking the word “alleluia” until we joyfully sing it at the Easter Proclamation. In all of our sister communities the bells are silenced during the Mass until we proclaim Jesus raised from the dead. Even at the sign of peace we take a few moments to recall those who are not able to be with us at Mass. These may be homebound parishioners or family members, neighbors who have stopped coming to church or even our beloved dead whom we miss so much. We embrace them at this holy time in the Lord’s peace. All these local practices assist us in recognition that we are about a special season of prayer; the Holy Season of LENT.
MANNA FROM HEAVEN MINISTRIES led by Pastor Dillis Wall and her congregation will be sharing space with us at St. Lawrence each Sunday afternoon from about 1:30PM beginning Sunday, March 19th. This past week the lease agreement was signed by our Board of Trustees and Pastor Wall and her congregation. Prayer, Worship, Biblical Study and Service to the Community at large will be their focus. Their monthly contribution to us will be dedicated to our monthly “Roof Replacement Loan.” We welcome Pastor Wall and her congregation. We thank them for joining us in our commitment to “Pray, Proclaim & Provide” for our neighborhood and beyond.
REFUGEE MINISTRY CONVOCATION At a time of such confusion concerning migrants, immigrants and refugees, Catholic Charities, Voice Buffalo and many others are please to present the first ever “Refugee Ministry Convocation” which will be held on Saturday, March 25th from 9:00AM to 3:30PM at Christ the King Seminary. The day includes Keynote Address by Bishop Malone, three targeted sessions about Refugee ministry, lunch, displays and ideas for how individuals and parishes can get involved. Registration is $20. Go to
www.voice-buffalo.org/events or use registration forms at church doors. Questions: call 716-842-6571 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
BPO: BUFFALO PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA DIVERSITY COUNCIL is sponsored program entitled “In Harmony Community Concert” which will be held on Sunday, March 12th beginning at 3:00PM at our sister parish St. Martin de Porres Church, 555 Northampton Street, Buffalo. The concert will feature Maria Sanderson, winner of the 2016 Sphinx Competition in recital along with the All-City Gospel Youth Choir Muhammad School of Music Chamber Players. The concert is free and open to the public. Come hear some beautiful music in a beautiful holy space.