The period of Ordinary Time between Christmas and Lent is to be a short interlude. In a few weeks, on February 14, we will celebrate Ash Wednesday. In the readings of this interim we will find hints of what lies ahead for Jesus and those who are his disciples. After this weekend’s Gospel of John, Jesus calling his disciples, (“Behold, the Lamb of God….”), we enter the cycle of Mark’s Gospel with the announcement of the Good News, summarizing the entire ministry of the life of Jesus with the words: This is the time of fulfillment. The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe the Gospel.
The parish booklets, Meeting Jesus in the Mass: A Deeper Look at the Kerygma, have now been sent for implementation in the parishes. The program will comprise 7 weeks of 7–8-minute reflections before Mass on a deeper understanding of the different mysteries and treasures of the Liturgy. This process will begin immediately in this interim of Ordinary Time, continuing through Lent, to be concluded by the second or third Sunday of Lent, and certainly by Easter.
"The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe the Gospel."
We must strengthen our understanding and appreciation of the Eucharist. Our faith in and reliance on this sacrament as central to salvation (the story of the Kerygma) is unique to Catholicism. The Eucharist, objectively speaking, represents sanity and hope in a world which seeks truth, regardless of its ever-growing confusion. We build our Church around this truth, that God became incarnate in Jesus Christ to personally encounter each of us.
We are called to comprehend this encounter on a deeply personal level and be ready to explain and extend this invitation to others. As the Catholic Church, built upon unchangeable and enduring truths, we must build our parishes as refuges for those who will inevitably turn to us, looking for sanity and meaning in their lives. In my travels, I have met these seekers, unhappy with their faith lives, hungry for more, and curious about Catholicism. Are we ready to answer their questions? Do we know what happens in our Mass, and why that is so crucially important for salvation?
"The Eucharist, objectively speaking, represents sanity and hope in a world which seeks for truth, regardless of its ever-growing confusion."
For the Eucharist is the one thing we have as Catholics which is unique to the world. I look forward to diving into Meeting Jesus in the Mass: A Deeper Look at the Kerygma with you through the weeks ahead. As we begin this New Year, may Our Lord shower you and yours with all blessings, and may our diocese be renewed in the Eucharist! Now let us begin….
+Most Reverend Stephen J. Berg
Bishop of Pueblo
If you found this article helpful, you'll enjoy "The Living Garden" E-News" & "The Little Way" magazine!
The Living Garden: a bi-weekly email to your inbox the 1st and 15th of the month.
The Little Way magazine: a quarterly publication delivered to your home.
To subscribe: scroll to the bottom of this page and click on "Subscribe to The Living Garden" and "Subscribe to The Little Way". Subscribing is easy and FREE!