Celebration of the Rite of Election
The Church, or our Liturgical, year is broken into seasons, allowing us to focus more closely on the themes, spiritual aspects, Liturgy, and symbols of everything that season brings. Right now, we have entered the season of Lent; on the first Sunday of Lent, we celebrate the Rite of Election and Call to Continuing Conversion for those seeking the Sacraments of Initiation at Easter. This weekend’s Mass readings can be summed up in one word—choices. We make many choices every day. Adam and Eve made the wrong choice in choosing to disobey and reject God and his plan for them. We see that attitude today still in people who say they won’t listen to anyone, don’t want to obey anyone but themselves, and reject God’s lessons and love for their own in place of their selfish desires.
If that’s the attitude we want to take as Christians, Catholics, and followers of Jesus, then we are on the wrong path. We cannot be independent of God or each other. We are not created to live or be alone. We need to live in communion with God and with others, never imposing our ways while neglecting everyone else’s.
In the Gospel for this Sunday, Jesus’s attitude contrasts with that of Adam and Eve. He is tempted to give in to the pleasures of life—including honor and power. Jesus responds to these Temptations with a resounding no; He chooses what He knows is right— to listen and obey the Father. To live by every word that comes from the mouth of God. These words guide our decisions and choices in life. Lent is about making those choices. Do we choose to listen to the word of God? And beyond Lent, will we continue to listen to God? The choice will always be ours; God will never force anyone to follow Him. He has given us the gift of free will to determine for ourselves.
God continues each day to bless, protect, and love us. He keeps his part which is His guarantee never to abandon or forsake us. Our promise, commitment, and responsibility are to say, “Yes, Lord, I will listen to you, I will follow your teachings, and I will remain faithful.”
Open your hearts this Lent to welcome God’s grace and presence into your life. Use this time this season to strengthen your commitment to practice faithfully all the gifts you are (or will be) given at your Baptism.
Please keep our catechumens and candidates in your prayers as they continue to prepare to receive their sacraments of initiation this Easter.
2023 Women & Men’s Conference
As the registration deadline approaches on Monday, March 6th, I want to take one more opportunity to personally extend my invitation to join us for our 2023 conference, themed ‘Receive Jesus. Worship Jesus,’ which echoes the National Eucharistic Revival. The Revival, as you may be aware, is designed to help rekindle and deepen devotion to the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. I look forward to gathering with all of you for this long-awaited day of enrichment and renewal centered upon the Eucharist.
For more information or to register, please visit: https://www.fallriverdiocese.org/2023-women-mens-conference
Eucharistic Nights & Relic Tour
This Lent, there will be a series of Eucharistic Nights in the Diocese of Fall River to coincide with the National Eucharistic Revival. During these nights, the relics of Bl. Carlo Acutis and St. Manuel Garcia, accompanied by National Eucharistic Preacher Fr. Roger Landry, will tour the diocese. Each night will include Eucharistic Adoration, Confession, the opportunity to venerate the relics, and a talk given by Fr. Landry. Additionally, a Eucharistic Miracles Exhibit will be present for viewing.
I encourage the faithful throughout our Diocese to attend and to unite in prayer during that week, asking the Eucharistic Lord to renew our diocese.
Below is a schedule of the nights, which are free and open to the public:
Monday, March 13th at 6 PM – St. Anthony Church, 167 E Falmouth Hwy, East Falmouth
Tuesday, March 14th at 6:30 PM – Holy Name of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Church, 121 Mt Pleasant St, New Bedford
Wednesday, March 15th at 6 PM – Cathedral of St Mary of the Assumption, 327 Second St, Fall River
Yours in Christ,
Bishop da Cunha