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From The Pastor's Desk - March 24, 2011


On this third Sunday of Lent, we hear from St. John’s Gospel the story of Jesus’ encounter with the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well. About this meeting, Pope Benedict XVI in his Message for Lent this year comments,

The question that Jesus puts to the Samaritan woman: “Give me a drink” (Jn 4: 7), is presented to us in the liturgy of the third Sunday; it expresses the passion of God for every man and woman, and wishes to awaken in our hearts the desire for the gift of “a spring of water within, welling up for eternal life” (Jn 4: 14): this is the gift of the Holy Spirit, who transforms Christians into “true worshipers,” capable of praying to the Father “in spirit and truth” (Jn 4: 23). Only this water can extinguish our thirst for goodness, truth and beauty! Only this water, given to us by the Son, can irrigate the deserts of our restless and unsatisfied soul, until it “finds rest in God”, as per the famous words of St. Augustine.

Hence, our Holy Father points out that God, due to his eternal love for us, deeply desires to be in relationship with us, having the passion to fill our hearts with his life and love, which is the only “water” that can truly and completely quench the deepest desire of our souls for happiness, as we seek out “goodness, truth, and beauty.” During this Lenten season as we deny ourselves what might be something legitimately good in terms of something of this world being beautiful, pleasant, or pleasurable, we do this because we know that any good in this world cannot take the place of God, cannot give us ultimate and lasting happiness. When we seek to find this in worldly experiences, we can be tempted to think that this is where happiness is found such that we seek worldly goods in a way that these become our gods and a pursuit that ends up getting us stuck in the quagmire of sin: the Samaritan woman went from husband to husband to living with a man, thinking she would find lasting happiness. The good news of this Sunday’s Gospel passage is that she comes to see that she was pursuing an illusion as she comes to understand that Jesus is our Lord and God, the only one in whom we can be entirely fulfilled and happy. So, during this Lenten season let us examine ourselves in regards to the pursuit of worldly goods: do we use and pursue these in a way that makes these secondary to God and not in an inordinate, sinful way or has something or someone become our false god that has led us into the quicksand of sin and addiction, fooling ourselves into thinking that such can bring us lasting happiness and satisfaction? If the latter is the case, sooner or later we end up in frustration and misery, as the Samaritan woman found herself. This Sunday we pray that Jesus free us from such a trap as he did when he extended his mercy to the Samaritan woman.

In this regard, remember to receive the sacrament of Reconciliation during Lent to experience the freeing power of Jesus when we honestly confession our sins and repent of these. On Thursday, April 14, at 7:00 P.M. we will have our parish Lenten Reconciliation Service and, besides the regular confession time of 4:00 to 4:45 P.M. on Saturdays, as Easter approaches there are additional times scheduled for confessions, so be sure to utilize one of these times for going to Confession or, if you do not want to go here, we are blessed with many options as regards other parishes in the Omaha area that we can go to for Confession. Please do not make any excuse that you cannot get to confession this Lent. Know, too, that I am happy always to set up another time if a scheduled time does not work or, if someone is homebound, to come to one’s home to hear a confession. I also will be providing in next Sunday’s bulletin an examination of conscience sheet to help you in making a good confession this Lent.

Have a blessed and wonderful week.

God bless,

Fr. Gutowski

This Week

Prayer Intention for the Week
For the sick: Joyce Cockerill, Kathy Ewing, Harriet Green, Ted Riha, Duane Poser, Sally Leyden, Chrissy Skinner, Jerry Martin, Wes Erhart.

Wed., May 2nd, RE, 6:15 p.m.