From the Pastor’s Desk: March 23, 2014
The Third Sunday of Lent takes us to the heart of the season of Lent. In our encounter with Him at the
Liturgy of the Word, Jesus challenges us “to know the gift of God” – the life-giving water. In the Gospel,
the Samaritan woman reveals to us that the living-water is Christ Himself, “love of God, poured out into
our hearts”. When we drink the water, we come face-to-face with the Savior - the Lord, we admit the truth
of our own lives, we run to proclaim Jesus’ presence and message to all who will hear. It is His living water
that satisfies beyond mere human thirst and leads us towards transformation and new life in the movement
of our Lenten journey.
On Tuesday, March 25th, the church celebrates the Annunciation of the Lord. This special solemni
comes nine months before Christmas and, in a sense, interrupts our Lenten season with Christmas themes.
Yet the Annunciation reminds us of the unity of the Paschal Mystery; The Passion, Death and Resurrection
that we will celebrate at Easter finds its beginning here. In the courageous openness of a peasant girl to
God's wondrous grace, the total gift of self-offering to the Will of God made possible her Son's self-offering
on the Cross. Mary's open heart opened the way to salvation, to resurrection, to salvation. In that context,
it only makes sense to honor her today, while always staying focused on her beloved Child. In our
community, the celebration of this day has a very special significance – it is the Feast Day of Annunciation
Catholic School. This day we offer our prayers through the intercession of the Mother of God for Mr. Jack
Mullarkey – the Principal of the school; for the teachers, students, and staff of Annunciation Catholic
School - that they will always follow the example of the Virgin Mother of Jesus to fulfill the Will of God in
their lives and grow in holiness and love for God and one another in building faithfully the school
community. Bishop Estévez will be the main celebrant for the School Mass celebrated on the Solemnity of
With the Third Sunday of Lent we also begin the process of Scrutinies for the Elect in the RCIA process
as the final steps in their journey to the Easter sacraments. The Scrutinies are meant to "inspire in the elect a
desire for purification and redemption," and instruct them about the mystery of sin and our salvation in
Christ. The Scrutinies focus on self-searching and repentance, to uncover areas of sinfulness and strengthen
what is good. We pray for all our Elect- that the final weeks of preparation for the Easter Vigil will be a
time filled with God’s grace, peace, and the support of the entire community of St. Luke Parish.
Next week on Friday and Saturday - March 28-29, 2014, you are invited to the 2014 Diocesan Eucharistic
Congress to be held at the Prime Osborn Convention Center in Jacksonville. The theme this year is "In Him
We Are One", with a focus on following Christ! Please adjust your calendars now, and invite your friends
and family to participate.
In our parish that weekend, we will begin our Lenten Mission, which will conclude with our Penance
Service on Wednesday, April 2. Please make sure to adjust your schedule in such a way that you can take
full advantage of the time of spiritual growth and preparation for the joyful celebration of Easter.
I pray that we will find new ways to experience the fruitful and transforming season of Lent. May the
life - giving water of God satisfy the thirst of your hearts this week and always!