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The Peace Pulpit

We must emulate the example of Jesus during Holy Week to undergo transformation

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Editor’s note: This homily was given at a Palm Sunday Mass on March 24.

As we were reminded at the beginning of our ceremony this morning, we have been engaged for five weeks in this season of Lent -- the season when we try to undergo a deep conversion of life, a total turning around of our values and our attitudes and our actions. Now, we enter into the final week of Lent when we, perhaps, must try to even intensify our efforts -- at prayer, alms-giving, acts of charity and discipline.

God is doing new things; we must be open to his will

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Editor's note: This homily is from a Mass held March 17.

When I stand in this pulpit, it is impossible to miss the extraordinary banner that you have draped across the choir loft in the back of the church. As you leave this morning, or any morning, you, too, must notice those exciting words: "The Spirit is loose and she is wild." When I reflect on all the things that have happened here in St. [Lucie] Parish, I fully understand how that is true. The ministries of charity and mercy and love are so abundant here.

We don't need to fight to earn God's love - it is given to us

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Yesterday, when I had been reflecting on these Scripture lessons over the last few days and was trying to complete my reflections, I was visited by a couple of friends from another diocese nearby. They told me of what had just happened in that diocese, where, like so many other places in our country, parishes are being closed. This particular parish was closed, but the people said, "Well, the bishop can take the building, but he can't destroy our community. We're still a parish family."

Lent is a time to simplify life and live the way Jesus did

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Now, to reflect on this Gospel in the Scripture lessons of today at the beginning of the Lenten season, it's important to put this incident of Jesus being tempted within the framework of the Scriptures that have already been proclaimed to us about the baptism of Jesus and the mission that God gave to him at his baptism.

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