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“Your ways, O Lord, make known to me; teach me your paths, guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my savior.”  Psalm 25:4-5

The Psalmist is reading our minds today. On the first Sunday of Lent—and the days that follow—we ask God to make the paths of truth and righteousness known to us so that we might become worthy of salvation. That is our Lenten prayer.

But how can we become worthy in the eyes of God? That seems like such a tall order, doesn’t it?

We know the traditions: fasting, Stations of the Cross, daily Mass, and acts of charity that go beyond the usual. Of course, giving up something that we love—a tradition for many of us since childhood—is a form of penance. But Lent is more than that. Beyond the sacrifice, Lent is an opportunity to open up our hearts to God and give witness to the love we have received in baptism.

Actively witnessing God’s love is as rewarding—if not more so—than, say, forgoing tonight’s dessert. Something I experienced during my mission days in the Altiplano of Peru taught me how deeply we can practice our faith when we welcome Christ home. A man in our parish said he was giving up some food from his daily meal that Lent in order to give it to someone he knew who needed it more. The man was poor himself. But in order to prepare for Easter, he was ready to give away the little he had. That’s a sacrifice that showed me how deeply one person can love another.

Friend, before he began his public ministry Jesus fasted for 40 days. He was tempted by the devil but never gave in. Our 40-days of Lent will have its challenges, too, and we will need each other for support and encouragement. That’s what prayer partners are for. So please know I am praying with and for you. May this Lent deepen your faith and mine—and make known the paths of the Lord so that one day we will all be worthy in God’s eyes.

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Father Raymond J. Finch, M.M.

February 21, 2021

First Sunday of Lent

Lord Jesus, we begin Lent every year

with the somber reminder that

dust we are, and to dust we shall return.

Having given up so much last year

due to the Covid pandemic

what more can I give to express

my sincere repentance and love

for You, my Savior?

In place of greed, grant generosity;

in place of jealousy, honest admiration;

in place of resentment, humility

and in place of insensitivity, compassion.

Help me, Jesus, to enter the desert of Lent

without the distractions and disillusionments

of everyday life, that I might concentrate

my thoughts, hopes and dreams totally

on doing Your will to the glory of God

and out of love for my brothers and sisters.

Amen

Prayer by Maryknoll Missioner, Father Joseph Veneroso

ABOUT MARYKNOLL

We are a Catholic Society of priests and brothers based in the United States. We are dedicated to missionary work overseas in over 20 countries. Additionally, we animate Catholics in the United States to follow their own baptismal call to share God’s compassion and love with the poor, the sick, and all those in need.

OUR GENERAL COUNCIL

L-R Tom O'Brien, Ray Finch, Joe Everson, Russ Feldmeier

(Fr. Tom O’Brien, Fr. Ray Finch, Fr. Joe Everson, Fr. Russ Feldmeier)

The Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers is overseen by our General Council, led by Superior General Fr. Ray Finch.

OUR FOUNDERS

L-R Tom O'Brien, Ray Finch, Joe Everson, Russ Feldmeier

(Our Co-Founders Father Price and Father Walsh)

PLACES WE SERVE

EVANGELIZATION, PARISHES, AND PROJECTS

USA

STORIES OF MISSION

(Africa) Education and Formation of African Clergy

The Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers Africa Region will provide tuition assistance to African clergy, male and female religious at institutes of higher education or specialized training. Read More

Stories of Our Global Mission

The calling of a lifetime

The life of a Maryknoll missioner is challenging, fulfilling, and deeply rewarding. Follow your baptismal call to mission by sharing God’s compassion with the poor, the sick, and people most in need.

ASSOCIATE PROGRAM

Enrich your own vocation, walk-in solidarity with people overseas, and work together with Maryknoll Missioners. We offer US priests and Brothers ordained elsewhere the opportunity to work in overseas missions.

L-R Tom O'Brien, Ray Finch, Joe Everson, Russ Feldmeier
“Go where you are needed but not wanted, and stay until you are wanted but not needed.”
– Bishop James E. Walsh, M.M.
First Maryknoll Bishop
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