Dear Friends and Family of Falls City Sacred Heart,

Groundhog Day vs. Resurrection

The Second Day of February in the United States, as everyone knows, is Groundhog Day. This venerable day we wait for the “Seer of Seers” to come out of his hole and look for a shadow. This year the prediction: an early spring. Yeah, right! Since then we’ve still had snow and ice about every third day: trudging along, plowing through, and scraping together enough energy to scrape off our windshields. We know it will pass, but it still can sap the life out of you.

The Second Day of February in the life of the Church is Candle Mass, the day Jesus is presented in the temple to Simeon as “a light to reveal you to the Nations, and the glory of your people Israel!” We look to Christ our Light and pray for the grace to courageously live it out; we acknowledge this world is passing away, but the joy of living God’s love will endure unto eternity.

Just in the comparison of the previous two paragraphs, we can see the difference having a Catholic perspective can make on our work and our worldview. We have been working hard these past few months: putting together plans for bathroom renovations, Sub-District, District, and State competitions, academically, athletically and in all manner of activities across the state and nation. Every now and then, we need to take a step back, pick our head up, and get our bearings.

And next week we enter the Holy Season of Lent. Too often, even as Catholics, Lent can be seen as a time of trudging along, plowing through, and scraping together enough energy to get to the end so we can get back to all those things we gave up. The reality is quite the opposite: We are not working FOR victory, we are working FROM victory! Lent gives us time and space to be SET FREE from those habits or sins that have held us back. We don’t just trudge through Lent to end up on the Cross. Our journey is not to the Cross, but through the Cross to the Resurrection.

Recently, I found again a quote from Saint Teresa of Calcutta: “The worst poverty is not knowing Christ. If we would just open our eyes and look around, we would see that people all over the world are hungry for God, who is Love.” In order to be able to see, however, you need to have light. One of the reasons that this school exists is to give our students an opportunity to have that personal encounter with Christ Our Light. We encounter Him in the Mass, we encounter Him in class. But we also encounter Christ in the many ways we serve each other in love. 

At the National Honor Society Mass, I shared with the students, faculty, and family members how a candle is consumed in the burning, and that if we try to do it all ourselves, we will end up spent and tired. But if we offer our lives through Him, with Him, and in Him, that changes everything we do and we will never be outdone in generosity or grace.  I pray that through this Lenten season you will not end up burnt out and just waiting for winter to end, but that united to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, your hearts will burn all the brighter with the Love of God!