The Pastor's Column

Fr. Lara's Lines

Fifth Sunday of Lent

Lazarus Raised from the Dead
In this Sunday’s gospel, Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead. This amazing miracle speaks of the divinity of Jesus, letting us know that he has power over sin and death. Lazarus was not only brought back to life, but also given a new life in Jesus Christ. Jesus takes care of the dead and the living. He consoles Lazarus’ sisters, giving them hope in the resurrection on the last day. This miracle communicates several things to the witnesses and to all people. He is fully human and fully divine. He has conquered sin and death. He comforts the afflicted, gives hope to those in despair, and gives new life since he is the resurrection and the life.

I invite you to reflect on the story of Lazarus and his sisters, Martha and Mary. Are you like Martha who questioned Jesus when dealing with the loss of a loved one? She was in despair because of the death of her brother. Her pain and spiritual suffering prevented her from trusting in Jesus. We all go through suffering and pain in our lives. Jesus invites us to trust in him. Are you like Mary, who stayed at home depressed or grieving the situation? Mary did not know how to respond to Lazarus’ passing. Sometimes we don’t know what to do. We freeze when facing bad news. Jesus invites us to come to him and embrace his presence. Jesus will comfort us and give us the peace we need. We are all like Lazarus, who was raised from the dead by Jesus. We have received new life in Christ at Baptism. Also, in the Sacrament of Confession, our souls are brought to life again by his mercy. What does the story of Lazarus say to you? Do you identify with any of the people from the story?

Annunciation of the Lord
We celebrate the feast of the Annunciation of the Lord on March 25. This is one of the most important days in our faith since it commemorates the incarnation of Our Savior. On this day, the Church celebrates the Word made flesh in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The gospel of Luke narrates the annunciation of the angel Gabriel to Mary: “The angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David, and the virgin's name was Mary. And coming to her, he said, "Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you." Then the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus." On that day, God’s promise of salvation was fulfilled. His only begotten son was conceived in the most sacred womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The baby would be born in nine months, since he is like us in all things except sin. After nine months, on Christmas, December 25, Jesus was born into the world. So the feast of the Annunciation is the beginning of God’s new covenant with his people.

The feast of the Annunciation also speaks about Mary’s trust in God, or her fiat. Mary’s yes to God confirmed Mary’s total surrender. The archangel Gabriel came to Mary with a difficult and confusing message, but Mary knew that it came from God and she accepted it with humility: “Mary said, Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word." Mary’s abandonment of her own will to God is an example for us to follow. It is difficult to trust in God when the unexpected happens. Many times, our faith and trust in God is not as strong as we might think it is. We struggle to embrace God’s will in our lives. Mary invites us to trust in God’s plans. When have you had a difficult time trusting in God’s plan? Do you surrender your life to God when he calls you to do something that isn’t in your plans?

Stations of the Cross
Stations of the Cross is a Lenten devotional practice for Catholics. Praying the stations helps us reflect on the passion, death, and resurrection of Jesus. Lent echoes the spiritual journey of Jesus, which began with opposition, rejection, and suffering. This trail led him to his death and finally his resurrection. The Stations of the Cross vividly tell us the struggles and pain of Jesus, carrying the cross, falling three times, being rejected by the people, dying on the cross, etc. We also hear about those around Jesus who suffered along with him: His Mother Mary, who undergoes the almost impossible task of seeing her son dying on the cross, Veronica and the women of Jerusalem, who grieve the suffering of Christ, and even the repentant thief, who knows that Jesus doesn’t deserve to die.

Our parish community has been praying the Stations of the Cross every Friday during Lent. As we gather in Church, we remember Jesus’ love for humankind. He took on all the sin and dysfunction in the world to the point of death. By dying, Jesus set us free from the power of evil to live as children of God. I invite you to keep meditating on the Stations of the Cross for the rest of the Lenten season. It will help us to be grateful for all Jesus has done for us.

Fr. Lara

Recognize God in Your Oridinary Moments - By Colleen Jurkiewicz Dorman
Offer it up. My grandmother used this phrase with her children, and my mother, in turn, used it with me. It’s a kind of verbal heirloom, a gift of wisdom from a generation that knew suffering all too well. We know it to be true that God will work through our suffering if we invite him to. We know it and we have seen it — we have only to look at Lazarus and his sisters Martha and Mary.

But, often, I invite God into my suffering only to tell Him where I want Him to stand. I make an offering of suffering but expect God to do something very specific with it. Teach me this, please. Give me this specific grace. Show me this specific answer.

The happy ending in today’s Gospel is not the alleviation of the sorrow Martha and Mary feel because it isn’t alleviated, Lazarus is still human, and death still awaits him. Someday, his sisters will have to mourn at his tomb. That loss and pain will not be avoided. The happy ending is that he is resurrected now, and in doing so, brings so many to belief. The happy ending is that Martha and Mary do not abandon discipleship because things didn’t work out exactly the way that they wanted. They run out to meet Christ, eyes dim with tears. They fling themselves into his company and onto his providence.

They made an offering of their suffering, and their happy ending is that their offering was accepted.

“You are not in the flesh, on the contrary, you are in the spirit.” — Romans 8:9 ©LPi

Honor Our Military

Please take time to give thanks for those who have served and are serving in our military and to pray for the safety of those who may currently be in harm’s way. In a special way, we thank and pray for these parishioners and relatives of parishioners.

He Who Sacrificed His Life

Those Still Serving
JAY MARTIN, Nephew of Becky and Tom Brennan
JESSICA CAMERON, Niece of the Cameron Family
JOHN PODCZASKI, Grandson of Genevieve Podczaski
STEVEN TUMBARELLO, Son of Sylvia & Vince Tumbarello
CRAIG BEHRENDT, Grand-nephew of Sister Mary Helen
DANIEL BELZER, Nephew of Dave & Bev Belzer
MICHAEL KELLY, Nephew of Kevin and Kathy Kelly
EUGENE WALL, Nephew of Suzanne Lessner
NAILL SWIDER, Grand-nephew of Alice Swider
BRYAN DUFF, Son of Julie Duff
RYAN BLOCHBERGER, Nephew of Mae Grady
TIMOTHY DWORKIN, Grandson of Barbara Bouska
ALEXIS GONZALES, Great-niece of Eden & Lyle Gonzales-Nemzin
JACK MAHON, JR., Son of Jack, Sr. & Eileen Mahon

To add or remove someone, please send the person’s name and relationship (optional) to

Please Pray for Ukraine

For our sisters and brothers involved in or affected by the war and devastation in Ukraine-- the deceased, the injured, the frightened, the displaced, the fighters, the protesters, the leaders. May God give them solace, healing, comfort, and hearts and minds directed toward peace.
Donations can be made here:

Knights of Columbus:


Ukrainian Catholic Archdiocese of Philidelphia:

"May the Queen of Peace preserve the world from the madness of war" - Pope Francis

Neighbors of other Faiths
The Golden Rule

Excerpted from
We may speak of great differences in religious beliefs and forms of worship around the world. Called by an endless number of names, all, however, recognize and worship a Supreme Being. And all religions, somewhere in their sacred literature, expound the fundamental philosophy of the Golden Rule.

Buddhism: Hurt not others with that which pains yourself.
~ Buddha, Undanavarga 5:18

Christianity: Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that all men should do to you, do ye even so to them.
~ Matthew 7:12

Confucianism: What you do not want done to yourself, do not do to others.
~ Confucius, Analects 15:23

Hinduism: Good people proceed while considering what is best for others is best for themselves.
~ Hitopadesa

Islamism: No one of you is a believer until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself.
~ Mohammed, Traditions

Judaism: And thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.
~ Leviticus 19:18

Zoroastrianism: Whatever is disagreeable to yourself do not do unto others.
~ Shayast-na-Shayast 13:29