"And He said to them, 'Go into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation.'"
- Mark 16:15
"Repent and believe in the Gospel." How many times have we heard these words uttered as the priest takes his thumb and marks our foreheads with the Sign of the Cross? Although the distribution of ashes will happen in a different way this year, the meaning of these words and the significance of the ashes can never be altered by a pandemic.
Ash Wednesday ushers in the penitential season of Lent. In the Old Testament, sackcloth and ashes were donned as a sign of repentance from sin and a return to the Lord. The ashes we receive are a reminder that we have sinned against God and are entering the season of Lent for the specific purpose of reorienting our lives toward Him. The ashes themselves are the burned palms used from Palm Sunday the previous year. On Palm Sunday, Jesus was welcomed into Jerusalem by its rejoicing people; five days later they were calling for his crucifixion. How many times have we claimed to be followers of Christ, only to turn our backs on him when following him becomes dangerous or unpopular? The ashes remind us of our past failures to obey God and follow Christ, but not to inspire fear or despair in our hearts. "Rend your hearts, not your garments, and return to the Lord, your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, abounding in steadfast love, and relenting in punishment" (Joel 2:13). God asks us to repent and return to him by expressing sorrow for our sins and trusting in his mercy. Let us never forget that Christ died on the Cross out of love for us.
May this season of Lent reawaken in us the knowledge of God's love, and prepare us to participate fully in the sacred liturgies of the Paschal Triduum.
"You are merciful to all, O Lord, and despise nothing that you have made. You overlook people's sins, to bring them to repentance, and you spare them for you are the Lord our God (Wis. 11:24,25,27)."
-Entrance Antiphon, Ash Wednesday
Welcome to LaPorte Catholic Church
We praise God that you are here with us today. We pray for the opportunity to no longer call each other strangers, but friends. Together, we seek to be a Eucharistic people centered in the love of Christ. We strive to share the love that we’ve received from God through serving others. May the Lord bless us with the courage and grace to be the hands and feet of Jesus for all.
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Sacred Heart Church
201 Bach St
LaPorte, IN 46350
Thank you and God Bless you for your continued support of our three Parishes.
Our parish food pantries participate in the Kroger Community Rewards program. If you shop at Kroger Foods a portion of your sales are rebated back to our Sacred Heart and St. Joseph food pantries. To Participate, click on the Kroger logo and sign up. Our NPO number for Sacred Heart is GU841 or for St. Joseph is 10524. Or if you need assistance contact Karen Burns at 362-7990 or email: email@example.com.