Offer and join our sufferings to the sufferings of Jesus on the cross for the conversion of sinners.
1. Church is the People of God
Our church building is not the church but rather the people of God coming together in unity to worship God. In the CCC 810 it says that, “the universal Church is seen to be a people brought into unity from the unity of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit"
2. We need to strive for unity as a parish
The 40 days of Lent depicts the 40 years that the Israelites were in the desert before they entered the Promised Land. The Israelites were led out of Egypt as one family by Moses. They were not divided into two groups: one group led by Moses and the other led by Aaron. We are one family.
At every mass, Jesus prays this priestly prayer found in John 17:21 where he says, “I pray that they may all be one, Father! May they be in us, just as you are in me and I am in you.” We need to be united if we want to do the mission and fulfill God’s plan of renewing our parish.
3. Suffer with Jesus
When we have something to suffer, big or small, it seems unbearable until we compare it with Jesus’ suffering on the cross; then it dwindles to a fragment. Even with that fragment, it could make a big difference. Last year we celebrate the 100th anniversary of the apparition of Mary to the three children in Fatima. In one of the apparition she came and begged for their help. She asked them, “Will you offer yourselves to God, and bear all the sufferings he sends you? In atonement for all the sins that offend him? And for the conversion of sinners?” They said, “Yes.” The children began giving their food to poor beggars, fasting from water on hot days, and even applying stinging nettles to their flesh.