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Sunday, February 17, 2013

Two Church Services on The First Sunday of Lent

Good Sunday, everyone! How's Life treating you nowadays, my dear folks and friends? Me? I'm doing okay, I think. Thank God, we're alive, living the present moment well. Hope you're doing the same.

Nope, there wasn't snow on the ground this morning when we (my sis-in-law Rose, my wife Freny, young adult daughter Tintin and I) left the house (out) for Sunday Mass. Only remnants of snow that fell late last night remained stuck in the front and rear of our cars.

Today, as we know, is the first Sunday of Lent. At St. Paul's, Fr. Dave, our pastor, officiated the 9:30 a.m. Mass. Freny and I, along with two more colleagues plus Fr. Dave, were scheduled today as Extraordinary Ministers for Holy Communion (EMHC), with assignment to distribute The Host (consecrated Body of Jesus Christ) to our fellow parishioners. Since I was assigned to do Host A, my first time ever as volunteer EMHC, I was the one responsible to get the two golden bowls or "containers" with consecrated hosts/bread from the altar and give them to Fr. Dave in preparation of the Holy Communion portion of the Mass. And then to receive (from Fr. David) and put those containers with the leftover or remaining consecrated "hosts" back to the altar where they're safely kept and locked after the Holy Communion.

God/Jesus knows how I felt bad leaving the church not finishing the whole worship service/Mass. I wanted to finish the Mass since it's almost the end, just the community prayer of thanksgiving and singing and the announcement of any information (if there's any) and the blessing by/of Fr. Dave to us all. But I have no choice but to leave the church building with the rest of my family. Why? Tintin is scheduled today to play piano, being a paid pianist, at a Christian church in a neighboring city in Hampton Roads at 11:00 a.m. That's why she's home this weekend. As you know, she comes home every other weekend because of her commitment there every other Sunday. Anyway, that's the reason why we left St. Paul's early. I do hope God/Jesus forgives or understands us. for this.

So, this Sunday, we have attended/participated in two church worship services. How cool is that, huh? Does that make us more holy, you ask? That depends on each one of us concerned. But, as for me, I hope so. I'd like to think that I try to work myself every day to be good and holy. And that when I pass, I'd be saved.

Afterwards, we went Chinese. At a Chinese Buffet Restaurant, that is, where I had a little taste of this and that, and sushi, and just simply a glass of water. One thing that added flavor or enjoyment to our dining was that we met (or talked to) a party of three middle-aged diners who, they said, are parishioners at Church of Resurrection, one of the four clustered parishes in our area. St. Paul's, where we've been registered members for years, is another one of them, btw. Why clustered parishes? I believe the answer to this is because of the shortage of priests. That means that a priest/pastor has not only one parish but two (or three small) parishes to manage or take care of. For the four clustered parishes in our area, we have two pastors/priests: Reverend Fathers Dave and Chris. The two just shares responsibilities to four churches or parishes entrusted to them by the diocese.

Overcoming temptations was the overall theme of both Fr. Dave's homily and the other pastor's message in another Christian church today. That's what the Holy Scripture/Gospel readings (from St. Luke 4:1-13) for this first Sunday of Lent in which Jesus was tempted by Satan while the former was having a "retreat" in the desert for forty days.

Yes, indeed, we're all prone to temptations, like Jesus. We have to battle our "demons" everyday. With our faith in God and Jesus, our day-to-day battles and struggles won't be for naught or in vain. We're stronger than we thought. With our constant prayer, asking for forgiveness (and be sorry) for our sins, and trusting in and relying on the power and goodness of God our Heavenly Father and His Begotten Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Redeemer, we'll be okay. That's my belief.

Well, this is all for now, my dear folks and friends. Until next time around. Take care and have a wonderful day, everyone! And, Happy Presidents' Day tomorrow, for those of us observing it! As always, I pray, "May God bless us all!"-chris a. quilpa, 17Feb2013

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