Get Ready to Return to the Father’s House
Lent Reflection
by Father Oscar Cortes, Pastor, St. Rita of Cascia, Aurora
March 18, 2021
‘The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.”
— John 12:23 
Dear brothers and sisters, during these days of Lent we have been preparing to celebrate the great feast of Easter.  We have read or listened to beautiful reflections on Lent, the merits of Lenten works, prayer, fasting and penance. Now, Holy Week is approaching. 
The time has come to show how sincere and effective our Lenten works can be. The time has come for the fruits of this time of special grace to help us celebrate Holy Week as it should be celebrated. 
May this Holy Week truly be a holy week for each one of us. It is useless to have fasted for 40 days, depriving ourselves of certain foods, drinks and other pleasures if our lives do not change in the celebration of the mysteries of the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus, and if our sacrifices do not make a profound difference in the way we live our lives once Lent is over.  
Celebrating our faith within our faith communities is extraordinary and unique. Our churches are holy, sacred spaces where we give glory to God.
In the Gospel for this fifth Sunday of Lent Jesus cries out, “Father give glory to your name.” 
When we come together in community, in our churches, to celebrate the mysteries of our faith, we give glory to God together with our words and our actions. 
Celebrating our faith together and celebrating it in church is one of the fruits of our Lenten sacrifices.  Lent is an invitation for us to live Holy Week and Easter well by praying together in our churches thereby changing our lives forever.
Dear brothers and sisters, I invite you to attend your churches to celebrate Holy Week in community.  Thanks be to God, most of our churches are open and most of us can attend in person once again.  This is an invitation and a blessing that we should not pass up if we can help it.
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