Saturday: 5:00pm & 7:00pm (Spanish)
Sunday: 7:00am, 8:30am, 10:30am,
12:30pm, 5:30pm (Youth)DAILY MASS:
Monday - Friday: 7:30am & 9:00am
Saturday: 8:00amFIRST FRIDAY OF THE MONTH: 7:30pmRECONCILIATION: SAT. 3:30-4:30pm
|ST JOSEPH CHURCH
837 Tennent Ave. Pinole, CA 94564PARISH OFFICE - PARISH CENTER
Regular Hours: Mon-Thu: 9-7:30, Fri: 9-5
(check weekly bulletin for exceptions)
2100 Pear Street - Pinole, CA 94564
510.741.4900 FAX: 510.724.9185ST. JOSEPH SCHOOL
1961 Plum Street, Pinole, CA 94564
510.724.0242 FAX 510.724.9886
Lent is a time of journeys. We follow Jesus on his journey to Jerusalem, to suffer and die for us and rise from the dead. The people in our RCIA group conclude their journey to full initiation into the Church in the rites of Christian Initiation. Each of us, we hope, arrives at the renewal of our baptismal commitment on Easter after a time of prayer, penance, and charity.
The Old Testament readings for this year’s Sundays of Lent take us on a journey through highlights of the Old Testament. We start with the fall of Adam and Eve, continue with Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son at the command of God, and Moses striking water from the rock, to quench the thirst of God’s people in the desert. Next we read of the anointing of the youth David as king of Israel, then move to the time of exile, when the Prophet Ezekiel tells of God’s promise to open the graves of his people and bring them to life again. Each of these selections points us to Jesus and what he accomplished for us in his Paschal Mystery, his dying and rising from the dead.
The Church is a pilgrim people. In the words of the Second Vatican Council’s decree on the Church: “The Church, embracing sinners in her bosom, is at the same time holy and always in need of being purified, and incessantly pursues the path of penance and renewal. The Church, like a pilgrim in a foreign land, presses forward amid the persecutions of the world and the consolations of God, announcing the cross and death of the Lord until he comes.” These words summarize what we do during Lent. We journey as pilgrims headed for a destination. Our goal for Lent is spiritual renewal.
Lent is also a summary of our lives. What we do in a concentrated way during Lent we are doing from the time of our baptism until the day of our death. We are heading for heaven.
The Gospel of the first Sunday of Lent always tells us of the temptations of Christ, this year in the words of Matthew. Jesus had to decide what kind of Messiah he would be. He refused to be the kind of Messiah people were expecting. He would not satisfy their physical needs, though he could feed 5,000 in the desert. He would not be a political, military ruler, though he would claim to rule a Kingdom not of this world. He would not give in to their desire for signs and wonders, though he did heal the sick and raise the dead. He could have accomplished much good by meeting the people’s expectations. But he saw these approaches as temptations of the devil, distracting him from his true task of suffering and dying and rising from the dead.
The temptations of Jesus are still alive and well in the world. Yes, we are called to provide bread for those who are hungry. We are called to change the social order, so that justice is done for all, especially the poor and oppressed. We are called to enter into the mystery of worship in the presence of God. And miracles of healing and conversion still happen.
But our nourishment is to come from the Word of God. Our allegiance is to be given to the Lord our God first and foremost. We are not to try to manipulate God by superstition. The society in which we live levels harsh criticisms against religion. Sometimes these criticisms are unjustified. Sometimes they arise from the fact that we have succumbed to the temptations Jesus resisted, with a religion of earthly prosperity, a religion of earthly power, a religion of magic. We do not follow Jesus to get rich, to lord it over others, or to escape the human condition. We follow him along the way of the Cross, to die with him daily, so that one day we can die in the Lord and live with him forever.
When we were baptized, we completed the journey sacramentally. We came up from the font “dead to sin and alive for God in Christ Jesus,” as St. Paul tells us. The work of our lifetime is to make that dying and rising happen in our thoughts, words, and deeds. It is a long, hard pilgrimage. May the promise of our Old Testament and New Testament salvation history give us confidence to make our pilgrimage this Lent and through all our lives.
Been away from the Church awhile?
Welcome back home!
If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to call the parish office at 510-741-4900 and ask to talk to a priest. We are here to serve you.