"Simon said in reply, “Master, we have worked hard all night and have caught nothing, but at your command I will lower the nets.” When they had done this, they caught a great number of fish and their nets were tearing. They signaled to their partners in the other boat to come to help them. They came and filled both boats so that the boats were in danger of sinking. When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at the knees of Jesus and said, “Depart from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man.” For astonishment at the catch of fish they had made seized him and all those with him, and likewise James and John, the sons of Zebedee, who were partners of Simon. Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men.” When they brought their boats to the shore, they left everything and followed him."
Dear Parishioners and Friends,
We welcome our 1st year Confirmation students at the 5:00pm Mass this weekend. They spent Saturday afternoon on retreat and had prayer and reflection in the presence of the Holy Eucharist. For all of you students in the 1st and 2nd year Confirmation group, know that your parish community is praying for you! You are a great blessing to your parents, your family and for all of us.
The word "retreat" reminds us of a change of routine, a new venue, a time to "think" and pray and reflect on ourselves, others and our relationship with God. Though a retreat is usually short and temporary, it offers an opportunity to unwind. It is like a vacation, but it is something much more. A retreat is connected to prayer and it allows us to retune our spiritual ears and be more alert to the promptings of God. A retreat offers us time for reflection and renewal and the space to do it.
When was the last time any of us have been on retreat? Usually we are so busy with our jobs and family demands, that a retreat is one of the last items we put on our list.
Fortunately there are opportunities for prayerful reflection. There is an upcoming Rochester Women’s Conference with information in the greeting area of church and a Men’s Conference in spring. The Notre Dame Retreat House in Canandaigua, NY offers year round retreat opportunities. Many describe our ongoing "Christ-life" program we are hosting as a retreat experience.
But did you know that attending weekly Mass on the weekend is, in fact, a retreat? For one hour, we have the opportunity to listen to the Holy Scriptures and to the living words of Jesus. We then join our voices to pray together for our needs and the needs of people in the world. We offer to God the ordinary fruits of our labor so that the bread and wine can become Jesus for us to partake. Participating in the Holy Mass is our participation in God's own love story with us.
If we never make a retreat, we can interiorly and spiritually, grow dull. We find less joy in life because we let ourselves continually running on a treadmill that never stops. Life can become a drudgery, and our compassion for the weak and poor forgotten. If we never give God the chance to recharge our batteries, life will become that much more difficult.
Don't let other activities replace a relationship with God. Attending Mass is such a privilege and gift. There are many places in the world where attending Mass is not even possible. We are blessed to live in a country that we can freely practice our Catholic faith.
May God bless you this week!