I THOUGHT YOU SHOULD KNOW | Ask the Holy Spirit to bring a spirit of repentance

We start the second week of the new liturgical year with the beginning of St. Mark's Gospel. St. Mark makes it clear that this is the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, but it's also a continuation of the unfolding revelation found in the Old Testament.

Isaiah tells us: "Behold, I am sending my messenger ahead of you; he will prepare your way. A voice of one crying out in the desert, 'Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight His paths.'" Isaiah prophesied the forerunner of the Lord.

I THOUGHT YOU SHOULD KNOW | The joy of repentance draws people to God’s peace

All three readings for the 20th Sunday in Ordinary Time celebrate the power of God to change human hearts.

The selections begin with Jeremiah's complaint against God, alleging that God deceived him and also that Jeremiah let himself be deceived. Several chapters earlier he stated, "When I found your words, I devoured them; they became my joy and the happiness of my heart, because I bore your name, O Lord, of hosts. ... Under the weight of your hand I sat alone because you filled me with indignation."

I THOUGHT YOU SHOULD KNOW | Repentance is a gift God offers humanity

Bishop Robert J. Hermann

The readings for the Second Sunday of Advent validate the hunger our hearts experience for a lasting peace and harmony that eludes us now. As St. Augustine said, "Our hearts are restless, until they rest in you, O Lord." God placed in our hearts a profound hunger for unity, harmony, happiness and fulfillment, and that hunger nurtures our hope for what God promises in the depths of our spirit.

I THOUGHT YOU SHOULD KNOW | God helps us find real joy in repentance

Bishop Robert J. Hermann

The readings for the Third Sunday of Advent are filled with joy and hope. Our God is there for us and wants to help us embrace His word so as to enjoy the fruits of His love.

The reading follows an earlier description of God rebuking the proud in their midst. Because God has thus acted, Zion rejoices. "Shout for joy, O daughter Zion! Sing joyfully, O Israel! The Lord has removed the judgment against you, He has turned away your enemies. ... The Lord, your God, is in your midst, a mighty savior; He will rejoice over you with gladness and renew you in his love."

POPE'S MESSAGE | Use Lent to shed apathy to sin, poverty, indifference to God

Rain fell as Pope Francis led the Angelus from the window of his studio overlooking St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican March 2. The pope asked the world’s Christians to pray for Ukraine and urged the parties involved in the conflict to engage in dialogue.

VATICAN CITY -- Lent is a time to shed lazy, un-Christian habits and snap out of one's apathy toward people harmed by violence, poverty and not having God in their lives, Pope Francis said.

Lent is time to "change course, to recover the ability to respond to the reality of evil that always challenges us," he said during his weekly general audience March 5, Ash Wednesday.

I THOUGHT YOU SHOULD KNOW | Jesus' baptism shows us sinners the need for repentance

Bishop Robert J. Hermann

The story of the baptism of Jesus tells us so much about ourselves and our call to greatness.

Let us begin with Jesus' love for mankind that inspires this event. Jesus has just left Galilee and cut Himself loose from the comforts of home to become a wandering missionary. This brings Him to the Jordan River to request baptism from John.

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