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Fifth Sunday in Ordinary February 5th
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
As I write to you the outlook of my calendar looks a little overwhelming as I look forward to the season of Lent, our planning for our parish celebration for our
patron, Saint Joseph for March 19th and April 30th, and all the activity that go with this season of the year. It is in the midst of all this, that I must take a step away for my
annual spiritual retreat. Twice a year every priest must make a week long spiritual retreat. I usually take one of those retreats just before the season of Lent as my lent
preparation. Fr. Everardo will be taking his retreat next month. For my spiritual retreat I travel to a retreat center called Feather Rock in Texas. It is located in the middle
of ranch land. This is a perfect setting for me to be out of the hustle and bustle of busy city life. This retreat is lead by an Opus Dei priest who will give three to four
conferences each day, each followed by private quiet time for prayer and reflection. As saint Paul spoke of himself as being all things for all people, I must take this
time to rest, be still and quiet with the Lord to consider my calling as a priest and as your pastor. In the midst of the business of His ministry, with all the sick, possessed
and downtrodden pressing in on Jesus, even Peter demands a favor from Jesus. Jesus heals Peter’s mother-in law while hoping to get a little rest at his home before
getting back to work. As the gospel of Mark tells us, because there was so much work to do, Jesus woke up very early, while everyone was still asleep, and went to an out of the way place to pray. Two Sundays ago, in the gospel of Saint Matthew, Jesus announced, “repent for
the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Then He called Andrew and his brother Simon Peter, and John and his brother James, to follow Him. As we began Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount last Sunday, we will be lead
through the plan of life that Jesus lays out for us as the “Blessed.” Today, Jesus continues His sermon – “You are the salt of the earth. … You are the light of the
world.” As a priest, as a baptized member of the Church, I must consider these things. I must renew my response to Jesus as He calls me to follow Him. I must take stalk
of my life as I strive to live out His plan for me to be one of the “Blessed.” I must continue to discern how I am to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world. As I
take this retreat, I am reminded of the call of Saint John Paul to all the baptized to find time every year to go on retreat. Of course, not everyone can go on a week-long
retreat, but at least try a day or a weekend. Please keep me in your prayers this week and know that you are in my prayers throughout this week as well.
Fr. Steven Guitron
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