It Is Never Too Early To Start Planning

11 Mar

When people went on vacation, they shed their home skins, thought they could be a new person.  ~Aimee Friedman

My friends have a wonderful time teasing me when it comes to vacation because I am like a little kid in regard to them.  For example, two days ago, I booked a transatlantic cruise for October of 2018.  I’ve got the countdown going already:  596 days!  🙂

I like my Disney vacations after the Christmas and New Year’s holiday and my fall cruises because, as the quote above indicates, they allow me to “shed my home skin” and become someone else.  For a while, I am not a pastor of an extremely large parish with one of our largest schools.  For a while, I am “just one of the tourists.”

Since I look forward to being able to shed that skin and become “just a tourist”, I put some time and emotional energy in my vacation plans.  When we go to Disney, I am the one in charge of booking our meals.  Yes, on the 180th day before vacation — the first day reservations are allowed — I am on line booking our nightly meals.  When I go on cruises, as soon as the booking window opens for meals or entertainment shows or shore excursions, I am there to book.

Shedding skins and preparing for something new and exciting and different:  Isn’t that what Lent is really all about?  We are challenged to shed our sinful skins and put on skins of holiness.  We are challenged to look to the future where, instead of being one of the tourists, we will be one of the saints.

That is exciting.  That is something that gives us hope.  That is something that makes our earthly journey tolerable.  We face a lot while here on earth; but, if we face it with grace and conviction, we will be able to look forward to what lies beyond.

Don’t think about “only being into Lent for a couple of weeks”.  Instead, look ahead to Easter.  Start to plan what you will do for that joyous occasion.  And then, look even further and dream about what it will be like to go on that eternal vacation with the Lord!

FAITH ACTION:  Mark your calendars so that you can plan Holy Week.  The important dates follow.

   April 4:  7:00 pm Communal Penance Service
  April 12:  7:30 pm (“Last-minute confessions” after the 
                     7:00 pm  Taize Prayer Service)
  April 13: 10:30 am Chrism Mass (at Holy Angels in Gary)
             7:00 pm Mass of the Lord’s Supper
  April 14:  1:30 pm Liturgy of the Lord’s Passion
             7:00 pm Tenebrae Prayer Service
  April 15:  2:00 pm Blessing of the Easter Baskets
             8:00 pm Easter Vigil Mass
  April 16:  Easter Sunday Masses 6:30 am, 8:00 am, 
                                 10:00 am, and 12:00 Noon