Fr. Kevin Dillon

Fr. Kevin Dillon is the Pastor of St. Boniface Martyr Parish, Sea Cliff, Long Island, NY.

Numbers fascinate some people, especially Mathematicians, Statisticians, and Accountants.    It’s hard to believe we are at the Fifth Sunday of Lent already and that Easter is just two weeks away.  During these past weeks, we have been singing popular Lenten hymns with the number forty.  Forty Days and Forty Nights and Lord Who throughout These Forty Days are two such hymns that we have sung during this special season.

Forty Days, why does Lent last forty days?  Have you ever stopped to think about that?  Believe it, or not, it is not just some random number that a Theologian or Pope decided upon at whim!  FORTY is a special number in the Scriptures.  It occurs many times, and is often associated with a period of testing or purification.

Moses spent 40 days fasting on Mount Sinai before returning with the Ten Commandments.  The biblical flood required forty days and nights of rain.  According to Jewish law, Mary had to wait forty days after the birth of her Son, Jesus, to enter the temple.  Of course everyone is familiar with the forty days Jesus spent in the desert where he was tested by Satan.  After His resurrection from the dead on Easter Sunday, Jesus spent forty days appearing to his Apostles in His glorified body

Forty years is also a special time frame in Judeo-Christian culture.  It was considered the biblical time span of a generation, as in the time the Israelites wandered the desert until the sinful generation passed away before their descendants entered the Promised Land.  King David ruled for forty years.

So as we prepare to enter Holy Week and the Easter Tridium and bring these great FORTY DAYS to a close, let us reflect on what we can do to test and purify ourselves to prepare us for the great events that bring these special days to a climax.

One of the ways we can purify ourselves is to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation.  It is a wonderful way to experience the deep and lasting peace of Jesus Christ through the forgiveness of our sins. Monday of Holy Week (April 10, this year) has come to be known as RECONCILIATION MONDAY because in every Catholic Church in the Archdiocese of New York and Dioceses of Brooklyn and Rockville Centre confessions will be heard from 3PM-9PM.  In addition, confessions will also be heard here at St. Boniface on Good Friday from 4:30-6:00 PM and Holy Saturday from 11:00 AM until12:00 Noon.  Give yourself the gift of Easter Peace; come, celebrate this powerful and life giving Sacrament during these SPECIAL AND HIGH HOLYDAYS!

 – Fr. Kevin

Fr. Kevin Dillon’ s letter appears here and in the St. Boniface Parish Bulletin.

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