Piety Hill Musings

The ramblings of the 51 year old Rector of St. John's Episcopal Church of Detroit. Piety Hill refers to the old name for our neighborhood. The neighborhood has changed a great deal in the over 150 years we have been on this corner (but not our traditional biblical theology) and it is now known for the neighboring theatres, the professional baseball and football stadiums and new hockey/basketball arena.

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Location: Detroit, Michigan, United States

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Fasting AND Eating - Rector's Rambling for March 16, 2014

Lent is off to a good start.  Attendance at all three Ash Wednesday Services was good.  Friday Stations and Benediction has also started and usually picks up as Lent moves on.  And I hope that you have been keeping your Lenten Fast.
As much as we may focus on the fasting and sacrificial disciplines in Lent, not only abstinence from flesh meat on Fridays, but also the sacrifice of “giving something up for Lent”, our Lenten devotion at St. John’s is deeply grounded in something that is eaten, The Holy Communion.
Although we have the service of Benediction after the Thursday Communion Service all year long, during Lent we add weekly adoration time on Thursday, an extra celebration of the Holy Communion on Friday, and Benediction after the Stations of the Cross. This all is in addition to our 12:15 Masses on Tuesday and Wednesday.  One of the greatest privileges of being a priest is the grace to say Mass, and it is a glorious privilege of every baptized Christian to receive the Blessed Sacrament daily if so desired.
There is no more efficacious way for us to interact with Jesus Christ than in the Blessed Sacrament.  Jesus said, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.  Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.  For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.  He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him.”  (John 6:53–56)
Being regular about eating His flesh and drinking His Blood at Mass, we also take time to adore Him in His Sacramental presence with silent meditation before Him, and in worship through the hymns of the Benediction Service.  It is a good discipline for Lent, and a blessing all year long.