“Brothers and sisters: What does the scripture say? The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart…” Rom 10:8
In these words, St. Paul indicates our life with God is an all-in deal. Our faith is all or nothing, all God or no God. If we accept the gift of faith, everything we say and do is about Him, God. Every prayer we utter, every sacrament we receive, every act, He is there. This cuts to our most fundamental reality, our identity. What a great place to begin our Lenten period!
In today’s Gospel, the Holy Spirit leads the Lord into the desert. The desert represents a hostile environment where survival is paramount. Here, the non-essentials, the luxuries and the distractions are no longer pertinent. They are stripped away and the most fundamental elements for living become the focus. “…One does not live on bread alone.” Lk 4:6
Hopefully, Lent is a time that reveals to us the most critical elements of our lives. This should bring us back to His will and purpose for us. This is no easy endeavor, and why we need a lengthy period of Lent to engage in this challenge. I want to encourage everyone to keep the big picture in mind as you spend additional time in prayer, sacrifice a little more or give a little more. It is about recognizing what is really important… His will for you.
Folks are working hard to assist you with this important Lenten journey. You can read in the bulletin or on the parish website of opportunities for communal devotions, like the Stations of the Cross, and of opportunities for faith formation gatherings in the parish center. There are giving opportunities with the Disciples in Action. Check out all these and more opportunities for PRAYER / FAST / GIVE in the parish bulletin and on the website.
This is our time to enter a “desert like” experience that may expose some critical elements of your life that need new focus and clarity.