The Lenten Season Begins
February 22, 2012
Hard to believe that we’re already into the Lenten Season. We set the tone for these forty days with our Parish Lenten Mission, which begins this Sunday evening. I sincerely hope that a good number of our parishioners and families will come to the mission. Welcome, Father Reilly. Thank you for visiting us and bringing God’s Word as we begin this holy season.
Notice the sense of urgency or compunction in today’s Gospel. “The Spirit drove Jesus into the desert…” What did he encounter there? The details in Mark are not as specific or dramatic as in Matthew (4:1-11). What do we encounter in our deserts…when we’re alone emotional, spiritually, or physically (even when we are in the midst of others)? What are the demons… unbridled human appetites or yearnings, the lust for power, the love of money? What entices or allures us to be less than we can be as a person of faith? These are real questions of the soul that you and I are invited to face during this privileged time that we prepare for Easter. No matter what we find in our desert, I hope we have the realization that “the kingdom of God” is offered to us. From over thirty years of listening and ministering to laity and clergy, I haven’t met one person who wanted to remain in their desert. Why? Because the desert may for a time seem inviting, but it always kills…the body as well as the soul. We, too, have messengers (angelus in Latin, aggelos in Greek) who are eagerly waiting to minister to us throughout these forty days.
Finally, as I mentioned last week, I have noticed many new faces among us. Some of you may be new to the area. We invite you to pray with us and, if moved, to become a part of our parish. Some may be returning after a ‘detour in life.’ Your journey (and for some your desert) has brought you to this holy place. Rest among us, if but for a while… and believe!
A blessed Lent to all.