(From the Bulletin of Sts. Joachim and Ann Catholic Church, March 5, 2017)
First Sunday of Lent “A”
Even though Lent conies late this year, many of us are looking forward to these forty days as a time for personal renewal.
Lent is a time to renew the spirit and find new directions in our lives.
Lent is an attractive opportunity to strengthen our weak knees, toughen our weary hearts, and try all over again to bring order and discipline—with its resulting joy—into our lives. We come again to hear about the Garden of Delights we lost through the original sin of Adam and Eve. How good things would still be if those parents of ours hadn't listened to that lying serpent! So much damage from one man and one woman! Still, from our own experience, we know how a single leader of the nation, a single member of the congregation, a single family member who has lost either moral raison or faith, or who lives in a drug or alcohol or other addictions, can wreak incredible damage on the rest of the nation or community or family, whether it be adults or children.
The good news is that the damage of Adam and Eve was all repaired by one man, Jesus.
Lent is all about focusing on Jesus' formula for wholeness and happiness. It's all found in the Scriptures, in daily prayer and Lenten practices.
Today's Gospel speaks of Jesus' desert experience as He is about to begin His Mission. It's a kind of relief for us to know that even the Son of God was tempted to give in to the human and just forget the whole thing. We all know the feeling!
The work of our redemption would have been seriously damaged if Jesus had given in to temptations of the flesh, or possessions, or power. Instead, He focused on the Father's Will, the reason for His Mission and His great love for those living in darkness and sin.
Jesus combated Satan through humility, obedience and a loving spirit. And He taught His followers down to the present day to do the same when temptations come. Let's make the same decisions that Jesus made as we begin our Lenten journey. Let's dedicate the time to reparation for personal sins and the sins of our world.
Here are some suggested ways:
**Daily meditation “Not by Bread alone 2017”
**Daily prayer of the Holy Rosary / Meditation and prayer of the Living Rosary
**Daily Mass during Lent in our parish, Stations of the Cross, either public or private in the Chapel
**Family’s prayer and/or individual prayer in the Shrine of Our Blessed Mother
**Alms giving via the Bishop Appeal 2017 are all fruitful sources of grace.
Fr. Louis Kemayou, Pastor