1990 March 4 – 1st Sun Lent (Bulletin Letters)
1st Sun of Lent Cycle A
Mt 4, 1 – 11
“JESUS WAS LED INTO THE DESERT BY THE SPIRIT TO BE TEMPTED BY THE DEVIL.”Matt.4/1 Each year we begin Lent with the same Gospel story, Jesus’ Temptation in the Desert. Each of the three lectionary cycles uses its own version of the desert temptation story. This year we read Matthew’s version.
Beginning our Lenten journey with Jesus’ temptations in the desert makes good sense. Having just been baptized by John on the Jordan, Jesus is led by the Spirit to the desert to pray and fast for 40 days and 40 nights. This 40 day period corresponds with the 4O years the Jews wandered in the desert awaiting the right time for them to enter the Promised Land. Jesus used his 40 days to prepare himself for the public ministry he was about to begin. At the end of this 40-day period the devil came to tempt him. I used to think the devil waited until Jesus was at his most vulnerable moment to tempt him. Surely Jesus was at his physically weakest point 40 days into his fast but not necessarily his most vulnerable moment. Having fasted myself and having been around people who have fasted for good cause, whatever physical weakness one might suffer during a fast is made up for by the spiritual and mental clarity that comes with the fasting. When the devil finally came to tempt Jesus, Jesus was in the best possible position to resist his temptation.
We too begin a 40-day preparation period in Lent, starting with Ash Wednesday. Like Jesus, we are asked to pray and fast during this Lenten time. At the end of our Lenten observance will we be spiritually strengthened for the challenges of our Easter faith? A lot will depend on how much energy and attention we give our Lenten exercises and programs. Don’t let this Lenten season pass you by without putting in the necessary effort that comes with true fasting and praying. Without this preparatory work our Easter celebration will fall short of the mark and leave us unchanged and untouched. Easter didn’t just happen. Jesus gave it his all and no less is expected from us.
90 03 04: Pastoral
NEEDY FAMILIES: The Harrison County Food Pantry is going to hand out food baskets to needy families in Harrison County this Easter. If you know of any needy families who might benefit from this service please let me know their names and addresses. I will turn the names over to the Food pantry folks and see to it that they get a food basket. The names must be in to the Food Pantry by March 26th.
90 03 04 Road Trip
PHOENIX – LAND OF THE SNOW BIRD: My time in Phoenix was great! I had the best time at the Conference. My keynote address consisted mostly of personal stories and significant moments in my faith journey. It was well received. I was able to spend quality time with relatives and the weather was super, in the 70’s.and 80’s during the days and the 60’s at night. There were Midwesterners all over the place. They are called Snow Birds because they come every winter to avoid the snow back home.
A FAMILY AFFAIR: Every Wednesday before CCD classes during Lent there will be a Stations of the Cross service at St. Anne’s at 6: 30. Bring your kids a half hour early to CCD and make the Stations of the Cross as a family!