Thankful, Mindful, Prayerful

Posted on March 1, 2022 by Published by

First Sunday of Lent

My brothers and sisters, as Lent has begun, we will be spending these 40 days preparing for the most important feast in the Church: Easter, the resurrection of Jesus Christ. In order to prepare for his public ministry, Jesus Himself spent 40 days in prayer and fasting. In the desert, he was alone, separate from everyone, so that He could encounter God through prayer. During this time, as we hear in the Gospel, Satan tempted Jesus. Yet, Jesus did not give into these temptations.

In our contemporary time, however, even during Lent, we have many things. We are surrounded by a surplus, an excess of everything. We do not experience Lent as Jesus did, alone in the desert, without food or water. Our Lent is quite different. And yet, in our daily lives and during Lent, as we are surrounded by many things, as we have many things, as we still obtain many things, God still wishes to meet us and to show us His Love.

Since we cannot go out into the desert and leave our daily lives, our work, our families, other people, and matters for which we must care in the world, I would like to invite you to take advantage of these things in order to draw closer to God. For example, many people throughout the world do not have the luxuries that we have such as running water, gas for cooking and heating, daily food. Many people do not have television or clothing. Many people do not have a loving family and supportive friends.

Please consider also our brothers and sisters in Ukraine whose lives have been forever altered by the evils of aggression, war, and destruction.

Therefore, I would like to encourage you to spend some time each day, thanking God for all that He has given to you. Take time to thank Him for your family, your husband, your wife, your job, your home, your work. Thank Him for the running water, the heat, the electricity, the bed in which you sleep. Thank him for the Sacraments through which He comes to us. Let us thank Him for this Mass at which we are gathered to celebrate and be grateful for the gift of salvation.

My brothers and sisters, during each Lent we are called to take some time to stop and reflect on God’s Loving presence in our lives. God is present in many ways and in many people. He knows what is important for our souls, for our spiritual lives, for our families. And, as He proved through His life, He wants us to be united with Him in Heaven. “This is the time of fulfillment,” my brothers and sisters. “The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.” Repent and believe in God’s love.

Yours in Christ,
Father Arthur

Readings for the First Sunday of Lent: Lectionary 24

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