Bishop's Blog

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Thoughts on Lent

Jesus knew terrible hunger and thirst.   Jesus knew the searing heat of day and the freezing cold of night. Jesus knew the desolation and terrible isolation of existing in an empty space, tired, week, hungry, Jesus knew real temptations from the devil, but Jesus never sinned.  God alone was always His guide and His sustenance.  Jesus once described His enemy the devil as the father of lies.  From the floor of the desert to the top of a mountain the devil by deception tries to pull Jesus down.  Satan tempts Jesus to doubt His relationship with the Father and to abandon His mission on earth as the Messiah promised by God.   Jesus refuses to rely on anything but his unshakable faith in God.  Jesus believes in the words of His Father not in the lies of Lucifer.  And like the most brave and courageous warriors Jesus shows us how to conquer the enemy. Jesus the physician of souls offers us a remedy for sin. Jesus the greatest of all teacher’s, teaches us the truth.  Jesus the savior of the world shows us by example how to walk and live by faith.  In this year of faith learning to imitate Jesus is essential for our salvation.  Lent presents us with a challenge, to really live what we say we believe and not just talk about it.  Lent is an opportunity for profound conversion.  Lent gives us a chance to become deeply convicted Roman Catholic believers in practice not just in theory.  We all enthusiastically admire athletes who harshly discipline their bodies and sacrifice all sorts of things in order to win which is after all only a transient victory.  Should we not also imitate their energy and determination as we seek an eternal victory over the world, the flesh and the devil.  The Christian vocation is to cooperate with God’s gift of Grace.  Visiting the Sacrament of Reconciliation more frequently is an enormous help to die to sin and to be born again more fully in Grace.  Christians in this world are basically unfinished saints, a work in progress.  Reconciliation, like all the Sacraments is fundamentally an act of worship.  We confess our faith in His great mercy.  Reconciliation powerfully renews all the transforming Graces of Baptism and Conformation.  The priest serving in the person of Christ dispenses the medicine of mercy.  Every Sunday including the Sundays of Lent are little Easters.  In every Mass the Lord’s victory over sin and death is truly and substantially renewed upon the altar.  Christ who died on the cross and rose from the grave is present among us.  He becomes our food and drink for our journey from this life into eternity.  So let us surrender our lives to Him and in our Holy Communion listen to Him, speak to Him and more than ever before cling to His love.  Jesus is our victorious leader Who trampled satin under His foot.  Jesus is the true physician of our souls who heals every bit of alienation from God.