“Be with me, Lord, when I am in trouble.”
Gospel According to Luke 4:1-13
by Sister Jane Hibbard
It is time for the holy season of Lent. The first Sunday kicks off with Jesus in the desert, tempted by the devil. He was “filled with the Holy Spirit,” as he headed out to spend 40 days in the desert. This time with His Father was preparation for living into His ministry that eventually led to the crucifixion. But first the devil got to him with the three great temptations: power, addiction, and control.
As you live into Lent, on your spiritual journey, take some time to ponder how the devil
tries to undermine your efforts. Are you hanging on to past hurts? Is there some addiction in your life that you cannot control (judgment of others; too much television; being a couch potato; fear of volunteering in ways that could help others, too much noise, when periods of silence will bring you closer to your God?). What is your particular sin and how can you chip away at it during this time of Lent?
Pope Francis invites us into Lent this way: “Lent is a journey that involves our whole life, our entire being. It is a time to reconsider the path we are taking, to find the route that leads us home and rediscover our profound relationship with God, on whom everything depends. Lent is not just about the little sacrifices we make, but about discerning where our hearts are directed. This is the core of Lent: asking where our hearts are directed!”
There is plenty to direct our hearts toward in this moment! Folks are still dying from the virus and our world is unstable with conflict, hunger, climate catastrophes and dissensions. How can we make a difference? Be aware! Be conscious! Pray for God to convert the hearts of evil people.
Judith Sutera, OSB, in her commentary on the Rule of St. Benedict, invites us to consider this: “Lent is an opportunity for a reset. We turn back to a more serious and intentional look at our own frailty. We turn toward others in acts of charily. We prepare ourselves to walk with Jesus through the commemoration of His suffering and death.”
Be grateful; spread truth and encourage delight and joy!
We have 40 days. That is a very short time! Let us pray for one another as we grow closer to our God during these days.
From the Rule of St. Benedict
“During these days, we will add to the usual measure of our service something by way of private prayer and abstinence from food or drink; we abstain from needless talking and idle chatter.” RB 49:5 and 7
“One does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” Matthew 4:4b