02.14.16: Lent: Enter the journey
Bulletin column for St. Mary's Parish in Griffith, Ind.
Temptation is a funny thing. Whenever we face it, we’re made an offer we can’t refuse for something we’re convinced we need. It seems like everybody wins, right? Yet, once we step back from what’s being dangled in front of us, we can see the backstory.
In today’s Gospel, we see Jesus being tempted, and really showing us how to deal with temptation. He’s promised all the worldly honor he could want, yet he realizes that God the Father hasn’t called him for earthly glory, but for what comes next. He faces down temptation.
Friends, oftentimes we’re faced with that same allurement for honor, for prestige and for that desire to accumulate the best “stuff” out there. But what does that all amount to? To quote Trent Reznor and later Johnny Cash, it’s little more than an “empire of dirt.” We’re called for something greater, something beyond this world. I like the way the St Louis Jesuits put it: Only this I want: but to know the Lord, and to bear his cross, so to wear the crown he wore.
Beginning this week, I invite you to join me each Wednesday for an evening where we’ll spend some time in the presence of our Lord and ask for God’s help and mercy in whatever is weighing us down. At 7:30 p.m., we’ll start with Simple Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and Evening Prayer with Psalms, Songs and Canticles from our Gather hymnal and a reading from the Book of James. The church will remain open for your private prayer and Jesus will continue to be present in the monstrance, with candles around the altar that you may light for your special intentions, at no charge. There will also be strips of paper that you may write your prayer intentions on and place them at the foot of the altar. Those strips of paper will be burned in our Paschal Fire at the Easter Vigil Mass.
As we journey in this Lenten Season, may we always know that we are people of light. The one who loves us always brightens our way, no matter life’s trials.
In joyful hope,