Each and every year as we begin the Season of Lent, the First Sunday of Lent, we read and are inspired by the story of Jesus and the temptations in the desert. The story is originally recorded in St. Mark and is repeated in the later written Gospels of Matthew and Luke. Each author highlights unique traits of the stories handed down so as to fit into the overall picture of the Gospel message they are trying to convey. This year we hear the account of the story from the Gospel of Luke, our featured Evangelist. One unique fact struck me this year as never before. The temptations of Jesus happened after he accomplished his forty days and forty nights without food in the desert. In Luke chapter three, on the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, we heard the rather brief account of Jesus’ baptism. That voice from heaven was heard by Jesus alone, “You are my Son in whom I AM well pleased” Luke 3:22. Chapter four recalls Jesus’ time in the desert. “Filled with the Holy Spirit, Jesus returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the desert for forty days, to be tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and when they were over he was hungry” Luke 4:1-2. We know for ourselves, when we are away from the distractions of life and are alone, we are filled with thinking out all our own unresolved issues of life. So too was Jesus during His time in the desert. However His distractions most likely were filled with dialogue with God about what the expectations of a Jewish Messiah were and what He knew He was called to be. After wrestling with and coming to some peace about who He is called to be, the recorded temptations begin. It is only after His peace with who He is and called to be that He is strong enough to answer Satan’s threats. The Holy Season of Lent gives us a similar opportunity to wrestle with God about our Mission in the Church and our world. Strengthened by our own Lenten Observance, may we too be able to “stare the devil down” when Satan challenges us with our own inadequacies. May we all have a blessed Lenten Season of Prayer, Fasting, and Almsgiving.
WE’LL LEAVE THE LIGHTS ON FOR YOU…. In most of all Catholic Churches throughout the Diocese of Buffalo, confessions will be available every Wednesday during our Lenten Season from Ash Wednesday to Holy Week at 5:00PM to 7:00PM. At each of our three churches: St. Martin de Porres, St. Lawrence, and Nativity we’ll be leaving the “Lights on for YOU!” At St. Lawrence and St. Martins we also have Adoration of the Holy Eucharist at this time. Come and allow Jesus to save you from your sins.
THE CCCB: CATHOLIC CHURCHES OF CENTRAL BUFFALO each Lenten Season host a Pilgrimage of Masses. These are held on consecutive Monday evenings beginning at 6:30PM rotating at each Parish and Ministry within the region. The Pilgrimage begins with Mass on Monday, February 15th at 6:30PM at St. Lawrence Parish, 1520 East Delavan Avenue, Buffalo, NY. Celebrant: Fr. Ron. Refreshments and Fellowship follow the Mass in the Parish Hall. All are welcome.