My Dearest Brothers and Sisters,

            Today begins the first Sunday and first full week of the Lenten Season.  The first few days of Lent were filled with worship, prayer, fasting and abstinence.  All of this to begin our Lenten journey together in prayer that Jesus might heal us, restoring our souls in order that we may know, love and serve Him with joy and fidelity.

            The gospel today begins with Jesus taking forty days and nights, spending time in prayer and fasting in the desert to prepare for His public ministry of teaching and healing.  These forty days of Lent are meant to prepare us to be more PUBLIC about sharing our faith and doing our work in the world.

            We too need time in silence, in prayer and fasting in order to ready ourselves to accomplish the work God calls us to in proclaiming the Good News of Jesus Christ with our lives.  In order to bring others to Christ, however, we must first “get to know” Christ in our own lives. That means we must take advantage of the Lenten Season to hear God speak to us.  We must be healed from all those things that have kept us from taking the risk to live for Christ.  It means that, like Jesus, we too will have moments where we are tempted by the evil one to stray from doing God’s will, from obeying His teachings, from meeting our obligations, from being our best self.  We need to rely on God, the Eucharist (at Mass and in Adoration), the sacraments, and one another to work through these times and remain strong, faithful and joyful.

            This Lenten Season gives us many opportunities to work on our relationship with Jesus.  It will afford us a chance to grow in holiness.  Take advantage of this moment of grace. Go to Mass an extra day during the week.  Take time before the Blessed Sacrament.  Come to pray the Stations of the Cross.  Use the Sacrament of Reconciliation.  Above all, open yourself to God’s presence and allow yourself the chance to really know Christ and the will of the Father for you. 

God’s peace and my love and prayers,

Father Michael