Mass & Directions

Sunday March 1st: First Sunday of Lent

St. Francis Parish | March 17, 2020, 6:52 pm | Reflections

   On this first Sunday of Lent, today’s Scripture begins with the Book of Genesis and the familiar story of the encounter between Eve and the serpent.  How easily we can hear this telling and think to ourselves, ‘how foolish could Eve have been?’  God told her not to eat the fruit of the tree in the center of the garden yet she was seduced into eating from it anyway.  How foolish could she be, we marvel.  Yet today, we allow ourselves to toy with temptations in our lives.  Most of us are guilty of bargaining with ourselves at times about how harmful that one little sin might be.  In our weakness, we often succumb to the temptation as we rationalize that “we won’t die” from one little sin.  The next thing we know, the sin is bigger and our ability to convince ourselves to fall again is seemingly greater.
   In today’s Gospel, we hear a contrasting story as Jesus, at the end of His 40 days in the desert, is tempted by the devil.  The devil has waited until Jesus is at His weakest.  He has been in the desert for 40 days and is not only hungry but very thirsty.  We can only imagine how weak He may have been and the devil thought this was his opportunity to take advantage.  The devil holds nothing back as he promises everything to Jesus through a series of elaborate temptations.  Despite the devil’s best effort, Jesus is able to resist him by using Scripture.  The Son of God, in the flesh, weakened by 40 days of fasting in the desert, relies on Scripture to rebuke the devil.  How could we ever be a match for the devil’s cunning?  Jesus shows us the way.  We must hold fast to our faith and use all the tools that God has given to us.  As St. Paul tells in his letter to the Ephesians 6:10-17, “draw your strength from the Lord and from His mighty power…put on the armor of God, that you may be able to resist on the evil day.”
   As we continue our Lenten journey, let our Prayer, Fasting and Almsgiving be sacrificial exercises that draw us closer to God.  We should feel our prayer…we should feel our fasting…we should feel our almsgiving.  For if we do not, it is not sacrificial.  Let us pray that through all that we give up, we may make room for God to enter in.  Let our journey be intentional in that every effort be one made in preparation of seeing God’s face in all His glory on that final day.
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