On the first Sunday of Lent, it might seem odd to head this Twitch with Easter Eggs and the Spring greenery. But really, that’s what Lent is all about. We are starting off on a journey of renewal and our goal is new life, and indeed, eternal life.
On this journey we work to bring new growth to ourselves and to the dry patches around us.
It’s fun to watch the first blossoms on the crepe myrtle around McDonnell Center. It won’t be long before the tabebuia argenta, the japonica, and the poinciana start doing their stuff.
Lent is the time to begin anticipating Easter blooms as well. What growth do you want to see in your spirit?
When you received your ashes last Wednesday, you heard “Repent and believe in the gospel.” Those words tell us how to fertilize that spiritual garden of yours. Every Lent the gospel reading for the first Sunday is always the story of Jesus being tempted in the desert. On subsequent Sundays we hear the stories of the Transfiguration, the woman at the well, the man born blind, the raising of Lazarus.
Although I doubt you lay awake wondering about it, something to know is that these five gospels can be used every year in Lent, even though we have a three year cycle. Why? They express fundamental insights into the mission of Jesus and our mission as well. Matthew starts us off.
By happy coincidence, next weekend we welcome Father Tom Boyer for our parish mission, March 4-7. Write down these times for his talks.
Sunday at 4:00 p.m.
On Monday and Tuesday, the same talk after 8:30 a.m. Mass (with coffee) OR at 7:00 p.m.
Fr. Tom wrote this description of our mission.
“A difficult and challenging time, a time of polarization, a time of rapid change, a time of shifting val¬ues and confusing messages. It was Matthew’s time and it is still Matthew’s time. Our Lenten Mission will be an opportunity to open the Gospel of Matthew and listen to the Word of God we proclaim this year, perhaps like never before.
For the three mission talks, Matthew’s splendid masterpiece can draw us deeper into the mystery of the Church and confirm us more powerfully as God’s people. Each reflection we will follow Jesus as he makes his way to Jerusalem teaching, feeding, healing, and revealing the Father of Mercy and the Kingdom he came to establish.
Who is Jesus of Nazareth?
What did he have to say?
What does he do?
This is the message Matthew proclaims to us in three parts.
The first part centers on the Infancy, the Baptism and the Temptation. (Who is he?)
The second part is preparation for the Passion. (What did he say?)
The third part is ultimately what it’s all about, the Passion, Death and Resurrection. (What does he do?)”
I sincerely hope you will come. Hopefully, all of us hearing the same thing will help us be more clear-sighted as a parish community. What does Jesus want from us at this unique time.