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1st Sunday of Lent - March 5, 2017


Traducir al Español

By Deacon Jeff Mevissen

 

The sacred scriptures offer us two portraits today – one of Adam and Eve and the other of the Lord Jesus.  In Genesis, Eve is presented as grasping at the forbidden fruit when temped by the devil while Jesus does not grasp for bread when he is hungry.  Eve wants to be like God in making her own rules while Jesus wishes to worship God alone.  Adam and Eve where ashamed of their bodies and wished to cover them while Jesus respects his body when he refuses to throw himself from the temple.

 

The question, my dear friends, is whom will we follow – Adam and Eve or Jesus?  The Lord Jesus says, “Follow me.”

 

If we follow Jesus then we realize that we do not live by bread alone but by every word from the mouth of God.  How can we nourish our spirit this Lent?  With more reading of Scripture and dwelling on the readings until the Holy Spirit speaks through them?  With time in adoration so our intimacy with the Lord may grow?  With the Sacrament of Penance for renewal and strength?  With Stations of the cross that we may be immersed the redemptive suffering of Jesus?

 

If we follow Jesus then we worship God alone and God alone do we serve.  What are new ways we can reach out to the needy, the lonely, the elderly, and to young people?  St. James has so many ways to serve but 20% of the people do 80% of ministry.  Notice that Jesus did not multiply bread for himself but he did multiply loaves to feed the five thousand.  How can I employ the gifts God has given me to build up the body of Christ?

 

Finally, what is our attitude about our bodies?  Is our goal to seek pleasure at the expense of others or to  celebrate our body as a gift of God?  Our bodies belong not to us but to God – and if we are married – to our spouse.  How do we glorify God in our bodies?  How do we make a gift of ourselves to our spouse?  Our sexuality is a powerful gift but with great power comes great responsibility.

 

One person who grew to express Christ as Servant was Archbishop Oscar Romero.  Oscar Romero became an advocate for the oppressed in El Salvador when he was consecrated Archbishop.  He came from an academic background and the church familiar to him was a community of wealthy people.  The injustice of the rulers of El Salvador, compelled Romero, however to stand with the people.  Romero grieved with the families who suffered the disappearance of their loved ones.  Romero saw the dead in the streets, the victims of death-squads.  Romero spoke out in opposition to the powerful in El Salvador and paid with his life.  Romero expressed the ministry of Jesus who said, “I have not come to be served but to serve and to give my life for the many.”

 

At this moment we celebrate those who are being transformed into the likeness of Christ – our Catechumens and Candidates.  In Lent they enter a special period of Enlightenment and this begins with the Rite of Election with the Bishop.  We now celebrate the Rite of Sending to grant our blessing as the prepare to chosen by Bishop Guglielmone to receive the Sacraments of Easter.