Dear Parish Community,
As we began our Lenten journey, we reassume the disciplines proper to the penitential season such as fasting, abstinence, increase of prayer, and generous almsgivings. Mother Church offers us these forty days of Lent as an invitation and an opportunity of spiritual renewal, to live more like Christ, and to be closer to Him. Here at St. Patrick Parish, Lenten season means Stations of the Cross on Friday evenings, Sacrament of Reconciliation, days of fasting and abstinence, Fish Frys and generous donations to the poor; keep in mind St. Patrick Parish Outreach, the ministry through which our parish reaches out to the needy among us.
It takes humility to recognize our human frailty and to approach God in the Sacrament of Confession. As we meditate on today’s Gospel, we learn about Jesus’ temptations in the desert. We tend to picture Jesus more with his divinity, and thinking about his temptations is something which rather surprises us. In the Creed we pray that He is true God from true God. We also pray that He was incarnate of the Virgin Mary and became man. The Divine God fully assumed our humanity.
The Gospel reports to us that Jesus was victorious over temptation. It also teaches us that He truly understands our human condition. God is not indifferent to the drama of fallen human nature. He is always willing to help us in temptation, to empower our will through his divine grace. With Him at our side, we can also be victorious over sin. And that, brothers and sisters, should be a message of hope for us all as we begin this lenten journey. God is willing to help us in our journey from sin to grace, from vice to virtue. Let us set our spiritual goal for Lent. With a strong will and with God’s grace, we will succeed. May God guide your Lenten journey.
Rev. Johnson Lopez
Father Lopez is Pastor of Saint Patrick Catholic Church in Rochelle, IL.