My dear friends in Jesus Christ,
“Filled with the Holy Spirit, Jesus returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the desert for forty days, to be tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and when they were over he was hungry.” Luke 4:1-2 It is by the same Spirit that we ourselves are led into this holy season of Lent, where, just as our Lord, we are strengthened to resist falling into temptation through fasting and other acts of penance.
Of particular note is that when our Lord had finished His forty days in the desert, it is detailed that He was hungry. Perhaps this is what we ourselves must discern during our own forty days this Lent. What are we hungry for? Do we continue to hunger for the things of this world: comfort, power and prestige, security? Or do we accept the invitation of the Lord this Lent, and grow in our hunger for conversion and holiness?
All of the many actions and rituals of this season, from putting ashes on our heads, to finding fish sandwiches for lunch on Fridays, to giving up a favorite food or drink, to entering more deeply into the beautiful liturgies that accompany this season, all of these direct and support our call to conversion, especially in this time of Lent.
I want to especially invite you this Lenten season to celebrate the Sacrament of Penance. In addition to our normal Saturday afternoon time, confessions will be heard every Wednesday from 6 pm to 7 pm during Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. By receiving the forgiveness of our sins in this wonderful sacrament, we commit ourselves fully to the call to conversion we have received, and make ourselves ready to receive all the grace that the Lord desires to bestow upon us.
Let us keep one another in prayer this Lenten season, so that with hearts turned more fully to Jesus Christ, we may eagerly anticipate celebrating His glorious Resurrection this Easter.
I remain faithfully yours, through Christ,
Fr. Brian O’Connor