February 18, 2018 – Pastoral Impressions by Fr. Bill

This past week we began the Holy Season of Lent. Lent is a time when we are tested and challenged to find ourselves and experience our faith in greater and fuller ways. In the gospel Jesus goes to the desert to find himself, to discover his mission. While in the desert, he undergoes a series of temptations to all the allurements of this world. Jesus survives the period of trial; he is found worthy. Angels come to wait on him. Jesus is now ready to go forth and perform his mission.

In our daily lives God sets before us many challenges, many situations which appear to be great trials. Like Jesus’ journey to the desert our Lenten journey, if accepted properly, will be a great challenge, a desert experience. The challenge we will face will make us better and more complete people. Jesus became perfect, as the letter to the Hebrews tells us, through his trial of suffering. Our lives are filled with trials. There are challenges at work with our business associates, with the boss, with our duties. There are challenges at school, with classmates, teachers, and homework assignments. There are trials and challenges in life, with problems, illness, suffering, and death.

How do we handle these trials, these challenges from God? The answer is to go, like Jesus, to the desert. The solution will be found there. The solutions to life’s trials are found in prayer, works of mercy, and fasting—the traditional Lenten observances. Through prayer, works of mercy, and fasting we change. We can then accept the trials and challenges of life, and more importantly, God’s will in our lives. Through trial and challenge we grow, through prayer we learn acceptance. Today, therefore, let us seek the challenge of the desert. Let us turn to prayer in our lives. Let us be transformed on our personal journey to Calvary and resurrection.


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