A special thank you this week to our friends from St. Hillary Parish, Chicago and St. Benedict Parish Chicago, in the congregation.

Homily Transcript

I’d like to start with our first reading today, the Book of Genesis that was read so well for us today.

In the Book of Genesis we have the beginning, the beginning of all creation. We hear how Jesus created and set male and female to have dominion over all the world. We hear the beginning of the creation story. It’s good for us to recount that, because we begin our Lenten journey. We begin.

As I mentioned just a few days ago, it was all of us that once came together for Ash Wednesday, and our foreheads were marked with ashes, reminding us that we are dust, and unto dust we shall return. So we begin together, friends. We hear from the Genesis story, and in this verse from the Genesis story, we hear how Adam and Eve acknowledged the fact that they ate from the tree they should not eat from. They ate the forbidden fruit.

And so we hear how, for the first time, they separate themselves from God, and they realize that they are naked. They were tempted, and they fell into the temptation. That theme of temptation is picked up in our Gospel for today. We hear Jesus tempted — three different temptations Satan offered Jesus. And He, because He’s God, was able to resist those temptations quite powerfully.

Friends, as we gather together today, as we begin our Lenten journey, I’m going to invite us to think about our own journey. How are we tempted? I think the powerful reading from Paul reminds us, Jesus is the bearer of all grace. Jesus is the reason for our justification. In Jesus we have hope. In Jesus we find grace.

In this Lenten season, as we acknowledge those things for which we’re sorry, I’m going to invite everyone – and I know it might be a little difficult, because we’re at home, or it’s difficult to get around sometimes – but how might we celebrate the sacrament of reconciliation? For it is only in the sacraments, most powerfully in the sacraments, that we receive Jesus’ grace that He has in store for us.

So, perhaps not only when you receive Eucharist, but also when you participate in the sacrament of reconciliation might you receive the grace that Jesus has in store for all of us. This Lenten season is a time that Jesus imparts grace to us. Let us make ourselves available for Jesus’ grace.