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The First Sunday of Lent
The First Sunday of Lent Homily Transcript
And so, it is that we enter into this holy season of Lent.
You know, when I was a little boy on Sunday afternoons after the family went to church, we would often get into the family car. And my dad would get into the driver’s seat and before he would even start the engine of the car, we would pause for a moment and we would make the sign of the cross and say a little prayer. Praying for God’s safety as we traveled to grandmother’s house. It’s interesting, I remember that 60 years later. How important that was to begin with a sign of faith.
This past Wednesday, we celebrated Ash Wednesday. And, as we came together as a community of faith and as we celebrated the Eucharist ashes were distributed. The sign of our faith, the sign of the cross was made on your forehead. Remember that you are dust and unto dust you shall return. The sign of faith. The sign of the cross. It’s a sign of the beginning of a journey. The journey into this holy season of Lent.
Perhaps the most important words, in some ways, in the gospel today are the very first words that we heard in the gospel. Jesus is driven out into the desert by the spirit. It is the very spirit of God that leads, that drives Jesus into the desert. To be alone with God; as He prayed, as He fasted, as He prepared for His ministry.
We too, during the Lenten season are invited to journey with the Lord into desert places. Into places of quiet and calm. To draw deeper into the life-giving experience of God. And we’re told how we do that. Particularly, we heard that on Ash Wednesday and again it’s repeated today.
We draw closer to the Lord during this holy season of Lent, as we pray, as we fast – making room for the Lord in our hearts and in our minds. And as we too do the work of the gospel which is at hand, the kingdom is at hand. And we do that by the ways in which we care for sisters and brothers in need. Let this be a good and a holy season of Lent for all of us.