First Sunday of Lent
First Sunday of Lent Homily Transcript
>>I have the great joy of being with you on the first, third and fifth Sundays of this Lenten season. So fortunately, or unfortunately, you’ll see a lot of me in this Lenten season. And I’d like to spend all three weeks talking about a similar topic, talking about evangelization.
It was almost 40 years ago that Pope John Paul the second, now Saint John Paul the second, called us to a new evangelization. And in these days, Cardinal Cupich and the archdiocese, has called us to a renewal that certainly includes evangelization, sharing our faith with those we encounter.
I’d like to take a step back, though, and remind us that the source, the center, the goal, the beauty of evangelization first starts in Jesus. First and foremost, starts in the person of Jesus. So all of evangelization gets its beginning in how we are connected to and related to Jesus himself.
Part of what it means to be connected to Jesus is to remember our relationship with Jesus. And in connected to Jesus, we call ourselves disciples. He’s the master. He’s the teacher. We’re the learners. We’re the disciples. And so that’s easy enough to keep in mind that we are connected to Jesus as His disciples.
But what does it mean to be his disciples? And I’ve talked about this before. I think it’s really when we talk about it very simply, it means that where people have prayer, where people of service or people who share our time, tell and treasure. But you’ve heard me talk about missionary discipleship, that Pope Francis now calls us to be missionary disciples that go out into the world.
And I want to make reference to one of the listeners, somebody who watches and prays at home. And she sent me a Christmas card past Christmas, Christmas 2021. I got it in January. And this is what she says. I’m going to read it to you:
Just want to let you know what a blessing you are in your being a missionary disciple, she tells me. When I listened to your sermons on the subject, I thought. Can I do this? Can I be a missionary disciple? Here I am, I was blessed to celebrate my 90th birthday this past December. I’m housebound, but I’m doing wonderfully, thanks be to God. But I do spend time on the phone talking to friends and neighbors, and I’m actually sending little notes to my friends and those I care about. There is the answer about how I can be a missionary disciple. I’ll send the cards and I’ll talk about how Jesus is important to me. The funny thing is that when I thought about it, I have been a missionary disciple most of my life. Praise be to God.
As we journey on this road to remember our discipleship and even go towards missionary discipleship, I want to talk about our prayer. You know, our prayer really is an invitation to make our prayer with others.
So firstly, how do we pray with others? People sometimes ask me to pray with them. I do it right there on the spot. May our generous God bring you healing as you’re struggling with your health, or as you’re looking for a new job or as you just got laid off. May our generous God bring you what you need. How do we pray with others?
Firstly, to become missionary disciples. How do we never pass up the opportunity to pray? We like to pray at our meetings, but everyone looks around. “Not me. I’m not praying. You gonna pray?” “I’m not praying. You got to pray, not me.” Pray. Somebody just pick up the opportunity and pray with others. So, we pray when we’re asked to. We pray with others in front of church after mass. We pray at meetings and gatherings.
When somebody is looking for somebody to pray, we take up that opportunity. We remember that in our mass, we are all praying together. 50,000, 60,000 – I don’t know how many people are hearing this message today. We are in communion together, praying and storming the heavens with our prayers. I think that we remember that when we pray with others. We are exercising our invitation to be missionary disciples, sharing the good news of Jesus with those we encounter. Can you do that? Pray. Pray with others.
Gn 2:7-9; 3:1-7
Rom 5:12-19 or 5:12, 17-19
Mt 4:1-11 (22)