TIME CHANGE – set you clocks ahead one hour on Saturday night! See you on-time for Liturgy !0 AM
COFFEE HOUR – This week the Coffee Hour needs a sponsor …let Fr. Tom know if you would like to host.
AKATHIST – this Friday 7 PM
NO MEMORIAL LITURGY THIS SATURDAY
Meditation for Lent: Temptations abound
At that time Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. He fasted forty days and forty nights, and afterwards he was hungry. (Matt 4:1-2) There are two pieces of geography that smell of solitude: deserts and mountains. Away from the madding crowd, we travelers bump up against the rawness of reality. Distractions are gone and we come face to-face with the mysteries of life, a complex life of good and evil. Jesus faced three temptations in the desert: the temptation to live on bread alone, the temptation to test God’s providence, and the temptation to idolatry. Jesus remained obedient and thwarted each temptation by turning to the word of God. It was the Father’s will that dominated his mission and kept him faithful. Adam and Eve were not in a desert but in the lushness of a primordial garden. They too faced temptations and we know the rest of the story: the fruit was eaten, their eyes were opened, and they landed east of Eden. Like Jesus, they were faced with choices; unlike Jesus, they refused obedience and found themselves separated from one another and their Creator.
St. Paul experienced both disobedience and obedience. This great disciple to the Gentiles lived to write about the horrendous nature of sin and the abundance of God’s grace. Always his focus was on Jesus, It was in Christ that God’s gracious gift of righteousness was to be found. We can feel in Paul’s writings someone who knew both the agony of Adam’s sin and the beauty and joy of Jesus’ faithful ministry. We are all called to spend time in the desert, up on the mountain, and in God’s vast garden we call creation. In all of those geographies, we will face decisions. In all of those places we will face temptations. Our need is for angels to come and minister to us lest we, like Adam and Eve, lose our focus. Like Paul, we know, deep down, that we can do all things in Christ who strengthens us (Phil 4:13).