“Filled with the Holy Spirit, Jesus returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the desert for forty days, to be tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and when they were over he was hungry. The devil said to him, ‘If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.’ Jesus answered him, ‘It is written, One does not live by bread alone.’” Luke 4:1-4
Do we really trust God to fulfill our needs and hopes?
Oftentimes, it is fear that our needs are not forthcoming or disappointment over dashed hopes that cause us to turn away from God.
The Lenten Season helps us to remember the blessings that we have received and return to God in trust; we can then share these blessings with others. During this radically baptismal time, we enter into a deeper meaning of our faith as we open our hearts, putting aside our plans in favor of the dreams that the Lord has for us, His hope for our lives and His invitation to new life.
As we experience self-examination, fasting and penance – realizing that the work of our redemption will not be complete until we are resurrected like Jesus – we strive for holiness in our present form. In significance of the 40 days the Israelites spent in the wilderness and our Lord’s 40 days resisting Satan’s temptations we, like Israel and our Lord, are tested.
From a beginning theme of the death and resurrection of Baptism on Ash Wednesday, to the conclusion at the Triduum (Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday), we rise to new life in Christ. Venturing on a quest for spiritual food and nourishment for the sake of getting to know God better is an activity that He will abundantly reward.
Friend, as co-missioners, our fast should be the same authentic one of which the prophet Isaiah spoke in his 58th chapter: “setting free the oppressed…sharing your bread with the hungry…bringing the afflicted and the homeless into your house…clothing the naked when you see them.” By our baptism, we are responsible for showing Christ’s love to the world, and in doing so become fully devoted disciples with new hopes that surpass any we could conjure up.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Father Lance Nadeau, M.M.
Fourth Sunday of Lent
You feed us with the Bread of Heaven
as we make our pilgrimage through life,
O Lord of my longing and liberation.
May it always strengthen us for the journey
and bring us safely to the Promised Land
where all your children gather in peace
and praise of your mighty works.
You are the Prodigal Father who lavishes his love
no less and the younger, impudent Son
than on the older offspring who obediently
stays and slaves for you In hopes of winning
your favor and meriting a greater reward.
Your mercy continues to scandalize us,
Lord, who can neither appreciate,
much less understand
your unconditional love is precisely that: unconditional.
May that love inspire and confound us
Prayer by Father Joe Veneroso, M.M.