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From the Pastor's Pen

As we begin now with Jesus in the desert: Why the Desert?

On my second retreat in the desert around Albuquerque recently, this became clear. To go to the desert is to leave a lot of things behind—people, personal routines, entertainment, cell phone and internet. All the people that give me affirmation (the good times, at least) and the things I rely on or piddle away time with, were gone. All that was left—as for Jesus—was the Father. And with the community of prayer there, I reflected on how that was enough. It felt like enough. I sensed freedom, not deprivation.

So as for Jesus, “Giving things up” has no value in itself. But if making a few choices to not be so automatic about food, diversions, or “passing time” instead of doing something valuable with it, can open us to focus on more satisfying things, then some “giving up” is worthwhile. Even some of our spiritual practices can become automatic.

That’s Lent. In fact, the word “Lent” is an old English word for Springtime. How is the date for Easter set?  Since many folks enjoyed this last year, here goes: 1st Sunday After the 1st full moon After March 21st. The first full moon after the Spring Equinox, March 21, is April 8 . So Easter is April 12. Because it’s the time when the sun, the winds, even the moon, work together to warm the earth and bring out life.

The 1st Sunday of Lent, we see Jesus in the desert tempted by—and overcoming—usual human distractions: satisfaction, recognition, respect. He sought instead to be in complete union with his Father. He leads us through an exemplary human life into the fullness of his Father’s kingdom. He accepted his suffering as part of this great fullness.

A later page here shows a rich desert we’ve prepared for you: Lectio Divina talks, Faith Sharing groups, sending a text number to receive ongoing spiritual food, Ecumenical prayer, Stations. Enter the desert. The Father is waiting.

-Fr. Tom

Fish Fry Dinners Begin TONIGHT Feb. 28th, 4-7pm in School Cafeteria - see flyer below for details.


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