“The Lenten Journey”
Fr. Gabriel Walz, Pastor
Sacred Heart Church, Staples and St. Michael Church, Motley
God thunders wondrously with His voice; He does great things that we cannot comprehend.
For to the snow He says, “Fall on the earth”; and the shower of rain, His heavy shower of rain,
serves as a sign on everyone’s hand, so that all whom He has made may know it. Job 37:5-7
At Easter we celebrate the Resurrection of our Savior Jesus Christ. The Lenten Season of Forty Days helps us to anticipate and prepare for that joyous day from which was born the hope of Christian hearts. Our Forty Days of preparation for the return of the Risen Lord from the tomb echo so many scriptural images, including: the Forty Days of the repentance of Nineveh, the forty years of wandering in the desert before Israel entered the Promised Land, and - most importantly of all - the Forty Days of Jesus in the desert during which He faced temptation and prevailed (Matt 4).
Following the temptation of Jesus, the Sermon on the Mount spans chapters 5-7 in the Gospel of Matthew. In the midst of this teaching, Jesus touches the famous Lord’s Prayer (Matt 6:9-13) within a teaching of the three pillars of our Lenten preparation: almsgiving (Matt 6:1-4), prayer (Matt 6:5-8), and fasting (Matt 6:16-18). Fittingly, prayer is at the heart of these three pillars and is the most explained. Within the context of our relationship with the Father through His Son, our Lord, the Spirit can be powerfully at work in our lives and through our actions. For, indeed, if we should be generous with our resources and rigorous in our discipline, but absent in our love, then what have we gained but misery? In this time of anticipation and preparation, do not forget the reason for the season; permit the love of the Lord to permeate every aspect of your Lenten journey this year.