Sometimes the Season of Lent seems more like a way of life than a specific period of time carved out in the Church year. If we knew that 40 days of suffering and denial would lead to great joy and redemption, we could do that easily, reaching out with hope and almost joy.
The annual liturgy of the First Sunday of Lent presents us with one of three versions of the temptation of Jesus — Mark or Matthew or Luke. These are not the only temptation-of-Jesus proclamations in the New Testament. The Letter to the Hebrews contains two.
This gospel reading is the sixth and final selection from Matthew’s Sermon on the Mount. This section concerns wealth, money, possessions. The headline is in the conclusion: “You cannot serve God and mammon,” (a Semitic word for money or wealth).
“May this Lenten season find the whole Church ready to bear witness to all those who live in material, moral and spiritual destitution the Gospel message of the merciful love of God our Father, who is ready to embrace everyone in Christ. We can do this to the extent that we imitate Christ…”
As part of Catholic Schools Week, Lonnie White, parish organist at St. Theresa of Avila in Salem for 47 years, receives a special blessing and recognition at the end of a liturgy.