In Lent we are each invited by God to make a journey. We begin this week by following Jesus out into the wilderness, which reminds us of the 40 years which the people of Israel under Moses spent in the wilderness before they were ready to enter the promised land. The three temptations which Jesus faces in his battle with Satan in the desert echo the three areas where the Israelites proved weak in their faith and, indeed, where we still struggle today: not trusting in God, putting God to the test and compromising on God’s central place in our lives.
Let’s just think about the first of these battles. “Turn these stones into loaves of bread” – the first temptation is to stop trusting in God’s providence, just as the Israelites doubted in God’s ability to feed them in the desert. He sent his manna to feed them, showing that nothing is impossible for God. Where is the manna today, we may ask, when every two seconds a child dies from hunger in the world? The manna has been given – there is more than enough food to feed the world – but in our greed and selfishness the food is hoarded and wasted by richer powers and the poor are exploited and forgotten. CAFOD Fast Day this week reminds us of our responsibility to commit ourselves to work for a world of true justice and freedom. This is an essential part of following Christ.
The political and economic policies and attitudes which run much of our world today are like the parable of the two men stranded on a desert island. One had a loaf of bread while the other had nothing. The one who hoarded his loaf did not sleep that night! And so it is in our world today – countries, companies and individuals hoard resources meant for all and so need to waste billions on security and military defence systems. Man does not live on bread alone. Our ultimate security comes from God. In Lent we are invited to trust in him again.
With Lenten prayers and blessings,
Fr Richard, Fr Ephrem and all the pastoral team.
PLEASE PRAY FOR:
All in our parish, family and friends, who are sick/critically ill – at home, in hospital or nursing homes – that the Lord may comfort and strengthen them.
The work of CAFOD, which this Lent Fast Day focuses particularly on their work in Sierra Leone, helping to transform land left polluted by diamond mining back into fertile farmland.
Peace and reconciliation in the Ukraine, Syria and other areas of conflict.
Those preparing for the sacraments of Baptism, Eucharist and Confirmation in the coming months.
Please note Divine Mercy Chaplet is now at 6.30pm on Wednesdays.