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Since 1732, the Redemptorists — a congregation of missionary priests and brothers — have followed in Jesus’ footsteps, preaching the Word and serving the poor and most abandoned.
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Lent
Sunday

Lent 5: First Sunday

The Lord doesn’t want a big splash from us this Lent. Sacrifice and oblation he desires not: what he wants is a heart open to his grace.

Lent is an old English word for springtime. Just as we expect spring to bring warm weather and gentle rains to produce vegetables and flowers, the Church wants us to open up to the warmth and rain of God’s grace.

We don’t do Lent alone. God is the sower. Our heart is the field, the garden, in which he wants to sow seeds. In the Gospel today the devil tells Jesus he should show his divinity by making a big splash, by turning stones into bread or jumping off the pinnacle of the Temple. Jesus didn’t think his divinity was something to be clung to, so he resisted the temptation.

The Lord doesn’t want a big splash from us this Lent. Sacrifice and oblation he desires not: what he wants is a heart open to his grace.

So if we have the weeds of sin, such as selfishness and resentment, in our heart, he wants to give us his grace to pull them out. But he doesn’t force grace on us. We must ask in order to receive. We must develop the habit of prayer each day.

Can we not give God a few minutes each day to rain on us, to warm and soften the garden of our heart, so we can produce good fruit?

Father Paul Bryan, C.Ss.R.
Ephrata, Pa.

Scripture readings for today: Genesis 9:8-15; Psalm 25; 1 Peter 3:18-22; Mark 1:12-15