A Note From Fr. LeRoy
It should be rather unsettling for us to realize that in our Gospel reading on this First Sunday of Lent, the devil actually quoted Scripture in order to tempt Jesus Christ. Imagine if our Lord fell into Satan's trap? Rather than a "Savior" we would be bowing down to an "Enslaver" instead! It just goes to show how anyone can use the Bible for good or evil in their heart. The devil knew the Bible well, and no doubt he knows it better than any of us! He uses what appears to be good for destructive means to please himself. This is one reason why we need Jesus, the Church, and our time-tested Catholic Tradition to help us decipher its true meaning for good and not evil in our world and in our life.
Lent is a journey we take with Jesus into the desert to face our temptations as well. Not that our temptations compare anything to Satan's power struggle with our Lord, yet for each of us, our own temptations can fool us and lead into the forces of evil that surround us. I have a quote from Pope Francis on this very topic that I would like to share with you. It goes like this:
"A Time for Combat" In Jesus' 40 days of solitude in the wilderness, He confronts Satan and unmasks his temptations and conquers him. Lent is a time of combat! A spiritual combat against the spirit of evil. We place ourselves decisively on the path of Jesus, the road that leads to life. Jesus' path passes through the desert, the place where the voice of God and the voice of the tempter can be heard, where our destiny is truly played out, life or death. And, how do we hear God's voice? We hear it in his Word. For this reason, it is important to know Scripture, because otherwise we do not know how to react to the snares of the Evil One. So read the Gospel every day! Meditate on it for a little while, 10 minutes. And, also carry it with you in your pocket, to the "idols," it helps us to make courageous choices in accordance with the Gospel and to strengthen solidarity with others." (Pope Francis I)
One way to strengthen yourself is to partake in some of the Lenten opportunities with our ACC parishes, and I am not just talking about Lenten Fish Fries either (which are good)! We have other ways for example: You might consider signing up with our parish "Flocknotes" app. to receive Bishop Robert Barron's messages on Lent (See bulletin on how). How about joining our "Together As One" program as we view the hit movie "Chosen" and discuss it. Viewings are after Mass each Sunday at St. Peter and St. Paul and Wednesday nights at St. Peter. How about Stations of the Cross, Lenten Adoration at St. Joseph and St. Michael, our Holy Family Prayer Service at St. Peter on March 17th and finally taking part in a Lenten Penance Service scheduled throughout Lent. There are many ways to follow Jesus and grow in Christ, so here's to fighting the good fight!
Fr. LeRoy Scheierl