It is 20 days until Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent. That would be less than three weeks.
Lent is a time that I love, but because of COVID and the loneliness that we have all felt, it feels like all of 2020 and 2021 have been one long season of Lent as the backdrop to all the other seasons of the Christian year. Usually, because we are a country that has bountiful material wealth compared to the rest of the world, I would ask us to be bold in our rejection of material wealth. Yet, the context of Lent this year is in the midst of the pandemic.
In Luke 4, when Jesus is taken to the desert for 40 days to battle the Devil he replies to Satan, “Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” It is a rebuke that reminds us that in the midst of great deprivation (the desert), we find our sustaining power in God’s Word. Our food, in other words, is God’s Word.
We, a church in apostolic succession, which has a Jesus fully present in Eucharist, we have the Word of God in two ways. We have the Bible which we can dedicate ourselves to reading more during Lent. We, also, have the Word Made Flesh in the Eucharist.
During this Lent, I would like to ask all of us to choose a book of the Bible, or a series of them, and read the Bible a little more each day. Additionally, please take this time to choose a week day Mass, Tuesday’s in particular, and join us for an additional time to receive the Word in the Eucharist during the week.
Rather than just giving up something for Lent, please consider being sustained by the Word of God. Truly, we do not live by bread alone, but every word, and Word, that proceeds from the mouth of God. Come join us at a weekday Mass and read the Bible a little more.