Lent Week 1 - Change and Transformation
Change and Transformation
Week 1: March 10, 2019
First Sunday of Lent
Luke 4: 1-13
The Holy Spirit filled Jesus at his baptism and led Jesus into the desert. For forty days and nights, Jesus prayed and fasted. At the end of his time in the desert, he faced temptations related to his ministry and his relationship with His Father. Faithful obedience empowered Him, the “Beloved Son”, to overcome the hostility to his mission. His trust in his Father will not only continue to sustain him during trials and conflicts but also enable him to liberate women and men held captive by the devil.
In the first sentence of his pastoral letter, “A Call to Hope, A Call to Act”, Bishop Libasci states, “As we transition from our year of prayer and preparation for implementing Restore, Renew, Proclaim the Hope that is Christ, now is a good time to reflect on where we have been and how we have been transformed.” The time of prayerful preparation for all in the diocese has ended and we are actively strengthening lifelong faith formation and renewing sacrament preparation in our parishes, schools and home schools. Our bishop asks us to reflect on “where we have been and how we have changed and been transformed.”
The bishop’s request can be a desert-like experience for us as a diocese. In the process of our Lenten practices, we can reflect on and name how God has been present to us in in the past year in people, circumstances and events. Also as a diocese, Lent offers us a time for continuing change and transformation through prayer, fasting and acts of charity.
Who are the people and what are the events in the past year that help you be more aware of God’s faithful love? In times of change and transition, what grace(s) help you trust more deeply in God’s love and fidelity? How is your parish community witnessing to God’s faithful love?
Pray the Our Father slowly and reflectively each day this week. Focus on the praise and trust in God’s will it expresses and the transformation it asks of you.
Read again the first two paragraphs of Bishop Libasci’s pastoral letter, “A Call to Hope, A Call to Act”. Choose a way that you will “give life to these discussions.” Consider talking about the bishop’s initiative, Restore, Renew, Proclaim the Hope that is Christ, and/or his pastoral letter, with your family, friends, co-workers. Commit to striving to change and be transformed throughout your life by participating in parish faith formation and receiving the sacraments.