Pastor’s Homily for the 1st Sunday of Lent (B)

Not many verses – just four – to ponder this Sunday in the Gospel for the 1st Sunday of Lent.

But we have more than enough to work with. Simply the mention of Jesus in the desert says so much.

Pope Francis has titled his 2024 Lenten message, “Through the Desert God Leads Us to Freedom.”

Francis speaks of the desert as the place where the Israelites received the commandments, their first love, their highway to freedom. There’s a sense of journey, awareness, struggle as we go through our desert to freedom, as Jesus did in his desert, and as we can go through this Lenten season.

Jesus – and the pope – call us to a concrete journey where we confront the weariness and indifference we have because of the world’s ways.  But if we, as Francis suggests, open our eyes to reality, struggle with the false idols we’ve set up for ourselves, pause in prayer and openness and self-emptying, we can discover new energies, become more sensitive to one another, and journey in the freedom of leaving that worldly slavery behind. The church is here to accompany everyone in that journey. It’s a communal journey, not just a personal one.

May we all be blessed in our Lenten journey from the desert to renewed freedom.

Sign up for our email newsletter!