Thank you for your prayers last weekend for our candidate workshop at Siena Center in Racine. Six communities were represented. There are two more weekends this year: March 23-26 and April 28-30. Another candidate for the Salvatorians, Ricardo Rivera, will arrive this Wednesday from México. He was supposed to arrive in early January, but his visa was inexplicably challenged and it took until now to straighten it out. Please continue to support me in this ministry of mentoring with your prayers.
On the first Sunday of Lent, our readings present Jesus in the desert being tempted. We all know what it is to be tempted: it is part of our human condition. Adam and Eve failed; Jesus didn’t. Why? Prayer and knowledge of the scripture! Jesus was in the desert praying. Throughout the Gospels we see Him withdrawing to a “deserted” place (catch the double meaning??) to pray. And how does He counter Satan’s temptation? With a scripture passage: Jesus knew His scriptures.
For Lent this year we as a community are taking the One Percent Challenge, that is, challenging ourselves to spend 15 minutes a day for the next 30 days reflecting on specific scripture passages. The hope is that we will develop or strengthen the habit of reflecting each day on scripture, speaking with the Lord and listening for His words to us. That is basically what Jesus did when He went to His deserted places. And what strength and consolation we can get from knowing that our community members are reflecting on the same inspired words!!! Find a time in your day when you can carve out 15 minutes: maybe first thing in the morning, maybe before bed, maybe doing it as a family or with friends to support each other. But do it!
The One Percent Challenge cards were handed out after communion at all the Masses this weekend. There are extra copies in the back of church and in the office. An explanation of how to approach the 15 minutes and the list of scripture passages (basically the content of the cards that were handed out) can be found at http://www.johnpaul2center.org/OnePercentChallenge. The first week of readings (March 6 to 12) can be found on our website or by going to the home page and clicking on the One Percent Challenge image. I will update the reading on this page each week.
Our first scripture passage from Matthew has Jesus asking His disciples (us): …who do you say that I am? Let us reflect tomorrow and each of the next 30 days, supporting each other in prayer. Happy Lent!
-- Paul James Portland, SDS