Lent Message

Dear brothers and sisters

"and he was in the desert forty days, being tempted by Satan. He was with the wild animals, and angels attended him". Mark 1,13

Next week we'll be starting our journey as Church trough the liturgical season of Lent.
This is a special time for all of us, people and clergy, in understanding what God has revealed to us through the life and ministry of his son Jesus Christ. The text of Mark 1: 9-13 ends with the description of Jesus ' experience in the desert. The Church needs to live with more authenticity your own desert. But what it is like to live the desert? Some feel that the desert represents only negative things: aridity, dangers, isolation. Usually we don't like deserts. I had an experience 13 years ago, during the course of Palestine of Jesus, in Israel. We were led by a professor to have our experience of prayer in the desert. We went early in the morning, before the sun come out and stayed there until the rays of the sun becomes strong enough to look at that landscape and pray a little. Was something unforgettable for me. There I was alone (although with the sense of security by others who were also praying there) in the middle of an immense desert and a sky with no end in a singular physical combination. I prayed to God and I feel very well.
The desert calls us to reflection. The desert impels us to within ourselves. And it is in this most internal experience we find what most extraordinary exists: God as the inner fundamental of our being. In our deepest interior occurs the more hostile battles toward – see the temptations of Jesus. He won because he heard the voice of God even deeper into your being. He rejected live transient glory of eccentricity. He rejected try to depends from immediacy of materiality. He rejected the easy submission . The Church in our days has been tempted to be submissive to the powers that enslave humanity. It also has been attempted to be referred to the immediacy of a system who seduces people to become just consumers. It also has been attempted to be a stage for captivating audiences eccentricities, but without personal commitment to Jesus Christ. If by giving in to these temptations we are inclined to not being relevant to the world. Incidentally, there is no shortage of voices proclaiming that the Church will end. We need to imitate Christ. We must not wane. Let's take this Lent to pray more. To reflect more about the mission that God has entrusted to us. Let's leave that in the deepest of our being God's voice is heard clearly and make us endure temptations. Do the desert an opportunity of meeting with deep is the ground of our being. The desert is an opportunity to renew and make us walk with Jesus by proclaiming the good news, even if they conflict with the powers of this world. And that our whole proclamation is: heart, mind, feet and hands. Let's get people to renew their confidence in God and can live the modernity with justice, respect and care with the world and with their neighbors. Let us recall that the Church (as well as people) who lives for itself is acting as the servant who has buried his talent. A blessed Lent for all!
+ Francisco, Southwestern Brazil


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