The Gospel for the First Sunday of Lent always focuses on the temptations that Jesus experienced in the desert. Today’s version from Mark is a little different in that Mark mentions that Jesus was in the desert for forty days and was tempted by Satan, but doesn’t go into any details about the temptations as the other Gospels do. We don’t hear the familiar account, but still Jesus is tempted. It is good for us to know what our temptations are and how we deal with them…or do we? The Gospel concludes: “Repent and believe in the Gospel.”

Repent: change your ways, leave behind those things that distract you that may appear to be attractive, but aren’t. Believe in the Gospel: this is what gives life and reflects our true selves. This is what brings light into darkness and peace into our world.

Congratulations to our catechumens who will be going to St. Patrick’s Cathedral for the Rite of Election on Sunday afternoon. This is an important step as they enter into the  final weeks before their baptism at the Easter Vigil. Congratulations to our candidates who are moving ahead toward full initiation into the church. Our prayers are with you!

This weekend, I am with our Young Adults on retreat at Loyola Retreat Center in Morristown. This is our fifth annual Young Adult Retreat, and one of the favorite activities of our Young Adult Ministry, so please keep us in your prayers.

-Fr. Andrew Reitz, O.F.M.