Listen here to my homily for the First Sunday of Lent. It was given to Ss. Cosmas & Damian Parish in Punxsutawney, PA on Sunday, February 18, 2018, at the 11:00 AM parish mass.
A Reading from the Holy Gospel according to Mark
The Spirit drove Jesus out into the desert,
and he remained in the desert for forty days,
tempted by Satan.
He was among wild beasts,
and the angels ministered to him.
After John had been arrested,
Jesus came to Galilee proclaiming the gospel of God:
“This is the time of fulfillment.
The kingdom of God is at hand.
Repent, and believe in the gospel.”
The Gospel of the Lord
What is the purpose of lent?
Lent is a time of preparation for the Passion of Jesus Christ. It is a time of preparation of our hearts, our minds, our souls for the ultimate experience in faith: when God DIED for our sins on the cross. When God entered HELL, and on the Third Day, as He promised, HE RETURNED.
So, then what is lent? If it is a time of preparation, how are we to prepare? The church gives us three tasks: prayer, fasting, almsgiving
Now, doing good deeds for God is important! I am not denying the necessity and the importance of serving our brothers and sisters. We must continue to reach out to all of those around us and lend some sort of helping hand. But Lent is more than just doing good works. When we focus only on doing good works, we lose the whole point. When we solely focus on how we can better the world, we forget Jesus Christ. When we try to be the Saviour of the World, we push out Jesus Christ, who already saved the world. Lent is not a time to parade ideologies; it is not appropriate to make lent out to be a time where we do all these great things for self-gratification. LENT IS A TIME FOR TRUE CONVERSION OF THE HEART!!!!! Lent is a time to enter more deeply into the mystery of the Trinity, into the great dance, the great exchange of love of the Trinity!
Let us take this journey of Lent to fall deeper in love with God. Let us utilize this time of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving to make Jesus Christ present to ourselves, as well as our Brothers and Sisters in Jesus Christ.
Fr. Andy Boyd is a Roman Catholic priest of the Diocese of Erie, PA. Currently, Father Andy is assigned to Saint George Parish in Erie, PA.
Father Andy entered seminary after high school, graduating from Gannon University and Saint Mark Seminary in 2014. In the fall of 2014, Father Andy began his Major Seminary Studies at Saint Vincent Seminary in Latrobe PA. Father Andy graduated from Saint Vincent Seminary with his Masters of Divinity in May 2018, and was ordained a priest in June 2018.
An avowed “Catholic Geek,” Fr. Andy spends his free time dabbling in media creation and network and server management.
Listen to Father Andy in his podcast Encounter Mercy.