Clergy Notes — First Sunday of Lent, February 18, 2024

The season of Lent is upon us once more. It is a time in which we are invited to walk with Jesus on his journey to the cross, and – in doing so – reconnect with our own journey of discipleship. This journey of Lent begins with an account of Jesus’ baptism, followed immediately by his departure into the wilderness.

Our own discipleship follows much the same pattern. In the mystery of baptism, the Holy Spirit descends upon us, and we are marked as Christ’s own forever. But the challenges of life do not magically cease after that moment; in fact, there are times when it may seem as if they become even more pressing. We may sometimes feel as though God is testing us; trying our faith. On our particularly challenging days, we may even secretly wonder if we are the subject of some great cosmic prank!

Yet, while it is the Holy Spirit who drives Jesus into the wilderness, it is important to note that the temptation Jesus encounters there does not come from God. In the letter of James, we are told that God cannot be tempted by evil and therefore tempts no one. Yet, as it says, ‘blessed is anyone who endures temptation.’ Thankfully, because we have Jesus’ example, we know it is possible to endure it.

And we do not undergo these trials alone. Our Lord has already walked this path and walks it with us still. So, too, do we walk it with one another. We cannot take away each other’s trials, but we can be together in companionship and love, and – hopefully! – good humour.

With this in mind, may we observe a holy Lent together: both in our own devotions, and in loving communion with one another.

Mother Amanda

Download the Liturgy at Home booklet for Sunday, February 18, 2024.