desert scene, "Consider This...Taking Inventory"

The readings for the first weekend of Lent always contain one of the Gospel passages that speaks of Jesus’ journey into the desert.  As a whole, it sets the stage and tone for our Lenten season as we withdraw into our own spiritual deserts for these 40 days.  The experience of our desert journey with Jesus serves as a sort of retreat, meant to give us perspective on life, help us renounce the temptations that we face, and build trust in God.  The various ascetical practices of fasting, prayer, and almsgiving that we undertake imitates the scarcity characteristic of deserts in which we are asked to give up extra worldly things and learn to rely more heavily upon God’s grace to sustain us.  It helps us take stock of where we are at and where we need to go.   As we enter into this season of Lent, we can ask of ourselves: where has God been moving in my life?  What are those moments of grace from this past year?  How can we lean on these experiences to trust in God more, knowing that God has been moving in our lives all along?  What has God been trying to teach us in these moments?  Where am I being called to grow? 

I find myself sitting down and taking inventory of the movement of God’s grace in my life this past year.  Now, some of the numbers may be off a little because some of this relies on estimation and maybe my own record keeping isn’t the best, but in 2022: I have celebrated 500 Masses, 204 Anointings, 843 Confessions, 31 Baptisms, 13 Confirmations, 10 Weddings, 36 Funerals, and led 3 Retreats.  The numbers continue to amaze me, as I look back and say, “WOW!” It was only by the grace of God that I was able to do as much as I did (with the help of many others besides), and indeed how graced each of these moments and memories and stories and relationships have been.  God is good, and I am blessed.  May God continue to sustain this ministry, especially as more is being asked of me.  May God continue to bless your lives with many blessings and give you strength to meet the challenges of the desert road ahead, knowing that abundant life is held in store for us.  

Happy Lenting.  


Fr. Luke