First Sunday of Lent, Called “Invocabit”
Isaiah, Chapter 33,
That which makes her
seasons certain, her wealth, salvation, wisdom, and knowledge, is the FEAR
of the Lord, her treasure.
Wherever your treasure is that is where your heart is and our hearts are made for the Lord. Fear of the Lord means that we have a father/son relationship of care, respect and love. Our God does not want to be objectified as some obtainable good. Nor does our God want to be appeased with our prayers and obedience. God is not an insurance agent that guarantees us against losses if we pay our premiums in prayers. If God is our treasure, he is our star, our life, our everything.
In the Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium of the Holy Father Francis, he states:
We have a treasure of life and love which cannot deceive, and a message which cannot mislead or disappoint. It penetrates to the depths of our hearts, sustaining and ennobling us. It is a truth which is never out of date because it reaches that part of us which nothing else can reach. Our infinite sadness can only be cured by an infinite love.
I am reminded of the love of Don Quixote in the play “Man from La Mancha”. If God is our treasure, he should be our Impossible Dream because we are His.
ON KEEPING THE LORD'S DAY HOLY
The fulfilment of the Sabbath
Christ came to
accomplish a new "exodus", to restore freedom to the oppressed. He
performed many healings on the Sabbath (cf. Mt 12:9-14 and parallels), certainly
not to violate the Lord's Day, but to reveal its full meaning: "The
Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath" (Mk 2:27). Opposing the
excessively legalistic interpretation of some of his contemporaries, and
developing the true meaning of the biblical Sabbath, Jesus, as "Lord of
the Sabbath" (Mk 2:28), restores to the Sabbath observance its liberating
character, carefully safeguarding the rights of God and the rights of man. This
is why Christians, called as they are to proclaim the liberation won by the
blood of Christ, felt that they had the authority to transfer the meaning of
the Sabbath to the day of the Resurrection. The Passover of Christ has in fact
liberated man from a slavery more radical than any weighing upon an oppressed
people — the slavery of sin, which alienates man from God, and alienates man
from himself and from others, constantly sowing within history the seeds of
evil and violence.
First Sunday of Lent, Called
Sunday is called Invocabit from the first word of the Introit. All the Sundays
of Lent and those from Easter to Pentecost take their names from the Introits
of the Mass. In the Introit of this day, we are told: He shall cry to Me, and I
will hear him; I will deliver him and glorify him; I will fill him with length
of days. He that dwelleth in the aid of the Most High shall abide under the
protection of the God of heaven (Ps. xc. 15, 16, 1).
Prayer of the Church
O God, Who dost purify Thy Church by the yearly
observance of Lent, grant to Thy servants that what they endeavor to obtain of
Thee by abstinence they may secure by good works.
EPISTLE, Cor. vi.
We do exhort you, that you receive not the grace of God in vain: for He saith:
In an accepted time have I heard thee: and in the day of salvation have I
helped thee. Behold now is the acceptable time: behold now is the day of
salvation; giving no offence to any man, that our ministry be not blamed: but
in all things let us exhibit ourselves as the ministers of God, in much
patience, in tribulation, in necessities, in distresses, in stripes, in
prisons, in seditions, in labors, in watching’s, in fasting’s, in chastity, in
knowledge, in long-suffering, in sweetness, in the Holy Ghost, in charity
unfeigned, in the word of truth, in the power of God, by the armor of justice
on the right hand and on the left, by honor and dishonor, by evil report and
good report: as deceivers, and yet true: as unknown, and yet known: as dying,
and behold we live: as chastised, and not killed: as sorrowful, yet always
rejoicing: as needy, yet enriching many: as having nothing, and possessing all
things. By this epistle the Church admonishes us to profit by Lent as a season
of grace, to spend it in earnestly combating sin and in the diligent
performance of good works.
GOSPEL. Matt. iv.
At that time: Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert, to be
tempted by the devil. And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights,
afterwards He was hungry. And the tempter coming, said to Him: If Thou be the
Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. Who answered and said: It
is written, Not in bread alone doth man live, but in every word that proceedeth
from the mouth of God. Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, and
set Him upon a pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him: If Thou be the Son of
God, cast Thy self-down; for it is written that He hath given His angels charge
over Thee, and in their hands shall they bear Thee up, lest perhaps Thou dash
Thy foot against a stone. Jesus said to him: It is written again:
Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. Again, the devil took Him up into a very high
mountain: and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them,
and said to Him: All these will I give Thee, if falling down Thou wilt adore
me. Then Jesus saith to him: Begone, Satan: for it is written:
The Lord thy God shalt thou adore and Him only shalt thou serve. Then
the devil left Him: and behold angels came and ministered to Him.
Savior was led by the Holy Ghost into the desert there to prepare by fasting
forty days and nights for His holy ministry. Here the tempter approaches and
seeks to betray Him. After He had overcome the Evil One’s angels came and
ministered to Him: by which we learn that they who overcome temptations enjoy
the consolation and assistance of the angels. This should encourage us to
combat joyfully to the end.
What is temptation? Temptation is an inducement to
transgress the commandments of God. Temptation comes from our own concupiscence
(James i. 14) for the flesh lusteth against the spirit (Gal. v.17.)
How does the devil tempt us? He moves the natural concupiscence
to such sins as he sees men particularly inclined to, and then deceives and
confuses the man’s mind, that he may not see clearly either the temporal loss,
or the dishonor and danger of sin. He can, however, do nothing but what God
permits. St. Augustine therefore compares him to a chained dog that can hurt
only those who put themselves within his reach.
Does God also tempt us? St. James says (i. 13), Let no
man, when he is tempted, say that he is tempted by God; for God is not a
tempter of evils, and He tempteth no man; But He allows us to be tempted,
sending us manifold trials.
Does God permit us to be tempted beyond our strength? No; for He combats with us and
gives you always as much strength as is required to conquer temptations, and
even to gain advantage from them (i. Cor. x. 13).
When do we consent to temptation? When we decide of our own free
will to do the evil proposed; as long as we resist, however little, we do not
What are the best means to overcome temptation?
1. Humility and
consideration of the suffering which follows sin, and of the happiness which
awaits those who resist temptation.
3. Invoking the
aid of the Blessed Virgin, our guardian angel, and all the saints.
devoutly, lead us not into temptation, and calling on the holy name of Jesus.
Read: Today’s Gospel tells
the story of Jesus’s
journey into the desert to be tempted by the devil.
Reflect: Every day, but particularly in
Lent, Christians must face a struggle, like the one that Christ underwent in
the desert of Judea, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil, and then
in Gethsemane, when he rejected the most sever temptation, accepting the Father’s will to the very end.
is a spiritual battle waged against sin and finally, against Satan. It is a
struggle that involves the whole of the person and demands attentive and
(Pope Benedict XVI, Homily, March 1, 2006)
Pray: Say something from your heart.
Jesus’s response of “One does not live on bread alone” in mind, think of what ways you
can feed your spiritual life this Lent. Decide to do something during this
Lenten season that will nurture your relationship with God. Consider reading
one of the Psalms on Saturdays, challenge yourself to fast from speaking any
negative or critical word on Fridays, or do an act of generosity on
The Power of God’s Word
When Our Lord overcame the
Devil in the wilderness, He quoted Scripture. In Scripture, the Devil and his
demons go by several names and are portrayed by several vivid images, each one
pointing to some important aspect of
their nature and activity. To know these names and images is to understand
better the kind of opponents we face in spiritual warfare.
Devil, literally, “one who hurls
[himself] across” the path of God’s plan; Mt 4: 1.
Satan, literally, “adversary, attacker”;
Job 1: 6; Mt 4: 10.
Beelzebul, the prince of demons, the name of
a pagan Canaanite god meaning “the Prince-God”; the Jews interpreted the word
as “prince of demons” because they identified false gods with demonic spirits;
Mt 12: 24– 27. The form Beelzebub, used in some Bible translations, is a
contemptuous adaptation of the name that means “Lord of the flies”; see also
Baalzebub as a reference to the Canaanite god in 2 Ki 1: 2– 6.
Serpent, the malicious intruder in
the Garden of Eden who led our first parents into sin; Gn 3: 1; Rv 12: 9.
Demon, from the ancient Greek term for a
lesser deity; St. Paul identified such pagan gods with demonic spirits; 1 Cor
10: 20– 21.
Unclean spirit, in the sense of morally unclean
or impure; Mt 10: 1.
Devotion to the Trinity
The Trinity is the sum, substance, subject and object of our prayer. We are baptized in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. One God, who is three persons, is a mystery too deep for anyone to fathom. St. Teresa of Avila had a vision on the Trinity she stated, “What was represented to me were three distinct persons, for we can behold and speak to each one. Afterward I reflected that only the Son took human flesh, through which this truth of the Trinity was seen. These persons love, communicate with, and know each other…and this is a very great truth…In all three persons there is no more than one will, one power, and one dominion, in such a way that one cannot do anything without the others.”
St. John Paul II stated also, “God in his deepest mystery is not a solitude but a family, since he has in himself fatherhood, sonship, and the essence of family, which is love.” We are created for the sake of love.
According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, (234) the mystery of the Most Holy Trinity is the central mystery of Christian faith and life. It is the mystery of God in Himself. It is therefore the source of all the other mysteries of faith, the light that enlightens them. It is the most fundamental and essential teaching in the "hierarchy of the truths of faith". The whole history of salvation is identical with the history of the way and the means by which the one true God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, reveals himself to men "and reconciles and unites with himself those who turn away from sin".
God the Father sent the Son so that we might receive the Spirit. God
became what we are, so that we might become what He is. He assumed our nature,
so that we might share in His. Heaven is nothing other than the sharing, that
communion, and it has begun with our baptism. All the sacraments and all
Catholic liturgy are about the Blessed Trinity. We have been taken up into the
life of the Trinity, even now. We do not have to wait to live in heaven, Heaven
has come to us—though we still await the day of consummation, when we shall be
like Him, for we shall see Him as He is (Jn. 3:2). Our very nature speaks of
the trinity through our Mind, emotions and will. Will to serve!
of the Catholic Church
II. Transmit the faith:
10 It is not surprising, therefore, that,
in the dynamism of the Second Vatican Council (which Pope Paul VI considered to
be the great catechism of modern times), the catechesis of the Church has once
again attracted attention. The General Directory of Catechesis of
1971, the sessions of the Synod of Bishops consecrated to evangelization (1974)
and to catechesis (1977), the corresponding apostolic exhortations, Evangelii
nuntiandi (1975) and Catechesi
tradendae (1979), bear witness to it. The extraordinary session
of the Synod of Bishops in 1985 requested "that a catechism or compendium
of all Catholic doctrine, both on faith and morals, be drafted" ( Relacion
final II, B, a, 4). The Holy Father, John Paul II, endorsed this wish
issued by the Synod of Bishops, recognizing that it "fully responds to a
true need of the universal Church and of the particular Churches" (Closing
address of the Synod, extraordinary assembly , 7 December 1985). The
Pope arranged everything necessary for the Synod Fathers' request to be carried
The Week ahead
Lent begins clean Monday
Mar 9th FAST Ember
Mar 11th FAST Ember
Mar 12th FAST Ember
Plan ahead for:
Saltwater Fishing-As the title indicates, saltwater
fishing takes place out at sea giving fishermen the opportunity to catch large
and exotic fishes such as the Marlin. The big drawback to this activity is that
you have to have access to a boat (either own, know someone who does, or rent),
and own special fishing gear that can handle large catches.
Today in honor of the Holy Trinity do the Divine Office giving your day to God. To honor God REST: no shopping after 6 pm Saturday till Monday. Don’t forget the internetUnite in the work of the Porters of St. Joseph by joining them in fasting: Today's Fast: True Masculinity
to St. Joseph Day 19
 Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896
Thigpen, Paul. Manual for Spiritual
Warfare. TAN Books.
 Hahn, Scott, Signs of Life; 40
Catholic Customs and their biblical roots. Chap. 34. Devotion to the Trinity.