Sunday, March 5, 2017

The first Sunday in Lent

Dear Friends in Christ,

Angels play an important part in the Gospel story from Matthew on this first Sunday in Lent.
The gradual, taken from Psalm 90 tells us : " God hath given his angels charge over thee in
all thy ways."And we respond to that saying :"in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest
at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.

When celebrating Mass I read the very familiar story that Jesus was taken by the spirit to the desert
to be tempted by the devil. This temptation was preceeded by forty days and forty nights of fasting.Weak as he was after this period of time our Lord Jesus Christ withstood all the temptations by the devil and at the end He dismissed the devil by saying " Begone Satan , for it is written : The Lord thy God shalt thou adore, and him only shalt thou serve. The devil left then and the angels came and ministered to the Lord Jesus Christ.

My life and no doubt yours is like a private desert, where we are constantly tempted by the devil or matters upset us, which are the work of the devil. I can recite a whole list of present experiences ,which are happening in the private desert of my life. Yet only through constant prayer and living my life in God's ways of rightiousness and peace and through the help of the Holy Spirit I can overcome the temptations.

At this point in time things are a bit much and I need to pray that the angels would come and minister to me in my private desert.
This, offcourse, is also something to consider in your own lives. Do the same , if you, in your private desert cannot handle things anymore.

When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the Prince of glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss,
And pour contempt on all my pride.

Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast,
Save in the death of Christ my God!
All the vain things that charm me most,
I sacrifice them to His blood.

See from His head, His hands, His feet,
Sorrow and love flow mingled down!
Did e’er such love and sorrow meet,
Or thorns compose so rich a crown?

Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were a present far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all.

Father Ed Bakker,
Anglican Catholic Church / Original Province
Mission of Saint Aidan of Lindisfarne
Launceston on Tasmania

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