Thank you to everyone who makes this radio broadcast possible on the first Sunday of Lent. Today, February 21, the Gospel according to St Mark, chapter 1, verses 12 to 15, is read in every Catholic church in the world.
The gospel tells us that the Spirit pushed Jesus to retreat to the wilderness where he stayed for 40 days and was tempted by Satan.
After baptism on the Jordan River, Jesus retreats to the wilderness to pray. It’s his first action.
The desert is a place of silence, prayer, listening to oneseed and listening to God. It is a place of reflection, meditation, search, it is a place of encounter with oneself and with God.
Throughout the day and night it is good to find a time to think, read the Bible, pray, ask yourself: What does God want from me, from my family, from my people? If you find the desert, the silence, the prayer time, then everything will be better.
Jesuit parents offer retirement in life, which helps us a lot to be in the wilderness of Jesus. Ask Father Jorge Luis Rojas, parish priest of the queen’s church, phone 78624979 the lines to make the withdrawal of life in your home, in a lonely place.
After 40 days of fasting and prayer, the devil tempts, invites Jesus, not to follow God’s will, but his will.
Matthew, chapter 4, tells us of the temptations the devil made to Jesus:
We too are tempted by the devil, especially if we are good, honest, careful with our family.
The husband may be tempted to leave his wife, the wife may be tempted not to be loving, kind, dedicated to her husband; the honest man is tempted to robbery, parents can get tired of teaching good, faith to their children, children can abandon their older parents.
We are tempted by the devil to use offense as a defense.
We are tempted not to continue the way of Christ because it seems to us that no one cares.
Mahatma Gandhi, India’s spiritual chief, advocate of non-violence, in his last prayer has prayed:
Whether you feel fatigued or not, O man, don’t rest!,
Don’t stop your solitary struggle,
go ahead and don’t rest.
You’ll walk on confusing, tangled paths
and you’ll only save a few sad lives.
O man, do not lose faith, do not rest!
Your own life will be exhausted and nullify
and there will be growing dangers on the day.
Oh man, bear all those burdens, don’t rest!
Jump on your difficulties
even if they are higher than mountains, and even though beyond
there are only dry, bare fields.
Oh man, don’t rest until you get to those fields!
The world will darken and you will pour light on it
and dispel the darkness.
Oh man, don’t rest,
seek rest from others!
To fall into the temptations of the devil is our total destruction. That is why we pray with Christ: do not let us fall into temptation.
Like Christ, the Church invites us to fast.
Fast to judge others; fill yourself with the Christ who lives in them.
Fasting of hurtful words; fill yourself with phrases that purify.
Fasting with discontent; fill yourself with gratitude.
Fasting with anger; fill yourself with patience.
Fast of pessimism; fill yourself with optimism.
Fasting for worries; fill yourself with trust in God.
Fast to complain; fill yourself with appreciating what’s around you.
Fasting from pressures that do not stop; fill yourself with a prayer that never ceases.
Fast of bitterness; be filled with forgiveness.
Fast the importance of yourself; fill yourself with compassion for others.
Fasting for personal anxiety; fill yourself with eternal hope in the crucified Christ.
Fasting of discouragement; fill yourself with hope.
Fasting for thoughts of weakness; fill yourself with the promises that inspire.
Fast from all that separates you from Jesus; fill yourself with everything that brings you closer to Him.
Lent menu for housewives and husbands who cook
HAVE AT HAND:
Can opener, to open the hardened heart.
Knife, to cut vices.
Uncoverer, to uncover what was stuck in family relationships.
Colador, to overlook offenses and purify intentions.
Apron, for the service.
Refrain from eating neighbors (gossip, murmurings and slander).
Remove the skids from the seasoning.
Avoid consuming high fats of selfishness.
Do not take vinegar, which puts you in a bad mood.
Wash your heart well so your arteries don’t get scared with hate.
Avoid excessive consumption of spicy, so as not to “chop” and say curses.
Avoid shrimp, because consciousness numbs, and “shrimp that falls asleep, is carried away by the current”.
Don’t have iced desserts that freeze affection.
Avoid eating bread of envy.
As a main course: exquisite charity for others.
Broth of care for the homeless and sick.
Salad of details of affection for those who live in the house.
Bread to share with the needy.
Wine of joy to take with the sad and discouraged.
Letter soup to communicate more often with family and friends.
Carrot soup to see with good eyes to others.
Blessed bread for the afflicted, for “sorrows are less”.
FOR DESSERT, IT IS RECOMMENDED:
Caramelized coquito to be sweet to people.
Flan to give away as a gesture of forgiveness.
Sweet orange and lemon split “give me a hug I ask of you” and give them displays of true appreciation, not chocolate.
And don’t forget:
“WHERE ONE EATS, THEY EAT TWO” AND “ALWAYS THROW MORE EAGLE TO THE SOPITA”.
Share your life with OTHER PEOPLE. Finally, the heavenly Chef recommends above all spiritual nourishment:
“HE WHO EATS MY FLESH AND DRINKS MY BLOOD HAS ETERNAL LIFE.”
If we were cars, Lent would be the time to change the oil and fine-tune the engine.
If we were gardens, Lent would be time to fertilize our land and pluck the bad weeds.
If we were carpets, Lent would be time to give them a good cleaning with the vacuum cleaner or a good jolt.
If we were batteries, Lent would be time to recharge them.
But we’re none of these four things:
We are people who, perhaps, have often done bad things and need to repent of them. From here the need to make a good confession.
We are people who often get carried away by our selfishness and therefore need to start thinking about others. From here the need for alms.
We are people who often lose sight of the end for which we were created by God.
We therefore need to regain our sight. From here the need for prayer.
Fragment of Pope Francis’ homily on Ash Wednesday:
We started the path of Lent. It opens with the words of the prophet Joel, which indicate the direction to follow. There is an invitation born from the heart of God, who with open arms and eyes full of nostalgia pleads with us: “Turn to me with all your heart”. Turn to me. Lent is a journey back to God. How many times, busy or indifferent, we have said to him, “Lord, I will return to You afterwards, wait. I can’t today, but tomorrow I’ll start praying and doing something for others.” And so a day after another. Now God calls our hearts. In life we will always have things to do and we will have excuses to give, but, brothers and sisters, today is the time to return to God.
Turn to me, he says, with all his heart. Lent is a journey that involves our whole life, all that we are. It is time to check the paths we are traveling, to find our way back home, to rediscover the fundamental bond with God, on which everything depends. Lent is not to make a spiritual bouquet, it is to discern where the heart is oriented. This is the center of Lent: Where is my heart oriented? Let us ask ourselves: Where does the navigator of my life lead me, to God or to my self? Do I live to please the Lord, or to be seen, praised, preferred, placed in the first place, and so on? Do I have a “dancing” heart, which takes a step forward and one step backwards, loves the Lord a little and a little to the world, or a firm heart in God? Do I feel at ease with my hypocrisies, or do I struggle to free my heart from the fold and falsehood that chain it?
Brothers and sisters: Our journey back to God is possible only because first there was your one-way journey to us. Otherwise it wouldn’t have been possible. Before we went to Him, He descended toward us. He’s preceded us, he’s come to meet us. For us he descended lower than we could imagine: sin was made, death was made. It is all St Paul reminded us: “To whom he did not commit sin, God asemerated him to sin for us”. To not leave us alone and accompany us on the way descended to our sin and our death, touched sin, touched our death. Our journey, then, is to let ourselves be taken by the hand. The Father who calls us back is the One who leaves home to come and seek us; The Lord who heals us is the One who let himself be wounded on the cross; the Spirit that makes us change our lives is the One who blows with strength and sweetness on our mud.
Saint Mary of Charity, accompany your sick children so that they will never lack the closeness of the family, the Church and society.
Blessed Father Olallo, who faced so many diseases and epidemics, pray for all of us that, healthy and sick, we may be one heart and one soul. Amen.
And the blessing of Almighty God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, descend upon all of you and remain forever. Amen.
Below we offer in full the allocution of the Cardinal and Archbishop of Havana, Juan de la Caridad García.