"And the morning and the evening was the first day." (With apologies to Genesis.)
And so begins Lent. The obligations of fasting and abstaining from meat on Ash Wednesday have been fulfilled. The cross made of ashes and placed on the forehead is gone. Plans to incorporate the three traditional Lenten disciplines are decided. The journey to the Triduum has started.
As I was listening to a program on a Catholic radio show earlier this week, a phrase from Scripture caught my attention: "One does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God." (Matthew 4:4b). The first part is also found in St. Luke's account of the temptations in the desert (4:4), the Gospel reading for this First Sunday of Lent (Cycle C). It references Deuteronomy 8:3, where Moses recalls the Israelites being fed with manna.
It made me think about how much more truth is in that statement than one realizes. The word that comes from the mouth of God is none other than the Word Incarnate, Jesus. And while that Word is also found in Scripture, its most perfect manifestation is found in the Real Presence, the Bread of Life which He established in the Upper Room on Holy Thursday. Spiritually, we live on both Bread and Word.
Which leads to the question of how we will supplement this nourishment the next six weeks. Which leads to how we will pray, fast, and give alms. Which hopefully will lead to a closer union with God. Which will hopefully make our Easter triumph and joy more complete.
While God created the world in six day, let us resolve to make