Church of the
Annunciation

7580 Clinton Street
Elma, New York 14059

716.683.5254

March 10, 2019

First Sunday of Lent

Jesus is in love. After his baptism while he is praying, heaven opens, and the Holy Spirit descends upon him in bodily form like a dove. Then a voice from heaven: “You are my beloved Son, with you I am well pleased.” (Luke 3:21-22) Jesus, “beloved Son,” filled with the Holy Spirit returns from the Jordan and is led by the Spirit into the desert for forty days to be tempted by the devil. (Luke 4:1-2)

In the Bible, the “wilderness” is both a place to meet God and to be tested. In the desert Jesus is discerning the Father’s will and how he will take up the mission God has entrusted to him. The devil is a deceiver. He comes here and elsewhere in the Gospel to distract and trip Jesus up. His three deceptions or temptations are all connected to Jesus’ fidelity to the Father and to his mission.

Jesus is hungry. The devil entices Jesus to turn a stone into bread. Jesus replies quoting Scripture: “One does not live on bread alone.” The devil shows Jesus the kingdoms of the world in a single instant tempting him with “power and glory” if only he sells his soul. Jesus responds: “You shall worship the Lord your God, and him alone shall you serve.” The devil takes Jesus to the parapet of the Temple in Jerusalem and urges Jesus to thrown himself down to be rescued by angels. What a show! Jesus dismisses the devil: “You shall not put the Lord, your God, to the test.”

Jesus recognizes his unique relationship with God and his own divine power but chooses to become a king or Messiah with no scepter, with no throne and with no army. Leaving the desert, Jesus begins his public ministry in the synagogue at Nazareth by quoting Isaiah: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord.” Determined, Jesus sets out on a path that will take him to the cross.  

With Jesus and led by the Spirit we enter the desert during Lent. Here we are confronted by our own demons and consoled by our higher angels. We come to acknowledge our sinful nature and our alienation from God. But we also come to know that we are children of God, sisters and brothers of Christ. Jesus responds to the devil with the living Word of God. During Lent we should take time to read and reflect on Sacred Scripture. “Exploring Sunday Readings” by Alice Camille are available as we enter/leave church. Taking a single verse of Scripture from each of the Sunday readings she comments on the deeper meaning for us today. Alice Camille will be our spiritual guide for our Lenten Retreat March 18-19-20 in the church at 7:00 PM.

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March 03, 2019

8th Sunday Ordinary C

Last Sunday in the Gospel according to St. Luke, Jesus says to his disciples: “Stop judging and you will not be judged.” These words of Jesus caution us about rushing to rash judgments and prejudging people (prejudice). These judgments are unfair and wrong. Nor can we presume to judge the depth of a person’s heart known only to God. But there are times when we have a...

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February 24, 2019

7th Sunday Ordinary C

David spares the life of King Saul. Saul, consumed by jealousy of David’s rising popularity, has driven David from court and pursues him in the Judean desert. Given the opportunity, David refuses to take revenge against his persecutor. David says: “I will not harm the Lord’s anointed.” It may appear at first glance that David’s action is rare, but a case can be m...

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February 17, 2019

6th Sunday Ordinary C

Jesus is speaking to his disciples. A disciple is one who wishes to learn and to follow. Jesus says to them: “Blessed are you who poor… Blessed are you who are hungry … Blessed are you who are weeping … Blessed are you when people hate you, exclude and insult you, and denounce your name as evil on account of the Son of Man… Rejoice and leap for joy on that day!...

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February 03, 2019

4th Sunday Ordinary C

4th Sunday Ordinary Time C   Bishop Roger Foys, Bishop of Covington, Kentucky issued an apology to the students at Covington Catholic High School. It appears the brief cell phone visual/audio of Nicholas Sandmann standing before a Native American chanting and beating his ceremonial drum, that went viral, was misleading. Some of the students were wearing red hats wi... READ MORE

January 27, 2019

3rd Sunday Ordinary C

3rd Sunday Ordinary Time C   We see a change occurring to the city of Buffalo. We ask what happened or came together to rejuvenate the city? Acknowledging the present social ills and challenges ahead we do notice a different look, increased investment and people wanting to live in the city. In our first reading, the Book of Nehemiah, Ezra, a priest and scribe, exho... READ MORE

January 20, 2019

2nd Sunday Ordinary C

2nd Sunday Ordinary Time C   Three Sundays and three epiphanies in a row: Magi from the East, the Baptism of the Lord and the Wedding Feast at Cana when Jesus changes water into wine. In the Gospel according to St. John, the public ministry of Jesus begins at a wedding feast when the Mother of Jesus tells her son: “They have no wine.” This is significant. Weddi... READ MORE

January 13, 2019

Baptism of the Lord

Baptism of the Lord   Our custom is to have baptisms during Mass. At the very beginning I ask the parents: “What do they ask of the Church?” The dad usually looks to mom to answer the question. If one parent replies: “baptism” I ask the other parent: “What are you hoping for or desiring for your daughter or son?” What does baptism mean to you? Water is ... READ MORE

January 06, 2019

Epiphany

Epiphany Saturday morning, I went out for the News but before I opened the paper, I noticed the stars in the pre-dawn sky. The stars caught my attention. I stopped and lost interest in the paper. Saturday afternoon, I was looking out my garage door and saw three deer running across the parking lot. I lost my train of thought and became more focused on the richness of t... READ MORE

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Stewardship

Stewardship is having the wisdom to understand that everything we have is a gift from God.

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