Profession of Faith
(1st Sunday of Lent: Deuteronomy 26:4-10; Romans 10:8-13; Luke 4:1-13)
The harvest ritual prescribed by Moses includes a statement about God’s deliverance of his people from slavery. It takes the form of a historical record, but it is a profession of faith in the God who saves.
St. Paul invites us to affirm our faith: “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”
Faith, living faith, is the foundation of all Christian life. It is expressed in communitarian and personal ways. We see both at La Salette.
Lent, a communitarian tradition, has existed in the Church for many centuries. At the time of the Apparition, the penitential practices associated with this season were more rigorous than they are today, especially as regards fasting. In her discourse, Our Lady of La Salette referred directly to her people’s total disregard for this annual discipline.
As for the personal expression of faith, she spoke of the importance of prayer—nothing elaborate, but at least enough to maintain daily contact with God, at night and in the morning. More when possible.
Faith itself is communitarian, insofar as we share the same beliefs. It is personal, too, but not in the sense that we may choose what to believe and what not to believe. Rather, it acknowledges that each of us is unique and so we do not all respond with the same intensity to each aspect of our faith. For us who have a strong attachment to La Salette, for example, reconciliation, wherever it appears, resonates in a special way.
In fact, that is how these reflections are written, by listening to the echoes, back and forth, between Sacred Scripture and the event, message and mystery of La Salette.
Lent is a time to revive personal faith in the context of the faith of the Church, to remember that we do not live by bread (or meat) alone. Pay special attention to your inner response as you encounter the readings. You may discover a new depth in your relationship with Christ, a stronger challenge to live by his teaching, a deeper conviction in your profession of faith.