February 16, 2024 | Source & Summit
Fr. Stephen Van Lal Than

A file photo shows a crown of thorns displayed during a Mass at Jesus the Good Shepherd Church in Dunkirk, Md. (OSV News photo/Bob Roller)

Source & Summit: First Sunday of Lent

(The faithful) taking part in the Eucharistic sacrifice, which is the source and summit of the whole Christian life, offer the Divine Victim to God, and themselves along with it. 

-The Second Vatican Council fathers in Lumen Gentium, #11

Source & Summit is a feature of The Western Kentucky Catholic online, celebrating the National Eucharistic Revival: Year of Parish Revival. Intended to help Catholics of our parishes to probe the riches of our liturgical year and celebrate the liturgy well, the column will always start with the Bible readings for the Mass of the Day to help us reflect on, and help to “unpack” and expand our experiences at liturgy into the domestic church (the home) and the workplace.

Sunday reflections will be based on the Lord’s Day, the Liturgy, the Eucharist, and, occasionally, community.


February 19, 2024:

First Sunday of Lent



Genesis 9:8—15

Psalm 245 4—9

Peter 3: 18—22

Mark 1:12—15


Lent is a time for Trust.

The Spirit drove Jesus into the desert, and he remained in the desert for forty days, tempted by Satan. We often imagine the desert as a dry, hot, and sandy environment, but around Galilee and Judea, the desert has rough and rocky terrain. It is more akin to a wilderness area that is quite inhospitable to life, yet abundant life can be found.

St. Mark does not elaborate on how or with what Satan tempted Jesus, but whatever the temptation, we can be sure it was harsh, much like the environment that surrounded him. Perhaps it is through the desert life that God created, existing in a harsh environment that God also created, that helped Jesus to remain focused. God’s simple and fundamental creations strengthened and sustained Jesus and deepened his trust in the Father. After all, trust is the key that enabled Jesus to fulfill his mission in another desert spot called Calvary.

As we enter this Lenten season, we enter our own desert, but beware! Ironically, as we pray and fast more and our almsgiving increases, our temptations may also increase. Satan did not tempt Jesus because he was a mere bully. He tempted Jesus because Jesus was superior to him and in a place of higher honor. As we come closer to God we are placed in a position of higher honor, and like Jesus, subject to increased temptation.

This temptation business can sound scary but be not afraid. The devil can only succeed if we lose trust and surrender. If we remain focused on our prayer, fasting, and almsgiving throughout this Lenten season, then, like Jesus, we too will emerge strengthened from this desert with a deeper trust in God’s Word and his promise to be with us and strengthen us in his Holy Eucharist.

-Deacon Ken Bennett

Deacon Bennett is the co-coordinator of the Office of Worship for the Diocese of Owensboro and a deacon assigned at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Owensboro.  

To learn more about the Diocese of Owensboro’s celebration of the National Eucharistic Revival, visit https://owensborodiocese.org/eucharistic-revival/.


Current Issue

Publisher |  Bishop William F. Medley
Editor |  Elizabeth Wong Barnstead
Contributors |  Riley Greif, Rachel Hall
Layout |  Rachel Hall
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