By Dc. Tom Cuskey | Editor
It’s my humble privilege to welcome you to the Catholic Sun’s Lenten reflection series for 2022. Each week, we will bring you insights and reflections on the coming Sunday readings from guest columnists throughout the Diocese of Syracuse.
I am writing today not so much as editor of the Sun but simply as “Deacon Tom.” I did pull rank, though, to get this leadoff spot because the Psalm response in this week’s liturgy is among my favorites: Psalm 91, “Be with me, Lord, when I am in trouble.” I am particularly fond of the Marty Haugen rendition of the Psalm which I first heard some years ago as a guitarist in parish music ministry at Christ the King in Liverpool. The melody is so beautiful, capturing the loving, yearning plea of our voices, asking Our Lord to be with us during times of strife, when pain, doubt and fear overcome us. Thinking back on the past two years especially, we can all identify with the feelings of isolation and anxiety that seemed to envelop every aspect of our lives. What comfort the words of this Psalm brings, though, reminding us that God is always present to protect us, our “refuge and fortress, the God in whom (we) trust!”
In the second verse of the Psalm, we are reminded that “angels stand close by” our sides, guarding and watching over us. That image takes on a new perspective in the Gospel this week, as Jesus is tempted by Satan after spending 40 days in the desert in preparation for His coming ministry. The devil uses the image of the angels to tempt Christ, even citing Scripture as he urges Jesus to throw Himself down from the parapet of the temple. Christ rebukes Satan, of course, admonishing him not to test the Lord by using these words against Him. It points out to us, very early in our Lenten journey, that Satan will dare to tempt anyone—even Christ Himself—and will use every trick in his arsenal to snare us, even the inspired Word of God Himself. The plea of the Psalm should be on our lips always because the devil is always close by. He was in the wilderness with Christ, and he was in Jerusalem with Him as well. It is a sure sign to us that we need to always keep our guard up and to walk closely with Christ always, wherever we travel. Seek the “refuge and fortress” of Our Lord.
May God bless you this Lenten season and lead you safely to the joy of Easter!