Winter of the Sermon

This year, we go right from reading the Sermon on the Mount at Sunday Mass the past four weeks to reading from it again at Holy Mass today, to begin Lent. So, instead of calling this winter, “The Year of the Polar Vortex,” let’s call it the Winter of the Sermon on the Mount.

Sermon_on_the_Mount_Fra_AngelicoSpeaking for myself, one thing I have noticed particularly, reading through the Lord’s sermon this year: His emphasis on the secret, the hidden, the currently invisible reality.

The spiritual salt that gives interior savor. The zeal to comply with the commandments even in our hidden thoughts and desires. The motivation for suffering and forgiving, rather than fighting and winning at all costs. The trust that sees the loving hand of God in all things. All invisible, at least for now. The central matter of the most famous sermon ever given: Invisible to our eyes.

The message with which we begin Lent every year, also taken from the Sermon on the Mount: Pray, fast, and give away your money in an invisible way. Put your money in the invisible bank. Make sacrifices on the invisible altar. Spend your time talking with the invisible listener.

Winter 2013-2014. I think we can hope that it is almost over. We won’t soon forget that we could have hosted the Winter Games right here in Virginia. But let’s make this winter go down first-and-foremost as the Winter of the Sermon on the Mount, the winter when we learned even better how to live for the invisible goal.

One thought on “Winter of the Sermon

  1. Father Mark,

    Hidden, yes; but, often, seemingly diametrically opposed: Polar Vortex – Global Warming; Sermon on The Mount – Sermon on The Plain; the Revelry of Carnival – the Self-sacrifice of Lent; The Altar of Public Giving & Opinion – The Left Hand Not Knowing What The Right Hand Is Doing; The Winter Olympics in Virginia (with snow) – the Winter Olympics in Sochi (without snow); The “United Nations” – Russia, China, Syria & ; Vladimir Putin – Barack Obama; Persecution of Muslims in North Africa – Persecution of Christians around The World.

    There’s a reason the centerpiece of the internal life is Prayer; as soon as we turn outward, there are more than enough logical and moral ambiguities to confuse us. Without centering on Him, we’re lost.

    In God we trust.



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