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.
Speaking 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.