This First Sunday of Lent we are presented with the Gospel account that is known as the “temptations of Christ” (Luke 4:1-13). His forty days in the desert reflects our Lenten season of 40 days. Lent is the liturgical season to look again at our spiritual effort, at how we align our lives with God’s will. We use the 40 days of Lent as a time of denying ourselves (fasting), prayer and almsgiving in preparation for Easter. We learn to ‘deny ourselves’ as a way to learn to fight temptations and do a bit of penance. We pray more to get closer to God, and we reach out to those less fortunate than us, because Our Lord tells us when we do it to the least of our brothers and sisters, we do it to him. IN short Lent is a time of Spiritual Exercises to enable us to worship the One true God better, and serve Him alone.
The temptations of Our Lord were temptations to take Him away from His mission. It is in a way a presentation of our lives’ temptations:
the temptation to do our will, rather than God’s;
the temptation to seek one’s own glory even in religious matters;
the temptation to seek the easy way out and give up when the going gets tough;
the temptation to forget that the source of Christian life is to be found in the death and resurrection of Christ.
We started Lent with Ash Wednesday with the words imparted to us when receiving the ashes on the foreheads: ‘Repent and believe in the Gospel”. Let us pray for the strength to do so.
Have Mercy Lord, for we have sinned, Fr Michael