February 21, 2010: 1st Sunday of Lent
Filled with the Holy Spirit, Jesus returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the desert for forty days, to be tempted by the devil. (Take your Bible and read St. Luke’s description of the forty days Jesus spent in the desert, Luke 4:1-13.)
Every year on the 1st Sunday of Lent we hear about Jesus’ 40 days in the desert. One obvious reason is that Lent is 40 days long. Jesus went into the desert to prepare for his public ministry. During those 40 days he prayed and fasted in order to get ready to do what God sent him to do. Through fasting and prayer, Jesus grew in his commitment to do the will of God. He did not give in to the temptations of the devil while he was in the desert. Every year we have an opportunity to spend 40 days praying, fasting and doing special things for people in need (almsgiving) in order to become better disciples or followers of Jesus.
If you haven’t chosen a Lenten practice, pick something today. Instead of giving up candy, think about something you could do during Lent and continue doing the rest of your life, something that would make you a better Christian. Or, perhaps you can help the people of Haiti who continue to suffer from the terrible earth quake. Choose something! Ask Jesus to help you when you are tempted to give up on your Lenten promise.