March 6, 2022
A Brief Reflection on the Journey of Lent
For some forty days we are asked to make the desert journey into Lent. Once again we have the opportunity to take the journey seriously, so we can make some spiritual discoveries about ourselves. Or we can just give up something and miss the whole meaning and opportunity this season brings us. We never know if we will have the opportunity to take this journey next year or not.
The same is true for us when we are uncomfortable. We are tempted to not trust God in a particular difficult situation. If we can only be comfortable. If we can only have what we desire, no matter the cost.
Jesus, as hungry as He was, says no to the temptation. He will only trust his Father who knows what is best even in this situation of hunger, suffering, and all that He faces.
Next the devil shows Jesus all the kingdoms of the world and says to him that if He will worship the devil, Jesus can have all this kingdom; He can have anything He wants-power, money, possessions, etc.
Jesus answers no, because again He recognized that all the things of this world will not guarantee eternal life. Doing the will of the Father is the way to eternal life. It is so easy to get caught up in thinking that material things will lead us to eternal peace.
The devil takes Jesus up high above Jerusalem and asks Him why He is suffering. All He needs to do is jump, and all the people below will see the angels save Him and everyone will know He truly is God. Make life easy. Why struggle?
We are giving the same temptations. If only people would respect me. If only they would understand me. If only.....if only.....etc
Whatever we decide to do for Lent perhaps will show us how weak we are. If we fail at what we decide to do, don't give up. Start again. There will be a great temptation to say, Well, I blew it. I might as well give up and wait for next year.
Reflection on the Readings for this Sunday
In the first reading, Moses speaks to the people and encourages them not to forget all that God has done for them, giving them freedom from Egypt and slavery, giving them the Promised Land, etc. He reminds them that they are to be faithful and remember all that God has done. At times they fail.
The same is true for us today. We have been given so much, our Baptism; we became a child of God and given eternal life. We have been called by name to make God present in a world, that today more and more rejects God.
The same is for us today. If we truly believe the words of this letter, then our lives will become more and more like Christ's, and we will make Him present in the world today through our actions and not just our words.
So, our journey begins...
Pray that our time in the desert of this Lent will help us by our prayer, fasting, and alms giving to look more deeply into our spiritual selves, our weaknesses, failures and sins, and be ready to experience our resurrection from sin, which is there for us at all times.