First Sunday of Lent
The season of Lent is upon us. A time of renewal, a time for new life. A time to go with Jesus into the desert to purify our hearts, to repent of our sins and return our gaze back to God.
On Ash Wednesday we hear Jesus teaching his disciples how to appropriately go about fasting, praying and giving alms. If we are serious, we will learn more about ourselves and how we should change our lives.
In the First Sunday of Lent's gospel we see the “show down” between Jesus and Satan. Everyday is a show down for us, as we battle against the world, the flesh, and the pride of life. There is one particular statement that Satan makes to Jesus which is tempting to every human being and is clearly seen in our world today.
“He took him up and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a single instant. The devil said to him, 'I shall give to you all this power and glory; for it has been handed over to me, and I may give it to whomever I wish. All of this will be yours, if you worship me'” (Luke 4:6-8). “If you worship me.”
Think about these words for a moment. There are many false gods tempting us today. We must with Jesus into the desert, to understand who and what they are. We all have experienced the hunger for “more than what we need”. Sometimes we search endlessly for things or people who will satisfy our longing to be happy. These things soon fall short and only leave us more unsatisfied. These false gods come in many forms: people we idolize, sports, the desire for excessive pleasure from food, alcohol, money, desiring to be the “center of attention” or working for the sake of power and control? When ever these things become first in our lives, we are setting up false gods.
Lent is the time to get back to centering God in our lives. God who always shows us faithfullness, love, mercy and forgiveness. Ask the Holy Spirit to elighten you with what He knows you need during this holy season.
Let us become more conformed into the image of Jesus. One who gives completely of themselves to another, for their good without expecting anything in return. This is the self-giving sacrifice that Jesus will make for all of us on Good Friday. It is the way that will lead each one of us to experience our own resurrection at Easter. Let us pray for one another. Have a blessed, holy Lent.