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RELIGION LITURGY AND LIFE

1ST SUNDAY OF LENT 2015

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Well Lent has begun, after the ashes of Ash Wednesday comes the commitment of the next 6 weeks. Our gospel story for this weekend tells us about Jesus going out into the wilderness where he was tempted by the devil in the wilderness.  God asks us to undertake this time of renewal and that is why we have the penitential season of Lent. Why do we have Lent every year? Why penance? Why fasting? Why almsgiving? What does that have to do with us? If we take our faith seriously then Lent, penance, fasting and almsgiving have a great deal to do with all of us.

This reading from the Gospel of Mark also tells us that the time has come for us to repent and believe in the Good News. It is an ancient custom in the Church that the story of the temptation of Jesus in the desert should be read on the first Sunday of Lent. Jesus spent forty days in the wilderness. At the beginning of the forty days of Lent the Church always puts before us his time of solitude and it also puts before us a time for renewal. We ask ourselves what in our homes, at work, local, and parish communities needs to be changed for so many are out there in the wilderness of a godless faithless life.

During the season of Lent we stop to take stock of where we are in our lives and where we really need to be as people of faith who believe in God. These next few weeks will be a time of refreshment, a time of repentance and also a time of renewal that prepare us for Holy Week and Easter. So now as we begin Lent we are invited to commit our lives fully to God and God’s ways remembering that god’s ways are not our ways. Jesus preaches “Metanoia” – that is “Repentance” – which requires change of heart, mind and Spirit. Let us ask ourselves whether we are open to be really changed as gods people s so we will be able to enter more fully into the great ceremonies of our redemption during Holy Week and Easter.

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