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RELIGION LITURGY AND LIFE

FIRST SUNDAY OF LENT

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Well here we are at the First Sunday of Lent having placed the ashes on our heads on Ash Wednesday we have embarked on our annual time of renewal. In every area of our lives there is an ongoing need for mending, renewing and refocusing. Lent is our annual spring clean of our spiritual lives renewing our faith as a preparation for celebrating the events of Holy Week.

In the Gospel reading for this Sunday we hear the reading from Luke that details the temptation of Jesus in the dessert. Before Jesus set out to do his Fathers work he went out into the dessert for forty days of fasting and prayer and during this time he was tempted by the devil. The devil tempted him to use his power  to take care of himself, prove his identity by performing astounding signs and make alliances with political and military powers to get himself and his message across. It is immediately after His time in the desert that Christ began His work, of proclaiming the kingdom of God.”

In proclaiming the message of the Kingdom Jesus gives us all  the good news of truth, hope, peace, and salvation and this enables us to live life to the full and conquer sin.  As well as this there is great encouragement for all of us to know that Jesus not only shared our human nature but, like us, he was subject to temptation. In the course of our daily lives we too face temptations to put comfort and material possessions over the sacrifices involved in being a disciple. We often get sidetracked and lose sight of what and who are important in our daily lives. This Gospel highlights that we are dependent upon God for all that we have and all that we are. God’s desire for us on this first Sunday of Lent in the Year of Mercy is that we Come back to him with all our heart. God does not want empty words but full hearts.  Hearts full of remorse when appropriate; hearts full of trust as we face the realities about ourselves; hearts full of love as we realize how much we are loved; hearts full of joy as we journey towards Easter, the moment when life, and everything else changed forever when Christ died and rose again for us in all our ways good and not so good.

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