With the Ashes of Ash Wednesday we have begun the season of Lent for 2020. We have heard the words repent and believe the Gospel but what does lent really mean for us in 2020. Lent should mean that we take time to renew our spiritual selves as we go forward to Holy Week and Easter. Why do we have Lent every year? Why penance? Why fasting? Why almsgiving? What does that have to do with us? Many people fail to see the connection. ” many say I’m not a sinner when the truth is I AM A SINNER” So why Lent? Of course We know the answer that the Church gives us. We have to prepare ourselves during Lent for the celebration of Holy week that leads us on to Easter the season of the resurrection. Lent is a time for correcting our faults and raising our minds and hearts to God. Lent is a time for personal and community conversion it is also a time for personal and community renewal! It is the time for a face-to-face encounter with God our origin, our purpose and our destiny and hopefully we will be changed for the better by that encounter! The bottom line for all of us during Lent is that we should try to get to know God better so that those not too easy to detect lines separating good and evil will become more apparent to ourselves and everyone else.
The Church teaches that prayer, fasting, and almsgiving are good significant ways to become closer to God How we do these is something that is personal to each person. The temptations, to which our Lord submitted himself to in this Sundays Gospel story are a source of encouragement and consolation for all of us. If our Lord and master underwent temptation, we cannot and must not expect to live a Christian life without experiencing similar trials. The three temptations Satan put to our Lord were suggestions to forget his purpose in life that is his messianic mission of redemption for one and all. He was urged to get all the bodily comforts of life, all the self-glory which men could give him, and all the possessions and power this world has to offer. In the same way all the comforts of life are put before us including the self-indulgence and glory which is the exact opposite of our calling as followers of Christ. We are called during Lent not to give in to the temptations of this life we are also called to renewal of heart mind and Spirit. As we begin Lent many things are placed before us to enhance our spiritual lives such as the early Mass which in our parish is at 7.15am or the Friday stations of the cross or some of the other spiritual programs. All of these help us to renew ourselves in preparation for the events of Holy week and the Easter feast.
May god give us his grace to make a good Lent as we take the road that leads us to Holy Week and the great feast of Easter.