The Spirit drove Jesus out into the desert,
and he remained in the desert for forty days,
tempted by Satan.
He was among wild beasts,
and the angels ministered to him.
After John had been arrested,
Jesus came to Galilee proclaiming the gospel of God:
“This is the time of fulfillment.
The kingdom of God is at hand.
Repent, and believe in the gospel.”
Here we are, again – the beginning of Lent! I remember as a child, this was a dreadful time. I had to give something up that I really liked for 40 days! Forty days seemed like FOREVER! Especially when I would give up chocolate or ice cream – FOREVER!!!
As I have grown and learned more about my faith and the teachings of the Church, I look to Lent with a new perspective. I am actually excited for Lent to begin.
A friend asked me the other day, “What should I give up for Lent?” I told her, “I can’t answer that for you.” We all have our own obstacles to living a life of holiness. Each of us has different temptations that challenge us.
Just as the Spirit drove Jesus into the desert to face temptation, we are called to face the temptations of our lives. We are called to face the obstacles in our lives that keep us from becoming truly what God calls us to be – His children – just like His Son, Jesus!
When we can be honest with ourselves and with God and confess those challenges, we can pray for the Spirit to be with us, to give us the strength and courage to face those temptations. With God, all things are possible. We can defeat them. We are stronger – filled with joy and the sense that we are that much closer to God’s heart.
Throughout Lent, during times of prayer, reflection and fasting, recall the agony that Jesus suffered for our sake, for each and every one of us. Look towards this time of fulfillment in YOUR life with excitement and fervor! And just like Jesus, WE can repent, believe and proclaim the Gospel to all the world!