It is Lent again I hear you say. It always seems to come round so quickly. We have hardly put the Christmas decorations away. The poinsettia is still blooming – well, after a fashion.

This Sunday’s Gospel[1] is the account of the temptations that Jesus had while he was praying and fasting in the desert. The forty days of Lent correspond to the forty days Jesus spent in the desert just after His Baptism. We could see ourselves being with Jesus. All this is a preparation for the central Christian events of Good Friday and Easter Sunday. They are well worth preparing for so that we can all enter into these more profoundly.

The Gospel passage has been chosen for our for ouredification and encouragement.”[2] Lent is a time of renewal and although renewal can be somewhat difficult at times, it is always, of course, very poignant when it comes to the renewal of our spiritual lives, of our relationship with God the Father through His Son in the power of the Holy Spirit.

And the three temptations of Jesus, namely to turn stones to turn into loaves;[3]throw yourself down; for scripture says: He will put you in his angels’ charge, and they will support you on their hands in case you hurt your foot against a stone;[4] Next, taking him to a very high mountain, the devil showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendour “I will give you all these” he said, “if you fall at my feet and worship me.[5] All soft options, but the Lord would not be shaken from his mission to suffer, die and to rise again.

We, as we follow the Lord, like Him experience temptations. We can be tempted to be shaken from our purpose in life. Lent is a time to be embraced, to reflect, to receive the Sacraments more often, to pray more each day so that we can imitate our Saviour and leader, and say “be off Satan! For scripture says: You must worship the Lord your God, and serve him alone.[6]

So pack your backpack and go out into the desert and seek the Lord.

Sr. Rosaleen Shaw OP

[1] Mt.4:1-11

[2] https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/liturgicalyear/calendar/day.cfm?date=2020-03-01

[3] Mt.4:3

[4] Mt. 4:6

[5] Mt. 8:9

[6] Mt.4:10