FIRST SUNDAY OF LENT: LUKE 1: 1-13
The first Sunday of Lent begins with a reflection on the Temptation of Jesus in the wilderness. The church brings temptation stories to the beginning of Lent because temptations come not only to Jesus but we all go through different kinds of temptations. Jesus was led by God’s spirit and went into the wilderness, where Jesus prayed and fasted for forty days. For Jesus, these forty days were not very easy ones. Jesus went through all kinds of pains and loneliness and Jesus was extremely hungry and weak; during these weakening times of struggle, Jesus was tempted by the devil. Even though Jesus was tempted in the wilderness, Jesus did not give into the devil’s temptations because Jesus did not rely on His own power but Jesus trusted in the power of God.
In our lives, too, when we are under pressure, experiencing weakness, and undergoing very difficult times, the devil will approach us and we can easily be tempted by the devil. In our lives, in certain situations, we are tempted to sinful pleasures, easy wealth, and the power of authority. These things give us momentary joy and happiness but these sinful actions can totally change our lives and we will be losing our family and friends, too.
In our daily lives, we experience temptations – some of them small and others very sinful. Once we have given into these temptations, deep inside, we are uncomfortable and unsatisfied with ourselves. When we repent and reconcile with God and others, we can experience God’s faithful love and mercy. Let us put our trust in God, and follow Jesus. When temptations overcome us, we need to come to God and surrender to God’s will. Also, it is very helpful and for the peace of our own souls, to make the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
Even Jesus was led by God’s Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil and Jesus overcame the devil’s temptations by the power of God’s spirit. In our lives, too, nothing will happen without the knowledge of God. God’s Spirit is always with us, even in our struggles and temptations. Whenever we go through temptations, let us totally surrender to God and seek God’s will. Let us not be afraid of temptations. The God, who allows temptations, also gives us the strength to overcome them!
We have entered our Lenten journey and this is one of the most holy seasons of our Christian faith. The season of Lent is a time of conversion and renewal of our faith. Lent is a time of prayer, renewal, and an opportunity to refocus our relationships with God and our brothers and sisters. Let us try this Lenten season to make a discipline of life: to be more generous, patient, and to consider the needs of others. The holy season of Lent is a time to live our lives in true happiness and a time to grow closer to God and try to give up all our sinful actions.
Let us reflect and mediate on Pope Francis’ message during the Holy Mass of Ash Wednesday: The Pope said, “Jesus does not turn to ashes, but Jesus rises gloriously. This is very true in our lives, too; we are dust, with our dust of weakness, we can return to Jesus, if we take the path of love and then we will embrace the life that will never end and we will be full of joy.”