This Sunday we hear about how the Spirit drove Jesus into the desert and remained with him for forty days while he was faced with many temptations. There are temptations that we too face in our daily lives. When we give in to these temptations they can lead us to sin, hurt our relationships with family or friends, and separate us from the love that God has for us. But Jesus’ example in this reading tells us that we are not alone. Just as the angels came to minister to him, we too must listen and follow the spiritual guides in our lives to help us remain firm in our faith.
Lent is the perfect time to reflect on what is pulling us away from God and how we can return to him with all our heart, mind, soul. Our Lenten commitments of Prayer, Fasting, and Almsgiving can also help us in this effort. Prayer can help us to see our need for God’s forgiveness and receive his love and mercy. When we acknowledge his unconditional love, we become more dependent on God, and allow our faith to grow. Fasting from the things that give us pleasure can help us to better understand “sacrifice.” We fast to focus on Christ and allow him to have more room in our lives and a greater presence in our hearts. We practice almsgiving to focus on the needs of the less fortunate so that we can learn to grow in compassion and serving others in their suffering. These practices can help us in our daily battle against temptation and be better stewards of all God’s gifts.
To help us follow these practices, Kathy Lucci has placed a weekly plan on our parish website www.stpatshub.org home page called “Daily Pray-Fast-Give Opportunities at Hubbard St. Patrick Church.” May the Lord lead us and guide us as we enter these forty days of Lent.
Karen Bartos, C.R.E.