Lent with Jesus in the Desert

1st Sunday in Lent
By Fr. Chinnappan Pelavendran

Welcome to the season of Lent. Lent is a time to repent, a time to be reconciled, a time to say I am sorry, and a time to make our lives right with God. This is a time for us to remember what Christ went through for us. Christ came to live with us, to love us, and to serve us. Christ came to die for us because of everything we do wrong. Our forty days of Lent are a reminder of Jesus’ forty days spent in the desert before His public ministry. It is also a reminder of the life, passion, and death of Jesus Christ.

The first reading today describes the original temptation by the devil. Satan told them they would be like gods. He made them believe that they did not have to depend on God. We don’t like it when our freedom is limited and to be dependent on anyone. We don’t want to be responsible for the consequences of our choices.

In the second reading, St. Paul compares the old Adam with the new Adam, who is Jesus Christ. Adam did not resist temptation. He believed in the lie that the devil said that he could be like God. Jesus Christ came to save us from ourselves. Jesus did not give in to the temptations of the devil. The first Adam brought disobedience, sin, and death. The new Adam brought obedience, righteousness, and eternal life.

The temptations that Jesus faced in the desert are temptations found in our everyday lives. God has blessed some people with material resources, some with spiritual powers, some with political, and others with social powers. Use the powers and resources that God has given you for the greater honor and glory of God. Use this Lent to overcome the temptations that could harm you or others. Jesus performed miracles of healing and cast out devils to help people. Christ never used His gifts for Himself, only for others.

Jesus serves as a model for us in overcoming temptations by strengthening himself through prayer, fasting, penance, almsgiving, and speaking the word of God. By resisting temptations, we become more powerful soldiers for Christ. God does not allow us to be tempted beyond our power! During this Lent, let us try to be more prayerful, come to daily mass, receive the Sacrament of Penance, try reading some of the Bible, Pray the Rosary, and maybe bring a friend to church. By doing this, we will be able to overcome some of our sins.

Little changes in our lives can help us grow in holiness. The more time we spend with God, the closer we will be to God. Living the gospel of God’s love, mercy, and forgiveness will make us better Christians. Lent is the time for the desert experience. We can set aside a place and time to be alone each day with God. We need time to distance ourselves from the many daily noises in our lives. We need time to hear God’s word and rediscover who we are before God. We need time, to say yes to God and no to Satan.

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