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Lent,1st S,March6,11

Len 1st S.,March 6,11

Lent 1st S,March 6,11.

(Mt.4:1-11)

Today marks the beginning of Lent. We will be observing in the next 40 days the memory of the days Jesus spent in the desert, fasting and praying in preparation for the great ministry that He would be undertaking .As Jesus finishes his forty days of Fast, the devil tries to entice him into his ways of thinking and acting by offering Him the ways of the world. The devil offers him the glory of a miracle worker, of a showman and lastly that of a mighty king. But Jesus drives him away by telling him not to tempt the Lord his God but to offer worship. That stern and serious command is strongly indicative of the great spiritual heights that Jesus has reached through his time of prayer and fasting in the desert.

What is important , according to Jesus, is not the exhibition of the power and glory of His divinity but submission to the will of His heavenly Father and the acceptance of the mission entrusted to Him.

The Temptation of Jesus in the desert is a reminder to each one of us that we too will be passing though crises in our lives. But we have the presence of the Lord in our hearts to overcome the power of such weak moments and situations.

We are people prone to temptations. We are fragile and weak and only by the grace of God do we get the strength to overcome our own inner weaknesses and sins.

When sicknesses and tragedies pursue us, when financial disasters take away every bit of security in our lives, and when our weaknesses and sins make us strangers in the land of grace, we have to remind ourselves about the constancy of the faith and the strength of our loyalty of Jesus. We have to be very focused and clear about our mission and goals in life.

We should not look for the approval or the applause of the people. The applause and popularity are fleeting and won’t last. What is important is to keep our gaze steady on Jesus and his mercy. The things of the world, then, lose their power over us. They will have no power to hurt us so long as our minds and hearts are turned to God.

The will of our heavenly Father is of great importance in our lives and we have to submit ourselves to Him. It does not mean that we are going to be defeatist in our mentality because of our submission. We accept the will of God because we know He loves us and He will do anything to protect us.

Lent is a time for us to strengthen our inner freedom and our openness to God. Through our act s of love and compassion, of mercy and forgiveness and through the self-control that we exercise on our own weaknesses and sinful passions, we enhance this freedom and openness. Lent should make us more loving and merciful. What is the meaning of a penitential season if it does not make us internally transformed? If we do not show love and compassion to the people who come into contact with our lives daily, all our penitential devotions mean nothing.

Let the beginning of the Lent may be a true occasion for us to change the direction and the nature of loves. Let each day be an occasion to show acts of love, mercy, and forgiveness.

As Bishop Sheen Says, it is when we are in the dark that we can see the stars .In our poverty, weakness and sinfulness, we become more aware of the love, forgiveness and protection of our Lord.

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