Before beginning his public ministry, Jesus is filled with the Holy Spirit and lead by the Spirit into the desert.
To understand why, we too need to be filled with the Spirit and led by the Spirit. We may not be able to drop everything and join Jesus in the desert, but we can join him in the Spirit. Here’s how…
But First… a little quiz: During Lent, the Church asks us to observe which 3 things?
Answer: Prayer, sacrifice, and fasting, right?
Here, watch this video for some hints…
Yes, prayer. Like Jesus, during his 40 days in the desert, we should unite ourselves more in prayer to our Heavenly Father to strengthen our souls and purify our intentions.
We also purify ourselves with fasting and sacrifice, which means asking ourselves if we really need more entertainment, more and better gadgets, and do we really need more food (fasting is part of sacrifice).
The third thing we observe during Lent is almsgiving. Don’t forget the ALMSGIVING.
To get into the spirit of Lent, let’s check our motives. Is the goal to loose weight and reinforce our will power? Or is it rather to purify our souls, to prepare for Holy Week and Easter, and to grow closer to Christ? Obviously, it’s that latter. Fortunately, we have a Trinity of Persons and a Church to show us the way.
The way of Lent is the way of the spirit, and the first lesson of Lent is spiritual detachment – to purify our souls from the attachments of the world, the flesh, and the devil (in a word, from sin). And that’s why Jesus invites us to join him in the desert.
Filled with the Holy Spirit, Jesus returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the desert for forty days, to be tempted by the devil — Luke 4:1
During Lent, We will face temptation perhaps even more than during any time of the year, if we are doing it right. So we have to stay close to Jesus during this time, by imitating him, closely.
Now, we don’t live in a desert and we can’t just drop everything and dwell in the desert for 40 days. So we must to observe the spirit of lent in the Spirit – we need to be creative.
Once again, here are 3 creative ways to live the 40 days.
- Prayer. It takes 10 seconds to pray the Hail Mary. How many times during the day can you find 10 seconds to offer up this prayer? Be creative!
- Sacrifice (fasting). What do you really need? More reality TV? More time on Facebook? You don’t have to give it up completely, but you can get by with less. Be creative!
- Almsgiving. Give it some thought and decide what you can give to others in need? Time, money, clothes, food? Be creative!
To help this all sink in, here’s a little extra help from Fr Jack.
Okay, so Fr Jack mentions fasting instead of sacrifice. Fasting/Sacrifice… You won’t regret it if you try both. Obviously there are some mandatory fast days during lent, today being one of them. Maybe a few more reminders might come in handy.
- Abstain from meat on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday
- Fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday
- The Fast means only one full meal on those days
- The other two meals should be light (if you leave the table hungry, you done good!)
- Avoid snacks
- Drink all the water you want
- Finally, Cheer Up! Jesus Loves You 🙂 !