How fast time flies! Christmas was just a few moons ago, but look we’re now in the Lenten Season, starting Ash Wednesday and will end on Holy Thursday before the evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper. Lent is characterized by sorrow and penance for our past sins, works of mercy, and preparation for the renewal of our baptismal promises on the Easter Vigil.
If we look at the entire point of Lent, it is really about a window of opportunity of restoring our relationship with the Lord. A relationship that has gone sour due to sin and wrongdoing. In the first reading, God cleansed the world from evil through the great flood in the time of Noah, and gave rise to a new beginning: God made a covenant with Noah and all his descendants. The second reading talks about the flood and how it relates to Baptism – the life-saving water.
From the time of Adam up to the present, God has been relentless in calling and forgiving us whenever we go to the Sacrament of Reconciliation. While man continues to fall into sin, God has continually sent prophets over the centuries to speak to him, and finally sent His only Son to redeem us all from the darkness of sin. It is about our God’s faithfulness, and man’s betrayal of God’s undying love and mercy. Despite man’s fickleness, God has been and always loving us unconditionally, even at the price of Jesus’ saving death on the cross.
In the Gospel, Jesus resisted and defeated evil in the desert and throughout His life. In our case, there comes a time when we are asked to make a stand and thus strengthen our faith. We are asked by Jesus to take up our cross daily and follow Him. This is an invitation that not too many people find appealing. In this materialistic world, people view success as earning more money and accumulating wealth, in order to live a comfortable life. This is what is being sold in media by advertisements. We only have to see the billboards in EDSA to validate this assertion. We know that when we forego with the comforts that we have gained, we struggle and find it difficult. Yet, when we do it, we find a sense of meaning such that we gain an inner joy in life. It’s quite a paradox that in order to get, we have to give, and in order to be more joyful, we need to experience pain and suffering. This is because the more we deny ourselves, the more we find essence and meaning.
In this Holy Season of Lent, Jesus is inviting us to believe in something greater than this temporal world. He wants us to see our hearts in order for us to feel our innermost longings for an intimate relationship with God. If we submit to Him, He will lead us to on the right path to eternal joy.
Champion, how is your desert journey been so far?