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The Challenge of Lent


We associate the six weeks of Lent as a time of self-discipline, fasting and Alms Giving in order to prepare ourselves for the great Feast of The Resurrection, and in some ways leave the message of The Good News behind, not thinking that the two are intertwined.

At the beginning of Lent, as we hear in today’s gospel passage, the church takes us into the wilderness with Jesus. We do this with Jesus and his followers, as none of us should face the wilderness alone. Despite our best efforts we are all tempted and all fail on occasions, we are all sinners. Sometimes we may wonder how we can get out of this wilderness. The answer lies within ourselves and in the challenge of today’s gospel. It challenges us to change our minds about the way we think, to change our hearts about the gospel to embrace it and not ignore it and to change our ways from those that will lead us to sin. This is not something we can achieve overnight, no, it is a lifetime’s work and the sooner we start the further we will be along this road when God comes calling. Jesus did not overcome Satan in the wilderness, this was only achieved by his death. Lent reminds us of our need to begin again and to clear ourselves of those things within us which prevent us from giving ourselves to God. The Good News is that when we start to recognise these things and work to correct them then we are not alone as Jesus himself will accompany us and show us the road that leads to God’s Kingdom.

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