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Are You Ready To Walk In the Desert?

     This weekend really made it feel more like lent. We started with the ashes on Wednesday, and today we celebrate the first Sunday of Lent. Every year on this day, the Gospel tells us of the temptation of Jesus. All three of them offer us a different version, Matthew and Luke switch between the order of the temptations, while Mark, leaves out the conversation with Satan all together. However, just because he does not include the text of the temptation he still has the important message creased into the reading.

     Travelling is a desert for forty days going hungry, and being tempted doesn't sound like a good time to anybody. However, after his baptism Jesus was led by the spirit into the wilderness.  At his baptism, God proclaimed Jesus as his only Son, in whom he is well pleased. After an exhortation like that, someone would have to prove themselves. One of the ways they prove themselves is by being tested. Normally by other people, but the Gospel tells us that Jesus was tempted by Satan- the father of temptation.

     I have heard an expression, "to be truly happy, you must first feel sadness" To be forgiven you must first forgive. To rejoice you first must feel pain and sorrow. To rise you first must die. It is all about feeling the opposite first before we can truly appreciate the good. To experience the opposite emotion helps to gives us a deeper appreciation and acceptance of truly feeling happy, good, and forgiven.

      As followers of Christ, we to enter into the desert with Christ during this Lenten period. For forty days we travel in the desert, being guided by Christ, and tempted by Satan. These forty days, helps us to reflect of our sins, and our failures so has to truly experience and rejoice in the empty tomb on Easter morning. The desert is a time of reflection of our fidelity to God and of our faith life. It is a time to transform our lives, which allows us to grow closer to God.

     Lent is meant to be a season of transformation. Yes it is okay to give up food and other items like that, but their is something more we must do. Something that will have more of a transformation in our lives and increase our spirituality. How many times in our day do we become jealous of other, share harsh humour, give in to an addiction, hate someone else, becoming individualistic over our things and life, and become unaware and uninterested in the needs of others around us?  All of these things are the true things that we should give up for lent and for our life. These are emotions, and attitudes that separate us from Christ and that create divisions among the people we meet.  These things prevent us from truly living as a disciple of Christ, but during Lent we can leave them behind and move forward.

    Todays first reading tells us of the covenant between God and his people through Noah. God initiates his covenant by restarting the world. He cleanses the world of sin, but saves one family to carry out his mission- Noahs family. God wants his people brought back to himself, and so he does certain things to bring his scattered children back to himself. Jesus is the ultimate sign of Gods commitment to his covenant. Through love, God sent his only son to become the lamb
of sacrifice for the world. During lent, we slowly build up to the climax of this season; Christ's death

     Throughout all of history, God has been the initiator of the covenant. He as brought forth everything in establishment of his promise. However, the one thing he hasn't done. and will never do, is force an answer from us. He is constantly calling us, but it is we, his children that must give him a response of faith. This Lenten season is the time for us to respond to God in faith, accepting the role as a follower, as a child.

     To follow Jesus, we must enter into the desert. During this journey, their will be times of temptation, hunger and thirst. However, Christ is always there guiding every footstep and leading us on this journey. Just like when we get something sticky on our hands, we can feel its their, but we can't see it. So God is there in disguise.

    On this first week of Lent, may we come to accept the responsibility of being a child of God. May we come and follow Christ into the desert so that when the Easter Miracle occurs we may joyfully live the good news. May we come this lent, to transform our lives to help build the kingdom of God on earth. For as we travel these forty days, God is looking after us, always watching us, and guiding every footstep. May we come to accept the will of God this lent, and answer to God Covenant which he has promised to Noah.

Today we begin our journey in the desert. We started Ash Wednesday with instructions to Pray, Fast, and give alms. As we journey in the desert, will we transform our life through fasting, and constant prayer?


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