20160214 - First Sunday of Lent

posted Feb 10, 2016, 12:05 AM by Domain Admin   [ updated Sep 9, 2016, 9:37 PM ]

Gospel of Luke 4:1-13

Teddy's Reflection

This Sunday marks the first Sunday of Lent this year. The gospel is about the 40 days Jesus spent in the desert, and how he rejected the three temptations of the devil. When I hear this reading, I ask myself, “How does this relate to modern day life?” I think this Gospel is Jesus setting the example of how we should live our lives, especially during the season of Lent.

During Lent, it is very popular for people to “give up” things or “do something extra”. Lent is all about fasting, praying, and almsgiving, and “giving something up” or “doing something extra” can help us to focus on these themes of Lent. However, an important question to ask is, “How will ‘giving this up’ or ‘doing this extra thing’ improve my relationship with God?” People can easily give up a food they eat a lot of, or vow to exercise every day during lent, but how does our faith fit into that? I used to eat chocolate all the time. I mean, I could finish an entire bag of almond kisses in one sitting. One year for Lent, I gave up chocolate. It was difficult, but I honestly cannot tell you how that strengthened my faith or my relationship with God. It was something I chose to do just because my friends were giving up things, too. After learning more about the meaning of Lent, one year I privately messaged someone I was grateful for each day of Lent. Our faith teaches us to always be thankful, and to express that gratitude. That Lent, I definitely felt that what I was doing made a difference in my faith life. The focus of these things we do during Lent should always be on God.

Near the end of Jesus’ 40 days in the desert, the devil tempted Jesus with things that would damage his relationship with God. Each time Jesus denied the devil, he chose God. In our lives today, we are surrounded by temptation. Temptation can present itself in a variety of ways: alcohol and drugs, online shopping for things we don’t need, someone homeless and hungry, a parent or child we argue with, a friend with issues that we don’t want to deal with. Lent is the perfect time to take temptations in our lives and create opportunities for us to become closer to God. Consider fasting from things like gossip, negative vibes, and spending money on things you don’t need. Consider doing extra things like giving food to someone who is hungry, reconnecting with a friend you haven’t spoken to in a while, or spending quality time with family members. It can be easy to give in to temptation, but let’s make God the center of our decisions this Lenten season, and follow Jesus’ example.