First Sunday of Lent Reflection
On this first Sunday of Lent we find Jesus in the wilderness being tempted by the powers of darkness. It is in the desert that Jesus begins his mission to bring the Good News of God’s compassionate love. The Son of Man enters into the loneliness, the longing and the temptations of our human experience – our poverty, our unemployment, our domestic violence – all our pain and suffering. Jesus lives the true meaning of compassion and of action. He connects his human experiences and prayer with the cries of our hurting world.
The wilderness is a place of covenant, a place of testing and a place of presence. All of us have met people who live the wilderness experience. We, ourselves, probably can identify with the demands of the inner desert. As I reflect I am reminded of a young woman whose beauty, although faded, was still evident. Her story was filled with many years of multiple addictions and abuse by a family member. When I first met her, she was a shell of a person. Although not Catholic, this young woman sought assistance in and through the Church.
Gradually she said YES to Grace and NO to all that had previously bound her. We would do well to follow the Lord’s example in times of temptation. What Jesus did was for this young woman, for you, for me and for people for all time.
Lent is a graced opportunity to take a long, loving look at Jesus and an honest, humble look at our own hearts, values, motives, commitments. How do we respond to the world around us? We are called to make space for Jesus and his healing, transformative grace. To live with Jesus is to move out of fear and powerlessness into God’s freedom.
This Lent let us set aside time and space to listen attentively to Jesus and to the cries of our suffering brothers and sisters.
Sr. Teresa Morrison, CPS