- Lent is the most important time of the year for our growth in holiness.
- It is a blessed liturgical season in which to turn toward Jesus and away from all the seductions of our society which so often drag our souls and life down.
This is the beginning of Pope Francis’s message for Lent 2017:
“Lent is a new beginning, a path leading to the certain goal of Easter, Christ’s victory over death. This season urgently calls us to conversion. Christians are asked to return to God “with all their hearts” (Joel 2:12), to refuse to settle for mediocrity and to grow in friendship with the Lord. Jesus is the faithful friend who never abandons us. Even when we sin, he patiently awaits our return; by that patient expectation, he shows us his readiness to forgive (cf. Homily, 8 Jan 2016).”
In today’s Readings, in Genesis chapter 3, we read about the first temptation of Adam and Eve by Satan. Pride lost them and they disobeyed God with terrible consequences for the entire human race as underlined by St Paul:
“Sin entered the world through one man, and through sin death, and thus death has spread through the whole human race because everyone has sinned. Sin existed in the world long before the Law was given. There was no law and so no one could be accused of the sin of ‘law-breaking’, yet death reigned over all from Adam to Moses(…)” Rom 5,12
If we wonder why Jesus, God made flesh, was tempted by Satan after 40 days of voluntary solitude and fasting, we can read a clear answer from the Catechism:
“Scripture witnesses to the disastrous influence of the one Jesus called “a murderer from the beginning”, who would even try to divert Jesus from the mission received from his Father.273 “The reason the Son of Godappeared was to destroy the works of the devil.”274 In its consequences the gravest of these works was the deceitful seduction that led man to disobey God. (CCC # 394)
“The power of Satan is, nonetheless, not infinite. He is only a creature, powerful from the fact that he is pure spirit, but still a creature. He cannot prevent the building up of God’s reign…” (CCC#395)
Thus, if Jesus was tempted in the three ways Satan tempts us, sins of the flesh, sins of vanity and pride, it is to show us how to be victorious over those temptations by prayer, charity and fasting.