Lent: Prayer, Fasting & Almsgiving
Today we celebrate the 1st Sunday of Lent. The three pillars of Lent are prayer, fasting and almsgiving. These traditional Lenten disciplines are forms of self denial and they help us turn toward God as the source of our happiness. In prayer we admit our need for a power that is greater than ourselves – we recognize this power as God. By fasting we express our desire to find happiness in God rather than in the satisfaction of our physical needs. Through almsgiving we provide assistance to the needy and recognize God as the true source of our security.
In the gospel today we read the temptation of Jesus in the desert. This passage reminds us that God (Jesus Christ) understands our temptation and will help us. But, do I want God’s help? Do I want to change my ways? Do I want to be holy? If these are true you can do it – but only with God’s help. When Jesus was tempted and weak he found his strength in God the Father. When we are weak and feel tempted to do wrong we must turn toward God who loves us and will help us. The practices of prayer, fasting and almsgiving help us because they move us away from self-centeredness and open us to God’s presence. This is my sincere prayer for each of you during this Lenten season – that you will be open to God’s power and presence. Peace.