Today’s Gospel reading is one that we’re all familiar with. To me, it is the essence of Lent. Jesus spends 40 days in the desert, fasting and praying, and is tempted by the devil.
As my parish priest said, this journey was necessary for Him, just as it is for us. It is a necessary part of our salvation. We have to be willing to follow the Lord and open our hearts to the call. Trust and belief is what salvation is based on. This tied into the Homily on Ash Wednesday, when the associate pastor encouraged us to “Trust in Him with daily decisions and actions”.
Are we willing? I remember my mother saying “the heart is willing but the flesh is weak.” We are human, and we have free will to say “no”. May God strengthen our will to change that “no” into a “yes” so that we can achieve eternal salvation.
The RCIA candidates, as well as the catechumens, were presented to the congregation. It hit me last night how beautiful it is, that this is done the first Sunday of Lent, with this Gospel. How wonderful that we have this as part of our faith; that these adults, preparing to become Catholic, walk to the altar and write their names in a book to be counted among those who will receive Jesus in communion on Easter Vigil. For these next 40 days, they will continue to prepare themselves to receive the most holy of sacraments and will be welcomed into the Church. Please pray for all candidates and catechumens.