Humbly submit your will to God (Thy Will be done) and consecrate yourself to the Sacred Heart of Jesus through Mary.
At that time Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert
to be tempted by the devil.
He fasted for forty days and forty nights,
and afterwards he was hungry.
The tempter approached and said to him,
“If you are the Son of God,
command that these stones become loaves of bread.”
He said in reply,
“It is written:
One does not live on bread alone,
but on every word that comes forth
from the mouth of God.”
Then the devil took him to the holy city,
and made him stand on the parapet of the temple,
and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down.
For it is written:
He will command his angels concerning you
and with their hands they will support you,
lest you dash your foot against a stone.”
Jesus answered him,
“Again it is written,
You shall not put the Lord, your God, to the test.”
Then the devil took him up to a very high mountain,
and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in their magnificence,
and he said to him, “All these I shall give to you,
if you will prostrate yourself and worship me.”
At this, Jesus said to him,
“Get away, Satan!
It is written:
The Lord, your God, shall you worship
and him alone shall you serve.”
Then the devil left him and, behold,
angels came and ministered to him. MT 4:1-11
Today, Jesus teaches us how to fight the temptation of the Devil. The Catholic Church uses these 40 days of Jesus in the desert to be symbolic of the 40 days of Lent to prepare us through repentance, fasting, prayer, and almsgiving for the Passion, Death, and Resurrection of Christ. What we need to take away from today’s reading is how to resist the temptations of the Devil and our fallen human nature.
Jesus teaches us to fast. When we fast, we remind ourselves that we are in control of ourselves and we can control ourselves. At first, we feel empty and have thousands of voices in our head saying it’s too hard, give up. This is the desert. We must go through the desert to fight Satan. We must fight through the emptiness and Devil in our minds telling us it’s too hard. At this point, I don’t know about you, but I fall to my knees and ask God to help me (humility, the greatest way to defeat Satan). There have been many times in the last 4 days I have continued to say, “I love you Jesus” raising up my suffering and struggle. The sad part is I’m 1-3 on my Lenten fast in the first 4 days. I have been in this situation before, I know what I have to do to do better, persevere. Don’t get down on yourself if you have failed, don’t give up and quit on God or Lent.
This is the desert, where we learn to persevere, pray more, dust ourselves off and try harder. Holiness is difficult to achieve, we need God’s grace. I am going to try harder by going to daily Mass more this week. Prayer and fasting help us conquer sin and the Devil and develop virtues in our life. Jesus has taken care of the sin, He wants the intentions of our hearts. He wants us to come and spend time developing a relationship with Him. We find the heart of Christ in our sin and suffering, bring it to Him. If we don’t, we take away the power of the cross. Be present to God and others this Lent. This is where you will find your mission and purpose each day!
Today’s challenge: Fast and pray.