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St. Mary Magdalen's
Catholic Church
Willesden Green
London NW10
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Tuesday, February 28, 2012
First Sunday of Lent – 26th February 2012
Four Days Down and Counting...

Last week, to get myself in a happy mood for Lent I watched the episode of Father Ted where the three inhabitants of the parochial house on Craggy Island give up alcohol, cigarettes and roller-blading. Since I can’t do the latter I leave the subject of my abstinence to your imagination, although it must be said that I have some empathy with Fr Jack…

Actually, I don’t think anyone really finds abstinence easy despite the best spiritual intentions we might apply to our fasting. However, I take great comfort in the fact that we are doing it together and not as some sort of individual health craze. More importantly, there is the consolation that Christ Himself was tempted as we hear in today’s Gospel.

Mark doesn’t mention the three temptations but Matthew and Luke do. In the first – the challenge to turn stones into bread – Christ points out that those who follow Him cannot become dependent on the things of the world. And don’t we know it from our experience of the past few days? When we are so dependent on material things we give in to temptation and sin!

The second deals with the adoration of the devil rather than God. In Christ’s response that God is ultimately our destiny, we can take comfort when everything around us seems to indicate failure, shadows, darkness, temptation and evil.
Finally, the request for a revelation of God’s love for Jesus is rebuked by pointing out that no-one needs to prove God loves them. As a song that I once heard in school says, “Children of God…loved by God…and no matter what we do God loves me and God loves you.”

At the very start of His campaign to save the world Christ openly confronted the enemy with the power of Scripture during a time of temptation. We must never forget His example so that we won’t be seduced by the devil’s deception. As Pope Benedict XVI says, “The season of Lent must not be faced with an old spirit, as if it were a heavy and tedious obligation, but with the new spirit of the one who has found in Jesus and his paschal mystery the meaning of life and now feels that everything must make reference to Him.” So let us take comfort from Christ in today’s Gospel because it is the same Spirit who drives us into the desert of Lent and the same angels who can sustain us in our prayer, fasting and
almsgiving.

Fr Kevin

posted by Sinead Reekie at 10:11 am