“O LORD, THROUGH THESE FORTY DAYSYOU PRAYED AND KEPT THE FAST;INSPIRE REPENTANCE FOR OUR SINS,AND FREE US FROM OUR PAST…” (A Lent Sourcebook:  The Forty Days, Book One, p. 69) The desert was always a place of mystery and a place to encounter God. It was hot, dry and arid. There was nothing to distract anyone because there was nothing there except the environment. It was into this that Jesus was thrust to be tempted by Satan, and Jesus overcame Satan’s temptation. There are lots of distractions in our lives that can prevent us from experiencing and encountering God. These include money, prestige, and social media, among others. The church gives us Lent to examine our lives to see what prevents us from experiencing Christ. Lent is a time to look inward to see what changes, if necessary, we need to make to improve our relationship with God and one another. This does not mean we are bad people, just people who may have to make an adjustment or two in life. Lent is the desert time for us. It gives us the opportunity to lookinward so that we are prepared physically and spiritually to celebrate the Great Feast and Season of Easter with heart, mind and spirit renewed. Lent is also a time to consider what we can do to help others because it is a season of fast, sacrifice and almsgiving.  All of this is meant to help change our words, attitudes and actions. For some, though, Lent means doing the same thing every year with no apparent change in life. Lent is not a season of doom and gloom, but one of hope generated by the presence of Jesus in our lives. He calls us to celebrate the new life he has gained for us in who we are as God’s people and in everything we say and do. This makes Lent a more positive experience for us. HAPPY LENT!! FR. JOE

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