On the First Sunday of Lent, the Gospel is always that of Jesus going into the desert for 40 days to fast and to pray and to be tempted by the Evil One. Our Lenten season of 40 days is modeled on these 40 days of Jesus. Whether it is 40 days or 40 years, the number 40 is significant in the Bible. It signifies a sacred time, a sacred journey. This is how we want to understand our own Lenten season.
We are on a journey. Where are we going? We are going to the empty tomb, which we will celebrate at Easter. Lent is a time of spiritual preparation for our commemoration of the Resurrection of our Lord. We are getting ready for that event.
At all of the Easter Masses throughout the world, Catholics will stand and renew our Baptismal Promises. We will reject Satan (as does Jesus when tempted in the desert), and we will profess our faith in God and in Christ and in the Spirit by recitation of the Creed. In this, we recommit our lives to Christ, promising to follow him as his disciples.
In order that this renewal of our relationship with Christ takes place on as deep and fundamental level as possible, we take these 40 days to pray, to fast, and to carry out acts of charity. The more we utilize these Lenten disciplines, the better prepared we will be to make this declaration of faith.
As we move into the desert with Jesus, let us ask him to help us grow in our love for God and for one another.
— Fr. Mike Comer