The Lenten season is one of the most significant periods in the Catholic church. We practically walk Jesus through His forty days fasting after which He gained the power to trample on the devil. Satan had no other option but to flee from Him.
Jesus was not in a temple, chapel, or with His disciples. He was all alone in the quietness of the desert. God tested Jesus by exposing Him to the temptations of Satan, but He never gave in.
And why did Jesus resist the temptations so boldly?
He knew too well that He had too much to lose if he gave in!
The story of Lot’s wife will give you a true picture of how destructive temptations can be.
Looking at it critically, Jesus received the baton of fasting for forty days from Moses. That symbolized continuity of the Ten Commandments that Moses received after his forty days fasting. Jesus, on the other hand, qualified to take the position of the savior of the world after His 40-day fasting.
Christ similarly passes on the baton to us. The Lenten season is a time that we entice God to reveal Himself more and take us to the next place He has destined for us. It's a great opportunity to do what it takes to increase our faith in God. He did it for Moses and Jesus. He can also do it for us.
What have we lined up for our lent period?
Are we ready to receive that gift God has prepared for us this Lenten Season, although we do not know what it is?
The Lenten Season is a good time to give ourselves as a living sacrifice, be charitable, or simply pray for others if we have no material goods to offer.
We can choose the type of commitment that suits us best from these three options.
Pray and Fast with Suffering
At one point in the three-year journey of Jesus’ teachings, He reiterated that some demons can only leave through prayer and fasting. The Lenten Season is a good time to reevaluate ourselves and make amendments where there is a need.
Sometimes we may not know what exactly is cooking inside us yet we experience one challenge after the other. Problems are somehow permanent. Such a case requires us to commit ourselves through suffering to attain freedom.
It involves reorganizing our meals to accommodate the fasting period we have chosen per day. We all love food and hunger pangs may become worse than ever before, but we have to realize it’s a temptation to break our fast so that we lose the target.
Refrain from a Bad Habit
Addiction kills our relationship with God. It is not just about addiction to alcohol, drugs, or illicit sex. Some addictions easily go unnoticed, and we tend to focus more on other people's problems that appear bigger than ours.
The love of gossip and lazing around are examples of addictions that seem mild but are equally dangerous. They pack us in bondage like a parked car in a parking lot. If we don't ignite the car, it will never move.
And what happens if the car stays there for a long time?
It begins to depreciate at an alarming rate.
Joe Paprocki has listed various bad habits. We can look up his list to find out if any of them resonates with us.
Pope Francis has also listed some habits we can refrain from this Lenten Season.
Now, we need to pinpoint a habit we find so difficult to detach ourselves from and dedicate it to Jesus this Lenten season. Our goal should be to freely walk out of it by the end of the forty days and never go back there.
Thank God this Lenten Season
Some years are smooth running, while others come with unexpected challenges. Prayer and fasting have great rewards; those who practice this can attest to it.
It’s not unfortunate though if we cannot fast this Lenten Season because God always has something for everybody and He will still give us what He plans to if we stick to our schedule. He knows we could be sick, on medication, or recovering from a delicate health condition that may take us some time to fully recover.
I'm a witness.
The beauty about God is, that he's very understanding.
For as long as God can see the seriousness in us, we will still feel the Passover effects.
Doing as these verses suggest is a good alternative for delicate cases.
Psalms 50:14; Let the giving of thanks be your sacrifice to God, and give the Almighty all that you promised.
Psalms 50:23; Giving thanks is the sacrifice that honors me, and I will surely save all who obey me.
God does not ask for what we cannot give, He doesn’t want to hurt us.
The option that God feels is the best for us this Lenten Season is the one that holds the keys that will unlock God’s plan for us. We need not favor ourselves with the simplest option when our background check requires the heavier option.
Let's embrace the challenge and move those mountains that could be seated on our freedom.