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Since 1732, the Redemptorists — a congregation of missionary priests and brothers — have followed in Jesus’ footsteps, preaching the Word and serving the poor and most abandoned.
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First Sunday of Lent: With prayer, we’re never alone

Genesis 2:7-9; 3:1-7; Romans 5:12-19 or 5:12, 17-19; Matthew 4:1-11

In this Sunday’s Gospel, we see Satan’s attempt to distract Jesus from his purpose and the reason the Son of God became human and came to earth. The Satan figure in this passage waited for the opportune time to attack Jesus. He thought he had chosen the right time because it was the time when Jesus seemed to be most vulnerable.

However, what Satan failed to realize was that the Father had just given Jesus the strength he would need to keep focused on the task ahead. Jesus had just been baptized and then went out into the desert to pray and be with the Father for 40 days and nights. Jesus did not go out alone. The Holy Spirit who led him in those days of prayer and fasting was present. The Satan figure failed because Jesus was not acting in isolation, but with the Father and the Spirit.

We, too, are called to follow the example of Jesus in our days of weakness and vulnerability. We need to keep focused on our mission here on earth, and know we can only accomplish that mission if we remain in unity with God, Jesus, and the Spirit. It is with their help that our days of mourning and darkness will turn into joy and gladness.

Lent is finally here again and Jesus has given us the example of what it means to pray and fast. Our praying and fasting should be activities that humble us, and help us to know and find the path that is marked out for us by God.

A friend once told me, “I do not need to pray and fast because everything in my life seems great.” Not even a week later, he called me and wanted to know how to pray, because things in his life were not going well.

Let us not wait to turn to God only when we’re in trouble, but let us, like Jesus, be in union with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit at all times in order to remain focused and faithful to our Christian responsibilities.

— Alistair Elias, C.Ss.R.

Alistair is a second-year theology student at Boston College. A native of the Caribbean nation of Granada, he professed vows as a Redemptorist in 2008.



More Lenten Reflections
Ash Wednesday: Tension — the stuff of life! (Deacon Jim McCabe)