We have just started the special time of Lent. It is a time, when the Church encourages us to seek greater maturity in our spiritual life and in prayer. It is a time to think more of others and also a time for fasting. These are all ways to grow in self-discipline. It is a time which helps us to re-examine our lives. It also gives us the opportunity to reflect on our priorities in life and to see which way we are going.
Today’s readings have two major themes: baptism and temptation.
Baptism is a covenant – a promise. Each sacrament is a covenant; a covenant between God and us. God always keeps his side of the covenant; God never goes back on his promises. Amongst others, in Baptism, God makes us his children and forgives our sins. We, on the other hand, need to live as true sons and daughters of God. You may reason that, you were too young, no one asked you, if you wanted to be baptised. It is in fact true. Most probably, we too have taken such a decision for our own children. We are called to live as God’s children, every day, everywhere and always. Although we were baptised when still babies, every Sunday, during mass, we proclaim our faith. This is especially true, during each Easter Vigil and Easter Sunday. The Church asks us if we would like to renew the baptismal promises made by our parents and godparents, at baptism. We are adults, the choice is now ours, and no one else’s. When we renew the baptismal vows, we proclaim that:
We make these promises after Lent; the time, when together with the rest of the Christian community, we commit ourselves to an examination of conscience, so that with the help offered from the Church, we can reconsider our lifestyles and to make the necessary changes, so that we are in line with the will of God, who loves us and who wants all that is good for us.
Will we be tempted? This is a certainty. Even Jesus was tempted. Jesus overcame these temptations fortified by the Word of God, prayer and the assistance of the angels. This same help, is there, for us too.