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Based on the Gospel of Luke 4:1-13
“No!” “No!” “No!” Jesus said it three times.

Following his baptism by John the Baptist, the Holy Spirit leads Jesus into the desert for 40 days to pray to God the Father and to fast (to eat little or nothing) before he begins his public teaching.

While Jesus is in the desert, the devil tries to tempt him three different ways. He knows Jesus is hungry so he tells Jesus to turn the stone into bread. Then, in an instant, he shows Jesus all the kingdoms of the world and tells Jesus he will give him all the power over these kingdoms if Jesus will worship him. Then he takes Jesus to the top of the temple in Jerusalem and tells him to jump down because God will save him. Each time, Jesus says, “No!” and scolds the devil with quotes from Scripture.

The devil tried tempting Jesus to doubt God the Father’s love, to abandon his mission to proclaim the Kingdom of Heaven, and to disobey God. Trusting in God the Father’s love and providence, Jesus isn’t fooled by the devil and each time tells him “No!” The devil left.

While on earth, Jesus would often go away by himself to pray to his Father.

Lent has begun – 40 days the church sets aside from Ash Wednesday to Easter Sunday as preparation for the glorious feast of Easter. Lent is a time for more prayer, growth in learning about Jesus, sacrifice, and unselfishly sharing Jesus’ love with others.

Prayer: Pray the rosary. Pray the Stations of the Cross. Say thank you to God for his blessings.

Learning about Jesus: Spend time each day reading the Bible to learn about God’s love for us, Jesus’ teaching, his miracles, his apostles, and the early church.

Sacrifice and sharing: Avoid television for one day each week, or even for a whole week, and spend quality family time together. Abstain from using all your electronic gadgets often during Lent. Donate some of your allowance to help stock your parish food pantry for the poor. Donate gently-used clothing to your parish clothing drive.

Jesus wants us to spend Lent in ways that will help us become better persons and grow closer to God.

Make your own symbolic desert by putting some sand and small rocks in a bowl and placing it in your prayer space at home. During Lent spend more quiet time with Jesus in your “desert” prayer space.