The forty days of Lent is the annual retreat of the people of God in imitation of Jesus’ forty days in the wilderness.
Forty is a significant number in the scriptures.
1. Moses went to the mountain to seek the face of God for forty days in prayer and fasting.
2. The people of Israel were in the wilderness for forty years in preparation for their entry into the promised land.
3. Elijah fasted for forty days as he journeyed in the wilderness to the mountain of God.
We are called to journey with the Lord in a special season of
As we prepare to celebrate the feast of Easter, the Christian Passover. Why did Jesus single out prayer, fasting, and almsgiving for his disciples?
The Jews considered these three as the cardinal works of the religious life. These were seen as the key signs of a pious person, the three great pillars on which the good life was based. Jesus pointed to the heart of the matter.
Why do you pray, fast, and give alms?
To draw attention to yourself so that others may notice and think highly of you? Or to give glory to God? The Lord warns his disciples of self-seeking glory – the preoccupation with looking good and seeking praise from others. True piety is something more than feeling good or looking holy. True piety is loving devotion to God. It is an attitude of awe, reverence, worship and obedience.
May the Lord give us supernatural strength to seek to prepare ourselves for spiritual combat and testing through assistance of the Holy Spirit who enables us to increase our devotion to God as we pick up aspects of our life that need attention to be redressed.
Welcome to the spiritual journey with your lord in the desert.
–Fr Boniface Ogbonna
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