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Sunday, March 1, 1998

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1st Sunday of Lent

Deuteronomy 26:4-10
Romans 10:8-13
Psalm 91
Luke 4:1-13

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lenten fast and father-hunger

"If You are the Son of God..." —Luke 4:3, 9

Why do we fast forty days during Lent? We fast to imitate Jesus in His forty day fast in the desert. Why do we want to imitate Jesus? It's because we love Him and want to be like Him. What will happen to us as we imitate Jesus? Jesus will show us the Father (Jn 14:6, 9), and we will be affirmed as sons and daughters of God the Father.

Before the Spirit led Jesus into the desert to fast for forty days, Jesus heard the Father's voice from heaven say: "You are My beloved Son. On You My favor rests" (Lk 3:22). In the desert, Satan twice questioned if Jesus was truly the beloved Son of the Father (Lk 4:3, 9). Jesus overcame these temptations and insisted that He was the Father's Son.

The purpose of Lent is for the Spirit to cry out in our hearts: "Abba," Father (Gal 4:6; Rm 8:15). In Lent, we imitate Jesus because He is the Image of the Father (Col 1:15). We fast secretly. "In that way no one can see you are fasting but your Father Who is hidden; and your Father Who sees what is hidden will repay you" (Mt 6:18).

If we leave Lent with a deeper faith in our Father, we will be secure, fearless, bold, affirmed, and free. We will be living the risen life.

Prayer:  Father, may I trust You so deeply that I will be not be afraid of death or life.

Promise:  "If you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved." —Rm 10:9

Praise:  Praise You, risen Lord Jesus! You defeated Satan in the desert and on the cross. Praise You, victorious Lamb of God!

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, July 26, 1997

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 29, 1997