lent in the spirit
"Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, then returned from the Jordan and was conducted by the Spirit into the desert for forty days." —Luke 4:1-2
Lent is imitating Jesus' forty days in the desert. Jesus began His "Lent" filled with and led by the Holy Spirit. He also came out of the Lenten desert "in the power of the Spirit" (Lk 4:14). The Holy Spirit directed Jesus every step of the way through the "first Lent."
Are we letting the Spirit direct us this Lent? Are we fasting, praying, giving alms, and evangelizing in the Spirit? The Spirit will call us to do things this Lent we'd never thought of before. If these things seem impossible, the Spirit will help us in our weakness (Rm 8:26). By the Spirit, we will be able to fast in some way for each of the forty days of Lent. By praying in the Spirit, we will pray this Lent on a new level, with greater perseverance and depth. With the faith and love of the Spirit, we will give alms so much that we will have to make sacrifices and simplify our lives. Finally, this Lent, we will not only resist temptations but also make a frontal attack on the gates of hell (Mt 16:18-19), as we win the world for Christ through Spirit-filled evangelization.
A Spirit-led Lent is different from the Lents to which many of us have been accustomed. A Spirit-filled Lent is like Jesus' Lent. Let us follow in His footsteps.
Prayer: Jesus, may this Lent be like the first one.
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 Jesus, eternal, risen, victorious High Priest, tempted and sinless! (Heb 4:15)
Reference: (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)
(For related teaching, order our leaflet, Lent and the Renewal of Our Baptismal Promises.)
Rescript: †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, September 13, 2012
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