The Baptism and Temptation of Christ by Veronese
Lent, the season of 'bright sadness' as the Eastern tradition calls it, has begun. The Liturgy of the Church on the First Sunday of Lent focuses on the temptation of Christ in the desert in both the Ordinary and Extraordinary Forms of the Latin Rite. The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains this mystery of Christ's life:
"The evangelists indicate the salvific meaning of this mysterious event: Jesus is the new Adam who remained faithful just where the first Adam had given in to temptation. Jesus fulfills Israel's vocation perfectly: in contrast to those who had once provoked God during forty years in the desert, Christ reveals himself as God's Servant, totally obedient to the divine will. In this, Jesus is the devil's conqueror: he 'binds the strong man' to take back his plunder. Jesus' victory over the tempter in the desert anticipates victory at the Passion, the supreme act of obedience of his filial love for the Father." (CCC 539)
Today is the first of the Lenten Ember days. These seasonal days of penance and abstinence help us to remember to thank God for the graces we have received and to implore further graces for the new season. Let us pray particularly that this Lent we may receive the grace to perfectly fulfill the Father's will.