Lent, a Time to Remember Who We Are

During Lent the Church “goes on retreat.” many find it a good time for self –reflection
and spiritual exercises that lead to metanoia, a change of heart. One traditional path to
metanoia is through acts of penitence with prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. Scripture
emphasizes the mercy of God, the grace of God that changes hearts. Acts of penitence
do not persuade God to be merciful; God’s mercy leads us to be penitent.
Paul compares the act of “one man” (Adam) with that of another man, Jesus. The
transgression of Adam has been overcome by the “gracious gift” of Jesus Christ. The
inheritance of death has been conquered by the grace of redemption.
In Scripture, the desert is a place of testing and isolation; there Jesus encounters the
devil. Like all temptation, this one appeals to Jesus’s self-identity. Matthew places this
event right after Jesus’ baptism, when He was called “beloved” by the Heavenly voice
and from there began His ministry. Lent becomes for us a time to remember who we
are: baptised in the Lord for the work of the Lord.

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