CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Saturday, 8 December 2018

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A message from the Catholic Church Lenten Campaign – First Week

The Saviour sacrifices his life for humankind

Lent is an excellent opportunity for us to give time to reflection on the passion and death of Our Lord, Jesus Christ. In the gospel reading for the first Sunday of Lent, Luke recounts that Jesus, after his baptism in the River Jordan, was led by the Holy Spirit into the wilderness to face temptation by the devil.

One of the primary missions of the saviour is to represent all humankind by showing total reliance on and obedience to God in the face of temptation. The consequence of the failure of Adam and Eve in facing in their trial was death, a consequence which passed to all generations (Genesis 3:3).

To redeem the disloyalty of humanity, one among the human race had to stand faithful before God to restore the original grace that enables us to share in the life of God.

In the redemptive plan of God, the saviour had to be human and demonstrate complete submission to God’s will.

The failure in the Garden of Eden symbolises human frailty, but out of his immense compassion, God was unwilling to see the eternal corruption of humanity, so he sent his only son to take on human form, as the new Adam who fulfills the obligation of faith through obedience unto death.

In the gospel reading, the devil’s temptation is designed to divert Jesus away from the will of God and coax him to use an alternative way of achieving his mission in preference to the thorny path of death and sacrifice.

The shortcuts the devil offers seem more appealing, as they use the materialistic (turning stones into bread), here and now power and glory (all the kingdoms of the world) and miracles (fall from the pinnacle of the temple) to attract people. But Jesus remains faithful and rejects them all.

However, the devil did not give up easily. He had one last shot, using the crowd at the crucifixion to tempt Jesus to come down from the cross, so that they could see and believe (Mark 15:32).

But again Jesus resisted and his dedication and determination brings redemption to those who accept him as their saviour. Through Jesus’ obedience and sacrifice, God the Father grants his merciful salvation to humankind, which cannot lay a deserving claim on God’s grace.

Dear brothers and sisters in the Lord: Christ has accomplished the salvific plan of God. He has offered himself once and for all to release us from the curse of death and brought us eternal life.

Let us take advantage of the Lenten period during this Jubilee of Mercy to renew our commitment to conversion, as we traverse the journey of prayer, repentance, fasting and works of charity.

May we experience the bountiful mercy of God by calling on the name of the Lord (Romans 10:13) and reflect his merciful face to the world so that all people can share the joy of salvation.

 

Lenten Campaign Organising Committee, 2016