First Sunday of Lent
by Fr. Ivan Olmo

“Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert for forty days, to be tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days.” The scripture readings during the great and holy season of Lent point us to the profound reality of the suffering love of God who desires nothing more than to transform the    unfortunate consequence of sin and disobedience into the gracious and eternal reward of happiness and eternal peace. God’s love and mercy simply seek to restore and reunite what was lost through death and division back to the Father. God wants us to return and come home to him. The Passion of Christ shows us just how much God loves and desires us. Jesus’ Passion reflects the greatest expression of God’s infinite love and divine mercy. Up to this point, the world had never really known or seen how much God desires to be with us. On the Cross, God’s unfathomable divine love and patient suffering shine forth in Jesus. On the Cross, Jesus freely restores the precious gift of life lost through selfish deception. Now eternal life is given and made possible through the gratuitous gift of Christ on the Cross. For our sake, Jesus remained vulnerable to the Father and vulnerable to all of humanity throughout his whole life. From the moment he understood the Father’s plan to the moment he fulfilled it on the Cross, Jesus remained faithful to the Father’s will. Even through his Death and Resurrection and in every Eucharistic Celebration, Jesus remains faithful to the Father’s will. In his birth and throughout his ministry, even when he was tempted, persecuted and mocked, Jesus remained obedient to the Father. In obedience, trust and mercy, Jesus showed us his love. He loved us in the beginning, throughout his life, in his death and in Heaven. Jesus still loves us today and for evermore. He remained totally abandoned, entrusted and committed to the Father, to his divine plan and holy will. Without worries, without reservation, without concern, without failing, Jesus trustingly and lovingly placed everything in the Father’s hands, including his self, his life, his spirit, his soul. Imagine being totally entrusted to the Father and his divine will. Imagine being protected, loved, cared for, rested without worries and at peace for all eternity. Jesus comes to bring us the peace of God’s kingdom. Will you join his journey by denying yourself, taking up your cross and following him? Will you pray in confidence, “into your hands Lord, I commend my life, my spirit, my gift, my all? “

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