Lenten season is our pilgrimage in search of the inner spring. Even though it began in the desert but the season fills us with springs of hope. We fill the season with blessings through fasting, abstinence alms giving and a life of prayer. The seed of goodness that is still within us bloom by sprinkling the water of mercy and leads us to a life of hope. Through this Lenten season the Lord wishes to give us everything that we lost in the Garden of Eden. For this sake Jesus endured sufferings on earth. Lent is an opportunity to walk on the path that Jesus walked.
We see a young man walking into the desert from a fertile land. He went to meditate, fast and gain strength to bear the trials and temptations he would face in the future. The scriptures remind us that He was led by the Spirit to the desert. This goes to prove that desert experience is something that we can’t escape from in this life. But we are always trying to run away from these desert experiences which bear the shadow the sufferings on the Cross. We look always for happiness. But it is when we go through the desert experience and the trials that come along with it that we are led on the path of holiness. It is then we are strengthened and we gain clarity. It strengthens us to bear the cross and cleanses our lips. Lord Jesus will strengthen us in our struggles.
‘Turn the stones into bread’ the tempting words that were echoing like an advice in his ears. An often time the words of temptation comes to us in the guise of advises. Our subconscious will not find anything wrong with these words. The body is weak and it is possible to turn the stone into bread. But He knew the tempter behind the words and could foresee beyond the bodily needs and admonishes the tempter. Jesus says, “You don’t have to show me the way I have to follow and you have no rights to be in my thoughts.” And the tempter walks away, waiting for the next opportunity.
During the season of Lent, we too go through the desert experience. The bodily desires tempt our senses. When the flame of love burns in us our intentions become clear and that is the spirituality of fasting. Fasting is not just abstaining away from one meal but it is acknowledging God our provider and a prayer. That prayer is fulfilled when we spread the love. Thus fasting, prayer and abstinence become love.
When we go through the sufferings of the season of Lent, we understand the spirituality of it. Let this season of Lent be a celebration of love and spirituality.
Fr Abhilash Grigary