Welcome to our Lenten journey together. This week’s readings are a gold mine of wisdom and mystery and love. In Hebrew there is a word pronounced Ruach. It literally means “Holy breath”. In our first reading, God forms man out of the dirt of the Earth and breathes into him, giving him life. This is very powerful and reminds us of the Holy Spirit given to us at our Baptism. We soon learn in Genesis that Adam and Eve succumb to the lies of the devil and his temptations and thus sin enters the world and becomes a stain on all of humanity. St. Paul reminds us that through one man sin entered the world and through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ we can once again be made whole and righteous. Did you know that is why we baptize infants? We want them to partake of this grace right from the start and be freed from the stain of original sin. To be born spiritually. They will have to choose Jesus for themselves when they get older, but this is where the Church entrusts parents and Godparents to bring them up in a way so that they will choose Jesus for themselves. Pretty cool!
Finally, we have the Gospel of St. Matthew describing our Lord’s temptations in the desert. We could spend hours on this passage alone, but consider one point. Notice how the devil begins each temptation with a question. “If you are the Son of God…do this”. Sometimes this is how we too treat God. “If you are really there God, do this for me… Make the lamp blink or perform some miracle, then I’ll know you are real, and I’ll believe”. In the end, we can wind up treating God no better than Satan did. It all comes down to trusting God and avoiding temptations and sins that will only lead us to ruin. We must breathe deep. Let God’s life giving breath, the Holy Spirit fill us a new each day. Armed with our Baptismal strength and the Holy Spirit, we will be able to resist the devil and grow strong in our Faith. So as we enter this journey together, ask God to empower you and rekindle His Spirit within you. Renew your baptismal promises, and ask yourself, how will this Lent be different from all the others? Something to think about, and may God richly bless you always.