Reflection for the First Sunday of Lent 2022

We are beginning the liturgical season of Lent, a privileged moment to turn our gaze to Jesus.

So, let’s welcome the grace by taking a moment of silence in our hearts and look at ourselves with the eyes of God, asking ourselves: How is the path of my life going?

Do I always look at the route that God is pointing out to me?

Like a good navigator, do I keep my hope on the horizon and not lose sight of the route?

As a fisherman, do I entrust my nets to the Lord who alone can make my catch bear fruit?

Amid the loneliness that I sometimes feel, do I look at the stars that help me to see the direction of my boat?

And when there are storms in my life, do I ask for help from the Lord who always helps me, who calms the storm that sometimes rages within me?

We are reminded in today’s Psalm, that in any trials that comes in our lives, we should look to “my refuge and fortress, my God in whom I trust” (Psalm 91:2).

And the Lord, with that look full of peace and mercy towards each one of us, invites us not to get used to this time that is repeated every year, but to take advantage of it to meet more with our heart. To let ourselves be stripped of some things that are barriers to the love of God. Let’s allow the love of God to fill the voids that we discover within us. Do not be afraid of entering in our hearts, because our Heavenly Father is a God for all, with “no distinction… enriching all who call upon him” (Romans 10:12).

Echoing the words of Pope Francis, who in his homily on Ash Wednesday 2019, said to us that Lent is “the time to rediscover the path of life, because on the path of life what really matters is not to lose sight of the goal.”

As the Church journeying towards Easter, let us renew ourselves in these three essential means of living this time: prayer, fasting and charity (almsgiving). These three stages, as the Pope says, “bring us back to the only three realities that do not pass away. Prayer unites us anew with God; charity with our neighbour; fasting with ourselves. God, our brothers and sisters, and my life: these are the realities that do not end in nothingness. To look upwards with prayer… to go towards our brothers with charity… finally to look within ourselves with the fasting that frees us from attachment to things…”.

Let us ask the Lord for the Grace to start this Lenten season, with our eyes fixed on Him and on the path, He lays out for us amid temptations. As the Gospel of today reminds us that Jesus remains steadfast, never once giving into temptation, and this gives us an example of how we can trust in the Lord, our God.

Lord Jesus, thank you for this Lenten journey that we begin at your hand. We ask you to help us to always look to you and not to let go of you. May our prayer be a profound encounter with You, who always seeks us, who bends down to us, who loves us so much. Teach us to be silent, to listen to you, to contemplate you, to be attentive to your Word and to make our desires in tune with yours and thus fulfil your will. May our Holy Mother Mary, Star of the Sea, light of every ocean, continue to guide us to reach the haven of peace prepared by You, Jesus, who calmed the sea. AMEN.    

Reflection by Sr. Kathleen D. Redido, Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development