1st Sunday Lent C
A Pilgrim's Daily Prayer
Called through the Word to the everlasting journey in the Spirit
from nothingness to union with the One who is the Beginning and the End
Ivan Kramskoy: Christ in the Desert, The Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow, 1872
First Sunday of Lent C: Forty Days in the Desert with Jesus
Readings for Mass
Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil (NRSV, Lk 4:1-2) .
Let us pray,
Father, after their deliverance from slavery in Egypt, the Israelites struggled with their rebellious, sinful selves in the desert for forty-years. John the Baptist went down in the Judean desert where he fasted and prayed that he might come to an understanding of what it was that you, Father, wanted him to do. The gospels tell us that likewise Jesus, after his baptism by John, went out into the wilderness to fast and pray in preparation for his messianic mission.
Father, we know that the desert is an ominous place where life struggles with death. Each year, in preparation for the celebration of the paschal mystery of Christ’s death and resurrection, we in the Church set aside forty days for prayer and fasting as if we too were going out into the desert to struggle with our sinful selves and uncover the mission which is given to us.
We know well, Father, that every moment is saving and that we encounter you in every moment of our lives in all of our sisters and brothers and in the Word ever present within us but we pray that this sacred season of Lent may be an especially holy time for us, that we may respond ever more fully to the precious gift of your life that is always available to us. May we so grow in your life during this Lent that our celebration of the coming great feast of Easter may be truly for us, with Jesus, a victory over sin and death.
Through Christ our Lord. Amen.