Sunday, February 21, 2010

40 days

This Sunday marks the first day of lent.

At the traffic light on my way to church, I had seen a young boy of about 12 caressing the face of a 1 year old in his hand. Both were sitting on the very hot pavement, baking under the scorching sun.

These two young mendicants had no right to be where they are. It's a Sunday. They should be at home playing or in the mall strolling with their parents or in the park running free - just doing what children do - being carefree.

But they were begging for a morsel of bread.

Today's gospel is the temptation of Jesus Christ in the desert. After fasting for 40 days and nights, he was tempted by the devil three times - to turn stone to bread, to have the kingdom of the world as long as Jesus worshiped him, and the dare to throw himself over the parapet of a temple and prove that if Jesus was truly God's son, the angels would save Him.

That was the desert story of Jesus. But we too have our desert stories to tell. To the majority of us, not everything in our lives is provided on a silver platter. Even the best of families or relationships go through trials. Betrayals. Lost of loved ones. Pain. Agony. Defeat.

And yes, temptations. A choice between materialism and worldly wants. Our search for paradise on earth or in the life after and the meaning of life.

Just like the young boy and the toddler on the hot Sunday afternoon, they too have their forty days in the desert.

"When we trust God, we understand that our lives have our own forty days in the wilderness. There is strength that we can draw, a strength that displays sense of hope and an experience of inner faith in God's son, whose desert experience touches our own."

It is our road to Calvary.

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