Monday, March 14, 2011

Confirmation I and II: March 13, 2011: First Sunday of Lent – Read the Gospel: Mt 4:1-11

Journal: How did you live out last week’s Gospel message? What was tough? What was rewarding?

I admire the way Muslims fast.
During their holy month of Ramadan, in the fall, Muslims abstain each day from all food and drink from sunrise to sunset. I have a Muslim friend who once told me his hunger helps him focus on what he really craves—union with God.
This week’s Gospel talks about Jesus’ forty-day fast. When the devil tempts him with food, Jesus replies that “one does not live on bread alone, but on every work that comes forth from the mouth of God.” Like my friend’s’ fast, Jesus fast focused him on his deepest hunger—union with God.
What do you crave? Our culture creates a lot of hungers. Sometimes it might seem like we can’t live without that special TV show or those shoes or that soft drink. Our consumer culture can create cravings that cause some people to choose selfishness over even friends or family. That’s why fasting can be a really good thing for people. When we give up something we crave—anything from a TV show to a favorite food—we realize that we can live without it.
Why not try a strict fast this Lent? Give up something you’ll really miss, like a meal each week, all drinks but water, or a favorite TV show. When the hunger comes, think instead about God and God’s promises. Then ask yourself, “What do I really crave?”

Journal: What can you give up for Lent that will cause you to remember your need for God? What will you do to build your hunger for God? in prayer? in service? In love for God and neighbor? Be specific.

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