Vatican City (AsiaNews) - " The temptation has always been present in human
history to remove God, to order our lives and the world on our own, relying solely
on our own abilities." The season of Lent is a time when with
"patience" and "humility" we follow "the Lord every
day, learning to build our life not outside of him or as if He did not exist,
but in Him and with Him, because He is the source of true life". Benedict
XVI summed up the meaning of the liturgical season of Lent, now in its first
Sunday, in front of thousands of pilgrims gathered in St Peter's Square for the
Referring to the Sunday Gospel (Mark 1:12-13), which narrates Jesus' period in the desert, the pope explained that the desert "has different meanings": " It may indicate the state of abandonment and loneliness, the "place" of man's weakness where there are no supports and certainties, where temptation becomes stronger. But it may also indicate a place of refuge and shelter, as it was for the people of Israel who escaped from slavery in Egypt, where we can experience the presence of God in a special way. Jesus " remained in the desert for forty days, tempted by Satan" (Mk 1.13). St. Leo the Great says that "the Lord willingly suffered the attack of the tempter to defend us with his help and to teach us by his example" (Tractatus XXXIX, 3 De ieiunio quadragesimae: CCL 138 / A, Turnholti 1973, 214-215)".
Continuing to comment on the Gospel, the Pope added: "This is the time of fulfillment. The kingdom of God is at hand" (Mk 1.15), He announces that something new happens in Him: God speaks to man in an unexpected way, with a unique and concrete closeness, full of love, God becomes incarnate and enters the world of man to take sin upon himself, to overcome evil and bring man back into the world of God. But this proclamation is accompanied by a corresponding request for such a great gift. In fact, Jesus adds: "Repent and believe in the Gospel" (Mk 1.15), it is an invitation to have faith in God and to convert our lives each day to his will, directing all our actions and thoughts towards good. The season of Lent is a time to renew and strengthen our relationship with God through daily prayer, acts of penance, works of fraternal charity"
Before concluding his reflections, he asked everyone to pray for the week of spiritual exercises that he and the Roman Curia begin tonight. The preacher chosen for this year is Card. Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya, Archbishop of Kinshasa (Democratic Republic of Congo). The theme of the meditations will be "The communion of the Christian with God -" And our fellowship is with the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ "(1 Jn 1.3)."