Temptation and Fasting: A homily for the First Sunday of Lent (C)

Today we celebrate the first Sunday of Lent. We are in the desert. In our Gospel, we see Jesus is in a desert. There is not much noise there, and for that reason our Lent should be quieter, less noise — less time with the TV, phones, video games, etc.  The desert is a place of silence. WE enter into that this Lent so as to hear the voice of God.

The desert is also a place of temptation.  It is no more a place of temptation than anywhere else, I suppose, but one can feel the temptation more when in the desert … because there is so much less noise, so many fewer distractions.  But Jesus goes into the desert and is tempted there.

We have temptations too, no?  But look how Jesus fought against his temptations: HE FASTED!!  From food and drink.

If we want to overcome temptations, fast from food!  Jesus gave us this example in our Gospel today.  Jesus was able to defeat his temptations because he fasted!

This is for us also.  This is a good idea for us, not just for Lent but for the whole year.  There is a beautiful fast that we Catholics often follow, that is a bread and water fast on Wednesday and Fridays.  This is a good thing for the whole of Lent and the whole of the year, if possible!

Because folks!  The devil will win if we don’t fast and pray!  Remember how Jesus says that some demons are so powerful, some problems so big, some temptations so strong that they can be overcome ONLY by prayer and fasting?

Fast!  When we fast from food, we can gain a lot of control. If we can control what goes into our bodies, we can control more important stuff too….and so never be trapped by the schemes of the devil that lead so many to addictions and so on.

Listen to the preface of Lent:

For you will that our self-denial should give you thanks,
humble our sinful pride,
contribute to the feeding of the poor,
and so help us to imitate you in your kindness.

Those are just some of the great fruits of fasting.

Let’s ask the Good Lord to help us in our fight against temptations. If we rely on his help, and follow his example of fasting….we’ll be just fine.