Reflections Along the Way
From the Desk of Steve Macchia
The traditional purpose of Lent is for the devout believer to be single-minded and heartfelt in commemorating the sacrificial suffering of Jesus on the cross. Therefore, the preparation of the soul for Holy Week includes disciplines such as prayer, repentance of sins, self-denial, and generosity. Why forty days? To remember and give thanks for Jesus’ forty days in the wilderness, where he both fasted and was tempted by the devil ( Luke 4:1–2). He overcame all three of Satan’s temptations by citing Scripture, at which point the devil left him, angels ministered to him, and Jesus began his public ministry. Jesus further said that His disciples should fast “when the bridegroom shall be taken from them” (Matthew 9:15), long considered a reference to his Passion. It is also the traditional belief that Jesus lay in the tomb for forty hours before rising from the dead and leaving his grave clothes behind for his followers to discover. With forty days of preparation, Lent has great significance to many historical events in the life of the Church. As you continue in this season of Lent, let me invite you to receive Jesus’ “outstretched arms of love” as you follow him to the cross and the empty tomb as his faithful disciple, seeking to emulate his life, self-sacrifice, and humble service to others. Behold his glory, believe his message, belong to Jesus as his beloved disciple, and become more and more like his image…growing in your true identity in Christ Alone. A blessed Lent and a joy-filled Easter from the LTI family to your household of faith.