This month, we are transitioning into the Season of Lent. The Gospel readings in the beginning of February serve as a wonderful reminder that throughout all of human history, there has never been anybody like Jesus! We hear the stories of Jesus’s divine power, which was manifested both powerfully and routinely throughout His ministry. It is a remarkable reminder of why the upcoming 40 days are such a special opportunity to grow in our relationship with God. This special time allows us to deepen our commitment to the Lord.

All Christians have a mission. This is extremely clear in today’s world—Christ’s mission is ours as well. Everything we say, everything we do, should be on behalf of Christ. The world will know Him because of our actions.

“I want to thank you for making Mercy Home’s mission such a wonderful support for our community.”

During the Lenten season, it is important to remember what we are advised in the Bible not to do—act like “the hypocrites.” They act piously for the sake of others and their own exaltation. It is better that when you pray, fast, or give alms, to do so in secret so that your Father “who sees in secret will repay you.” We are asked by Jesus for sincere actions because anything else is useless. In order to please God, you should only perform your religious acts for Him.

It is important to remember that spiritual growth is more often the result of internal changes that take place while doing good works, rather than from external changes we manage to affect. Doing good works is important, the reason why we do them is even more important. Our humility gives rise to the humility of others, so we must first remove any plank from our own eye.

Lent is an extraordinary opportunity to reflect upon our patterns, to pray more often and more deeply, to experience sorrow for what we have done and what we’ve failed to do, and to be generous to those in need. On the First Sunday of Lent, we hear the story from the Gospel of Satan’s temptation of Jesus in the desert. Jesus knows that the road to glory involves being faithful to God and God’s people. This can require suffering and loss, but will eventually lead to a crown of glory.

During this holy season of Lent, I pray we all remember to follow the example of Christ and are faithful to God’s invitation to fast, pray, and care for those in need. Trust that our reward will always be found in God.

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