Fr. Mike Schmitz, Ascension Presents, March 6,2019
What does the Israelites’ forty years in the desert tell us about the purpose of Lent?
Sure, they both involve the number forty—which often represents a time of test and trial in the Bible—but what’s the more important connection?
The Israelites’ time in the desert and our forty-day Lenten fast represent God’s invitation for us to trust him completely.
Fr. Mike explains, the Israelites did not believe the Lord could bring them into the Promised Land because it was inhabited by a people much more powerful and larger than Israel—they didn’t trust him even after he delivered them from slavery to the largest civilization on the planet, Egypt.
We can be the same way.
We think God can’t give us the strength to overcome this or that sin or habit. But purpose of Lent is to set aside time for us to trust God completely so we can see that he is all we need.
With evidence of her son's alleged miraculous healing boxed and sealed in front of a portrait of Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, Bonnie Engstrom gives a reading at a 2011 Mass at St. Mary's Cathedral in Peoria, Ill. (Credit: Tom Dermody/The Catholic Post via CNS.)
Editor’s note: Pictured above is the fresco of the Eucharistic adoration of angels on the ceiling of the church Chiesa di Santo Tomaso, Turin, painted by N. Arduino (1938). (Photo credit: Shutterstock)