Deacon’s Beacon: Lent, Time to Develop a Deeper Relationship with God

Posted on February 21, 2023 by Published by

Today is the first Sunday of Lent – it’s a time for us to focus on our relationship with God – where our Lenten Journey with Jesus Christ will take us this year.  Based on current events in our world, there is certainly a need for that.

This past holiday weekend was marred by further shooting and killings in Chicago and throughout our country.  There is a great need to let God in our life.

But how do we do that?  As I pondered that question, I was reminded of an old familiar tune.

“Let there be peace on earth…”

Many of you probably remember that song from years gone by.  It’s usually thought of as a “Christmas Season” song, but the message is important every day of our lives. (For those who are unfamiliar with it, it is available on YouTube.)

The message is that peace comes from God to all of us.  We must let God’s peace into our hearts – then we are called to share God’s peace with all in our lives.  That message is very apparent in today’s gospel, as Jesus shows us the way.

The Temptations

In Mathew’s gospel, Jesus is led by the Holy Spirit to be tempted by the devil.  For 40 days and 40 nights Jesus fasted, and afterwards He was hungry (a tremendous understatement).

The devil’s first temptation was for Jesus to “turn the stones into loaves of bread.  Jesus responds that we “live not by bread alone, but every word that comes from the mouth of God.”  The second temptation, the devil takes Jesus to the highest point of the temple and tells Jesus to throw Himself down, for God will save Him.  Jesus responds, “You shall not put God to the test.”  The third temptation the devil tells Jesus to worship him.  Jesus responds, “Get away Satan, God alone shall you worship and serve.”

Through these temptations Jesus show us that God is with each one of us as we journey through life.

God is with us every step of our life.  We forget this sometimes; but Lent is a time for us to focus on the message to trust in God always.

The temptations and Jesus’ response are relevant to us today – in our world.  For example: With the first temptation, do we eat and drink to maintain good health; or do we overindulge food and drink while millions of less fortunate go hungry?  With the second temptation, do we pray for the miraculous intervention of God in our career, health, etc. for our self-benefit; or do we willingly accept the will of God?  The third temptation focuses on lusting after the riches and influence of the world; rather than accepting and thanking God for what we have and sharing with others.

  and let it begin with me.”

If we want peace on earth, it needs to start with us.  Too often we look at Lent as a time to suffer.  We make sacrifices and adjustments in our life.  There’s a solemn tone of repentance to Lent, but Lent is also a joyful time of developing a deeper, more meaningful relationship with God.  We should not focus only on the “giving up” side, it’s  also a time for us to develop a more meaningful relationship with God.

If we enter into our Lenten season eager to improve our relationship with God, our Lenten Journey will be a joyous celebration.

In closing, I would like to share a few lines from the “Ministry of Praise” Prayer for January:

Loving Father, open our hearts to hidden realities: your love for all people, your call to justice and peace.

Christ Jesus, help us to imitate your example: healing the sick, welcoming the stranger, assisting the poor and vulnerable.

Holy Spirit, make visible to our eyes what is invisible: your call to your people, your summons to live our faith daily as witnesses of justice and peace.  May the sacraments move us to engage in love-inspired action that transforms us and the world.


Deacon Tom Corcoran

For additional information on these and other Outreach ministries, please contact Deacon Tom Corcoran at or 847-253-2082.

“You are the light of the world.  Do not light a lamp then put it under a bushel basket…. your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Heavenly Father.”  Matthew 5:5-16

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