At the very beginning of Lent we hear of Our Lord’s forty day fast in preparation for his public ministry which would lead him through His Passion and Death to His Resurrection. The Temptations of Our Lord in the wilderness are crucial to understanding His public ministry.
When we are puzzled that Christ wished to keep His identity as the Son of God hidden from the crowds, we should recall that the devil had tempted Him to become a great public figure. When we wonder why He did not heal every disease or satisfy every starving person, we should remember that the devil had tempted Him to turn stones into bread.
Our own forty days’ fast of Lent is founded on Our Lord’s pattern, and we should look upon it as a time of preparation for Holy Week and Easter, the time at which we ourselves will take part in the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Our Lord in the Liturgy.
There are several noteworthy changes in the Liturgy during Lent: the vestments are a sombre purple; the joyful ‘Gloria in excelsis Deo' and ‘Alleluia’ are omitted; and the organ is used only as a support.
Thus all is marked by a sense of austerity befitting this season, when we join Our Lord in the wilderness by our prayer, fasting and almsgiving. ~ Fr. Paul Dobson