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First Sunday of Lent

Even God made man had to face the shadow side of himself. Carl Jung, the Swiss psychiatrist, talked about shadow being the parts of ourselves that we repress, which then go down into the unconscious mind. If not acknowledged, they can be very destructive. Perhaps this was the demon Jesus faced in the stark landscape of the wilderness. Lent is a time when we too can confront our own shadow. The temptations to which the Lord  was subject are  ours too. The urge to find easy solutions, to dominate others or to be attracted by worldly idols is very real. However there is a positive side also. Lying in our shadow, there may be strengths that we need to make use of in order to serve God better; for example the power that we could misuse might also be used for good purposes. Jesus indeed used his power for the service of others and ultimately in giving his life. The power of the cross, Jesus’ act of total surrender to the Father’s will, is the weapon of true love which is stronger than any that humankind can wield.

Lent should be a time of joy. The daffodils - Lenten lilies, flowering bright gold at this time - remind us that this penitential season is the pathway to the triumph of the cross and the glory of the resurrection.