Fr. Mike explains the purpose of Lent by comparing the forty days of fasting to the Israelites’ forty years in the desert.
What’s the real connection between the Israelites’ forty years in the desert and the forty days 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 the purpose of Lent is to give us the opportunity to trust God completely so we can see that he is all we need.
For more on the reason for the Lenten season, check out this article: Why Lent? Why Bother?