40 Days

Beloved Parish Family In Christ Jesus Our Lord,

What do you know about the count of 40 days in the Holy Bible? Do you know of any famous story about what happened for 40 days in the Old Testament? And do you know of a major story found in the Gospels of the New Testament about 40 days and what key person is involved in that story?

What an important number this is. This count is also used for 40 years and it can be used to count livestock and all this has its important lesson for us. But by the fact that Lent will begin soon let us think about this count of 40 days in the Bible and consider the lessons these give us at this time. I hope these lessons will help us get ready for Lent and help us to do what we really need to do this year.

In the first book of the Bible, the Book of Genesis we come to the story of the great flood over all the earth when it rained day and night for 40 days. These days of intense rain and major flooding came from God’s command because the sins of the people were so bad and the earth became so filled with sin everywhere that this water was sent to end the sins and to clean the creation that God made. At the time of the great flood only 1 family was faithful to God’s Laws and so only they were spared and did not die in the flood. All the rest of the human race was guilty of sin and their bad actions was so bad they could no longer recognize their sins what so ever. They kept sinning and did not know it but God knew it and the great man Noah along with his family knew it.

In the Gospels of the New Testament we come to a story where Jesus goes away to the desert to be alone and there He fasts for 40 days and 40 nights. We can read how the Lord became weak from taking no food or drink all this time and so the evil one came to try to take advantage of His weakness and make Him fall into sin. The Lord comes to fast for a very great reason, His time to make His sacrifice for all the sins of man was coming close. He made this sacrifice to deeply strengthen Himself to carry out the great mission for us, to die for all our terrible sins.

In both stories we learn in the Bible about man’s big problem of sinning and knowing that we do commit sin. A very serious detail of the story from back then and now is how our human family always thinks there is not sin. Everyone I ask about this will say, “I’m a good person, I have no sins.” They will even say, and I do not need to go to confession.

How then could it be that the perfect and sinless Jesus dies for all sins of all the human family and we still claim that there is no sin? Someone is mixed up and I do not think it is Jesus.

In Lent this year, let us do all we can to learn about sin, what it is and where we may be committing sin but do not know it. We need to know our sins so we can express true sorrow for them, confess all of them and then be absolved.

The 40 days of Lent always have a mission and a lesson especially this coming Lent. Fear not. Fast, pray, study and come to know your sins then go to the Sacrament of Confession and confess them.

Don’t delay.