We like it when God makes promises to us. We know that he can keep them. Today’s promise is this; if we go out into the Lenten desert with Christ, we will return stronger than before.
Doesn’t the world tempt us to reject “righteous deeds”? The World tells us to constantly be doing something. Movies, sports, work. What about prayer? The World tells us that to be happy we need to accumulate things, that they are our payment. What about alms giving? The World tells us that my body should never be hungry, always satisfied, always consoled. What about fasting? Unlike the world, Christ encourages us to righteous deeds: almsgiving, prayer, and fasting. These are so important that he gives a specific teaching on each of them, and he says, “Your Father will repay you!” He is promoting them, he is encouraging us to them.