Posted by: livingscripture | February 21, 2010

First Sunday of Lent

From the Word of the Day

 The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.”  Jesus answered him, “It is written, One does not live on bread alone.”

                                                            Luke 4: 3-4

 How should we live this Word

 The Spirit brings Jesus to the desert for one special objective, that of being tempted by the devil.  This event is a warning for us.  Temptation is very much at home in our times and tests us forcefully.  But with Jesus, we can be victorious and fortified.

 The first temptation is very interesting.  It regards food, bread which is an essential element.  Can the Son of God get bread from stones?  Certainly!  But He does not do it.  Rather, He responds with a word that resonates with the Old Testament, “One does not live on bread alone.”  Jesus is interested in clarifying a truth that is therapeutic for us as well.  To nourish our body with bread is good in itself and in conformity with the plan of God who wants us healthy and joyful.  What Jesus stigmatizes is making bread, the need for material nourishment an absolute.

 This is what causes many illnesses.  An excessive interest in food for the body provokes heaviness and suffocation in the soul.  The need wanes for the spiritual life along with nourishment for the soul found, above all, in the Word of God and in the Eucharist.  But there is more.  Illnesses like anorexia and bulimia that affect many adolescents are eloquent signs.  Moreover, the need to eat more than is necessary in First World Countries causes a grave imbalance because many people die of hunger in Second and Third world countries.

 Today as I pause for silent contemplation, I will reflect on my eating habits.  Do I live to eat or do I eat to live?

 Lord Jesus, I ask You to increase in me the hunger that really matters.  Give me Your Bread of Life, the only one that counts.

 The voice of Isidore of Pelusio, Church Father

 By consecrating ourselves to virtue, it is possible to overcome temptation.  In fact, it cannot be overcomethrough every kind of prohibition but rather through bearing adverse circumstances courageously.  We need to conquer temptation even if it seems invincible, with wisdom and with fortitude, never giving in to desperation, with fortitude and wisdom and not with prohibition, being resigned in the face of adversity.

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