From the Word of the Day
Filled with the Holy Spirit, Jesus returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the desert for forty days, to be tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and when they were over he was hungry. 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 by bread alone.’” Then he took him up and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a single instant. The devil said to him, “I shall give to you all this power and their glory; for it has been handed over to me, and I may give it to whomever I wish. All this will be yours if you worship me.” Jesus said to him in reply, “It is written: ‘You shall worship the Lord, your God, and him alone shall you serve.’”
Then he led him to Jerusalem, made him stand on the parapet of the temple, and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here, for it is written: ‘He will command his angels concerning you, to guard you,’ and ‘With their hands they will support you, lest you dash your foot against a stone.’” Jesus said to him in reply, “It also says, ‘You shall not put the Lord, your God, to the test.’” When the devil had finished every temptation, he departed from him for a time. (Luke 4: 1-13)
We are now in the Holy Season of Lent that calls us to conversion, to return to God by listening attentively to His Word and by more intense and longer prayer, by fasting, and performing works of mercy. In this Sunday’s Liturgy, we read about the temptations of Jesus. The first temptation exposes how the people of our times have made an absolute of ‘bread’, of what is material, and ignored and even forgotten the basic spiritual values that give true life beyond death. Jesus responds, “One does not live by bread alone”. We must accept the precariousness of our earthly existence as the human condition to accept the ‘Other’, for whom we hunger for more and more!
The second temptation is that of adoring idols, surrogates of God: power, success, domination, with the stipulation of a contract of dependence, “If you worship me”. Jesus tells those who want to follow Him that they must have total and filial abandonment to the One God and do His will.
The third temptation is the abuse of God’s name. We must not use God’s holy name for our own ends. How many crimes have been committed throughout history in ‘God’s name”!
In my pause for silent contemplation, I shall ask Jesus to strengthen me against the many temptations that assail me each day.
Lord, bring me closer to You during this Lenten season!
The Voice of Sunday Collect
O God, our Father, with the celebration of this Lent, sacramental sign of our conversion, grant us, Your faithful, to grow in knowledge of the Mystery of Christ and give witness to it with right conduct. Amen.