SUNDAY, FIRST WEEK OF LENT
Dt 26:4-10; Ps 91:1-2,10-15; Rom 10:8-13; Lk 4:1-13
EVERYONE WHO CALLS ON HIM WILL BE SAVED
Lent is not only a season to examine on how far we have gone from the Lord but to also reflect on how close we can come to Him. It’s a season of grace. Hence today’s readings lay a solid foundation on our journey with God.
In the Gospel today, we hear about the temptations of Jesus in the wilderness. In all the three temptations Jesus’ Father-Son relationship was in question. Jesus proves the genuineness of his relationship with the Father by overcoming each temptation with the help of Scripture. The devil too cites the Scriptures but does not understand them. Jesus’ life was dedicated to the service of God. It is the Spirit that leads Jesus into the wilderness. And it is by the anointing of the Spirit that he defeats the devil.
In today’s second reading, we read about the righteousness of faith offered to all believers of the Gospel. St Paul writes to the Romans that Christ is near because his word is near. It is in our mouth and in our hearts. The law which God handed to Moses clearly revealed his will and made it much easier to fulfill. By the Incarnation, the Word of God became flesh and dwelt among us and showed us the way to God. For a Christian, the life and teaching of the Word made flesh are divine precepts and commandments. We must believe that through his Incarnation Jesus Christ brought us grace and truth; by rising from the dead, he conquered death; and by ascending into heaven and sending the Holy Spirit, he perfected his work of redemption. We need to believe in this mystery of salvation.
The first reading from the book Deuteronomy, calls us to thankfully acknowledge God’s great goodness, for “he looked on our affliction.” We should be thankful to God for all the comforts of our life, for all the mercies he showers upon us. We must remember those mercies because the word of God promises all true believers his protection and mercy. The promises that are made in God’s name for all that we do so in sincerity.
On this first Sunday of Lent let us rejoice in spending time with God; let our hearts yearn to speak with him in solitude. Let us depend on him no matter what happens to us. “The Father uttered one Word; that Word is His Son, and He utters Him forever in everlasting silence: and in silence the soul has to hear it” says St John of the Cross. Let us listen to that Word in silence and proclaim Him openly.
Just like Jesus, we too will triumph over all our temptations and be delivered out of trouble. When we depend upon the word of God, he is present with us and takes notice of our sorrows. Thus, during these forty days of Lent, let us make the word of God our sword, and our faith in that word our shield. Let us journey forward in this strength. Let us meditate upon the word and allow it to control our thoughts and attitudes. Let Lent be spent with the Lord without any diversion, distraction or interruption. Let us be in close and intimate conversation with the Lord, through the Scriptures. Lent is the time to pass through all our trials, go through our temptations and resist the devil. It is our time in the wilderness. Through the word of God, let us be so filled with the Holy Spirit, that just like Jesus in the wilderness, the devil will be vanquished and flee from us.
Response: Be with me, O Lord, when I am in distress.
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