Sunday, February 21, 2010

First Sunday in Lent

The Gospel message today begins with Jesus' 40 days fasting in the desert and then His tempations by Satan himself.  We are reminded of what REALLY matters!  
  1. Man does not live by bread alone.
  2. We are to fear and serve God, and Him alone.
  3. We are not to tempt God.
The verses Jesus quoted when Satan tempted Him:
He afflicted thee with want, and gave thee manna for thy food, which neither thou nor thy fathers knew: to shew that not in bread alone doth man live, but in every word that proceedeth from the mouth of God.   (Deuteronomy 8:3 DRB)

Take heed deligently lest thou forget the Lord, who brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt fear the Lord thy God, and shalt serve him only, and thou shalt swear by his name.  (Deuteronomy 6:13 DRB)

Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God, as thou temptedst him in the place of temptation.
(Deuteronomy 6:16 DRB)

And Satan quotes:
For he hath given his angels charge over thee; to keep thee in all thy ways. In their hands they shall bear thee up: lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.   (Psalms 91:11-12 DRB)
Today's Gospel:

And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost, returned from the Jordan and was led the by the spirit into the desert, For the space of forty days, and was tempted by the devil. And he ate nothing in those days. And when they were ended, he was hungry. And the devil said to him: If thou be the Son of God, say to this stone that it be made bread. And Jesus answered him: is written that Man liveth not by bread alone, but by every word of God. And the devil led him into a high mountain and shewed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And he said to him: To thee will I give all this power and the glory of them. For to me they are delivered: and to whom I will, I give them. If thou therefore wilt adore before me, all shall be thine. And Jesus answering said to him. It is written: Thou shalt adore the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. And he brought him to Jerusalem and set him on a pinnacle of the temple and said to him: If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself from hence. For it is written that He hath given his angels charge over thee that they keep thee. And that in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest perhaps thou dash thy foot against a stone. And Jesus answering, said to him: It is said: Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. And all the temptation being ended, the devil departed from him for a time.   (Luke 4:1-13 DRB)
During this Lenten season our custom is to give something up for the days of Lent.  The days of Lent are 40 in number, starting with Ash Wednesday but we do not count the Sundays.  Each Sunday is like a "little Easter" and thus is a "feast day" - so there is no penance, no fasting and no abstinence on Sundays.  If you count the days yourself, you will see that starting with Ash Wednesday and ending on Holy Saturday, Lent has exactly 40 days.  

During these 40 days, we are reminded of Christ's suffering in the wilderness plus His ultimate Sacrifice of the Cross.  Whatever you have chosen to offer up for Lent, it should be something you would normally partake in everyday - that way when you would have partaken in it, you are brought mindful as to WHY you gave it up in the first place - and that, again, is to remind you of Christ's sufferings and temptations and how He overcame them.

I hope you're having a good Lent thus far.  If you have not already begun a Lenten penance (something you've offered up to remind you of Christ's sufferings and temptations) IT'S NOT TOO LATE!  You do not have to give up something major, but it should be something you would do everyday.  For the sake of those around you, don't give up on brushing your teeth or showering!  It could be coffee, soda, sweets, deserts, etc.  If you wanted to make it a "tougher" penance, you could give up red meat, or even one full meal per day (then don't snack!).  Whatever it is you give up, it is between you and God.  Others around you should not really know what you've given up, unless you're teaming up for supporting each other.

May God bless you and keep you and grant you a good Lent!


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