Worship the Lord your God, and serve only him. Luke 4:8
O saving God,
who led your people through the wilderness and brought them to the promised land:
so guide us that, following our saviour,
we may walk through the wildernesses of this world and be brought to the glory of the world which is to come;
through your son, Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever Amen.
Deuteronomy 26:1 – 11
Psalm 91:1 – 2, 9 – 16
Romans set 10:4 – 13
Luke 4:1 – 15
Genesis 15:1 – 12, 17 – 18
Philippians 3:17 – 4:1
Luke 13:1 – 9
Filled with the Holy Spirit, Jesus was led by the spirit into the desert for 40 days to be tempted by the devil. Luke 4:1 – 13
The gospel of this 1st Sunday of Lent is Luke’s account of Jesus’s desert experience. The desert here is more accurately understood as a wilderness: a dangerous, uncharted place, inhabited by wild beasts and bandits, and (many believed) haunted by Demons.
Jesus wilderness “retreat” is a time for discerning and understanding his mission as the Messiah. These 40 days are marked by intense prayer and fasting – not out of a sense of penance but to focus totally on God in the father’s will for him. The 3 temptations all confront Jesus with very human choices.
- “Command this stone to become bread”: will Jesus use his power for his own gratification and acclaim or to accomplish the will of God?
- “All this will be yours, if you worship me”: will Jesus compromise the values of God to accommodate the values of the world?
- “Throw yourself down from here”: will Jesus pray that God will do Jesus’s will rather than Jesus seeking God’s will? Will Jesus seek to make God into Jesus’s image or seek to become what God calls into be?
Jesus’s encounter with the devil depicts the struggle he experienced during this lonely and difficult time to come to terms with the life that lay before him. Jesus then follows the spirit obediently onto Galilee to begin his teaching ministry.
The same spirit that led Jesus into the desert leads us into this 40 day “wilderness experience” of Lent. To ask ourselves the same kind of questions, to begin to understand who we are and who we are becoming, to discern what God calls us to be as we journey to the dwelling place of God.
As Jesus was “tempted”, so too, are we confronted with the many different choices and goals life presents us.© Connections/media Works