We do not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God. Matthew 4:4
whose Son fasted forty days in the wilderness,
and was tempted as we are, yet did not sin:
give us grace to direct our lives in obedience to
your will, that, as you know our weakness,
so we may know your power to save;
through Jesus Christ our Redeemer,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen.
- Gen 2:15-17, 3:1-7
- Psalm 32
- Romans 5:12-21
- Matthew 4:1-11
- Gen 12:1-4a
- Psalm 121
- Romans 4:1-5, 13-17
- John 3:1-17
Jesus was led by the Spirit in the desert to be tempted by the devil.
In Matthew’s account of Jesus’ 40-day desert experience, Jesus is confronted with several choices. All of the tempter’s offers would have Jesus sin against the great commandment of Deuteronomy: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength.” (Deuteronomy 6: 5). The tempter offers comfort, wealth and power, but Jesus chooses, instead, the course of humble and prayerful servanthood that the Father has chosen for him. All of Jesus’ responses to the devil’s challenges are found in Deuteronomy (8: 3, 6: 16, 6: 13).
The Spirit who called Jesus to the wilderness calls us, as well, to a forty-day “desert experience,” a time to peacefully and quietly renew and re-create our relationship with God, that God might become the centre of our lives in every season.
This First Sunday of Lent confronts us with choices: personal profit, comfort and glory or the life of God. The season of Lent calls us to embrace God’s Spirit of truth that we may make the choices demanded by our complicated and complex world with courage, insight and faith.
Lent is the season for meaningful fasting: fasting not just for the sake “of giving something up” but fasting from whatever derails or hampers our relationship with God and alienates us from others, fasting from everyday distractions in order to put our time and energy into the things of God.
God, show us how to plant the seeds that one day will grow.
To water seeds already planted, knowing that they hold future promise.
To lay foundations that will need further development.
To provide yeast that produces far beyond our capabilities.
We cannot do everything, and our work may be incomplete,
but it is a beginning, a step along the way,
An opportunity for Your grace to enter and do the rest.
Remind us that we are workers, not master builders; ministers, not messiahs.
We are prophets of a future not our own.
Adapted, originally shared by Archbishop Romero of El Salvador
You can download a copy of the Pew Sheet hereLent-1-A