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March 10, 2019

First Sunday of Lent

Lent is a time to rekindle the meaning of our baptism. On that auspicious day, the priest said: I claim you for Jesus Christ, and from that moment, we were given the mission to imitate and represent Christ. Just as Jesus began his mission at John’s baptism, encouraged by his Father’s reminder that you are my beloved son…, so likewise Lent reminds us that we are similarly children of God, well loved by the Father and missioned to bring the world to the love of God.

In the gospel today, Jesus contends with his arch rival, the devil, the spirit of evil, the father of lies. In a battle of scripture quotes, Jesus repulses his suggestions to embrace the trappings of power and glory, even to worship Satan himself. However, being true to himself and to his mission, Jesus reminds Satan that his life is dedicated to the aid of vulnerable people. Jesus identifies himself with the poor, the victims of the abusive use of power and privilege. Satan is bested temporarily, but not defeated. Jesus will contend with him again and again in his life… just as we need to contend daily with every temptation to serve our own pleasure and interests rather than that of others.

St. Peter Julian Eymard saw the Eucharist as the gift of Jesus’ loving heart to people everywhere. Number 17 of the Rule of Life for members of his Congregation reads in part: members are to live a life in solidarity with the poor, and our refusal to compromise with any form of social injustice, express in this consumer-oriented society our attachment to the kingdom of God and his justice.

Temptations are occasions to test the quality of our relationship with God. Our sinfulness may not be of the kind that makes front-page news, but we all know we can be better persons, less selfish, more helpful to others.

Can you be patient with the annoying situations that confront you this day?

Let us Pray:

May we confess with our mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believe in our hearts that God raised him from the dead—that we may be saved. (2nd reading today)

 

Daily Eucharistic Reflection – Center for Eucharistic Evangelizing (eucharisticevangelizing.com)


About Roger Bourgeois, SSS