Bulletin: March 06, 2022
First Sunday of Lent
Face it, the last couple of years have worn us all down. Sometimes we don’t know how to pray, or we don’t seem to find the words we want. It is easy to falter and
Lent is a time to get back to the basics.
There is much hope and strength in our readings as we begin our Lenten journey. The letter to the Romans tells us today that “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved,” and this is an idea we hear throughout the scriptures. Psalm 91 shows us exactly how to cry for help, “Be with me, Lord, when I am in trouble.” In Deuteronomy, Moses teaches the people to bring their firstfruit offerings to God, and put their faith and trust in God, and Jesus teaches us in today’s Gospel that we find our life in the word of God.
GOOD ZEAL AND TEMPTATIONS
In the chapter of Luke preceding today’s Gospel, Jesus was baptized in the Jordan and began his adult ministry. Immediately afterward he was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tested. While this might seem almost surreal as we imagine the devil taking Jesus from place to place, it is really much more simple and common than that. For many of us, as we strive to live our lives, we deal with many temptations. Sometimes it is a matter of having the zeal and desire, but not the practical experience or knowledge to carry out a goal. Other times, we are afraid to ask for the assistance that we need to carry a project through to completion. Or we might think that we deserve more, or that our results should be happening more quickly. Our egos can be destructive.
KNOWING YOUR TOUCHSTONES
When Jesus found himself tested by the devil, he was given several different scenarios. The devil brought up situations that he knew could specifically test Jesus, but similar situations would test any of us. Physical hunger is a real need, and many of us might yearn for success, or better paying jobs, or power, or the like. The difference is that when Jesus was tempted, he had some strong “touchstones” to hold onto, secure answers to lead him. He went to simple, basic scriptures that he could call upon in his time of need. For many, one of those basics would be Jeremiah, “I know the plans I have in mind for you—plans for peace and not disaster.” For another it might be the Beatitudes or the twenty-third Psalm. Whatever it may be, have ready those touchstones, those “go to” prayers or phrases that you can hold onto during the times when you are sorely tested in your life. Let those stones be your firm foundation.
Today’s Readings: Dt 26:4–10; Ps 91:1–2, 10–11, 12–13, 14–15; Rom 10:8–13; Lk 4:1–13
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