First Sunday of Lent

temptation in the desertLent, which means springtime, is traditionally a six-week period of abstinence and repentance in preparation for Easter.  As the buds open on trees and the days lengthen, this is the spiritual season which calls for greater openness to the Word of God and a conversion in every area of our lives.

Reflecting on the Gospel for this Sunday, we realize that Lent is the season to confront our demons.  Jesus came to the desert to be alone with his mission and his call.  The tempter came and tried to get him away from that mission and call.  First he tempted him to use his power to turn stones into bread.  Jesus refused; “One does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.”  Then the tempter uses fame and glory to entice Jesus to jump from the parapet of the temple.  Again, Jesus says: “You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.”  The devil tried a third time by putting Jesus on a mountaintop and showed him all the kingdoms of the earth which he promises to give him.  Jesus refuses to gain worldly power by listening to Satan.

We all have experience with temptation and sin.  Unlike the man and woman in the garden in our first reading, Jesus does not succumb to temptation.  This Lenten season we try to come back to that center in our lives where we are with God.  We have been freed, redeemed, by our Savior, Jesus Christ.