Reading Reflections: First Sunday of Lent Gospel C

By 10:52 AM


 
Filled with the Holy Spirit, Jesus returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the desert for forty days, to be tempted by the devil.

  • The role of the Spirit in Jesus’ life is very important in Luke’s Gospel. In his humanity, Jesus needed the Spirit just as we, in our humanity, need the Spirit.
  • Here it is the work of the Spirit to keep Jesus’ eyes on the Father and to trust fully in the Father. So too, the Spirit is present to us in times of temptations. How conscious are we of this presence and how quickly do we turn to the Spirit in temptations for strength and guidance?
He ate nothing during those days, and when they were over he was hungry. The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.” Jesus answered him, “It is written, One does not live on bread alone.”

  • The first temptation is to have Jesus question his dependency on God as his Father to provide for his needs. The temptation of Adam and Eve was also centered around food, not because they were hungry, but their need to be depended upon God. They could be equal to God.
  • Where are we tempted to satisfy ourselves and not to believe that God can satisfy us fully?
Then he took him up and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a single instant. The devil said to him, “I shall give to you all this power and glory; for it has been handed over to me, and I may give it to whomever I wish. All this will be yours, if you worship me.” Jesus said to him in reply, “It is written: You shall worship the Lord, your God, and him alone shall you serve.”

  • The temptation of Adam and Eve was don’t they want to be like God, knowing good and evil? Don’t they want to have the same power and authority as God?
  • For Jesus, the second temptation was touching on the human ambition for power and possessions. The price would be to substitute the true God for a pseudo-god.
  • What are our vulnerabilities and areas of weaknesses which the evil one seeks to trip us up in? What are the false gods we reach out to rather than the true God?
Then he led him to Jerusalem, made him stand on the parapet of the temple, and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here, for it is written: He will command his angels concerning you, to guard you, and: With their hands they will support you, lest you dash your foot against a stone.” Jesus said to him in reply, “It also says: ’You shall not put the Lord, your God, to the test.’”

  • The temptation is to test God, not trusting in him as God, not respecting him as God. It is the temptation to have God prove himself to us. It denies the relationship of dependency upon God.
  • In each of the temptations, Jesus depended upon the Word of God to counter the devil. The temptation is a lie; the Word of God is the truth.
  • What do we learn from this passage that we can implement in our lives during this season of Lent?
  • Do we need to study and reflect on the Word of God more?  Do we need to surrender our life to Jesus more? Do we need to call on the strength of the Spirit in the time of temptations?
When the devil had finished every temptation, he departed from him for a time.

  • There were many other subtle temptations for Jesus during his public ministry. The next biggest comes in the Garden of Olives and on the Cross.
  • In our life, the devil is always looking for ways to separate us from God. Like Jesus we must keep our eyes on the Father and trust in his providential care.

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