1st Sunday of Lent - February 26, 2023

Just as Jesus went into the desert for forty days, so we go into the desert of our Lenten season for forty days.   It would appear that the devil didn’t really know the Son of God too well.  Each temptation would have   been much more successful if he’d been dealing with a self-centered person.  After days of fasting alone in a barren desert, a selfish person would have been only too glad to see stones turn into bread.  A selfish person would have no qualms about jumping off a parapet if angels would prevent any harm.  A selfish person would do anything to gain all the kingdoms of the world.

The truth is that Jesus did accomplish all these things, but not because he gave in to temptation.  No, he accomplished all these miraculous things because he did them on behalf of others.  He offered his own body to be living bread to nourish the whole world.  He threw himself at the mercy of the authorities and was lifted up on a cross, not to be saved by angels, but to save all of us.  He did not gain all the kingdoms of the world for himself, but he gained God’s kingdom for us all.  His obedience to his Father gained for us all what his disobedience would have gained for only himself.  He became the new Adam who passed the test on our behalf.

Jesus was not alone in the desert.  The Holy Spirit, who had just descended upon him like a dove as he was baptized, accompanied him every step of the way.  That same Spirit descended upon each of us when we were baptized and accompanies us always, guiding us, strengthening us, supporting us to not be led into temptation.  May  the Holy Spirit accompany us in our Lenten journey so that we may   be renewed in the waters of baptism on Easter.

Love, Peace, Joy,

Fr. Bob


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