First Sunday in Lent

First Reading: Deuteronomy 26:1-12

Psalm Reading: Psalm 91:1-5; 14-16

Second Reading: Romans 10:6b-13

Gospel Reading: Luke 4:1-13

Homily by Fr. Andy Illustre


Our message from today’s gospel is we have to have faith in God’s word. After Jesus identified with sinners in baptism, He then identified with us in temptation. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.

Here, Fr. Andy compares the scenes of Adam and Eve in the Garden and Jesus in the desert. Humans were in a lush garden, living with abundance, peace, and authority over the wild animals.

Jesus, on the other hand, was in the desolate wilderness, was not eating, and was subjected to the dangers of the beasts. Simply based on circumstances, Adam and Eve clearly had the upper hand of having their basic needs of food, shelter, and safety guaranteed which could surely help humans resist temptation.

In both the garden and the wilderness, the devil uses God’s very own words to make his temptation. The difference between how humanity and Jesus Christ responded when faced with temptation was stark. The indicator of whether they would fail or not depended on how well they knew God’s words and who spoke them. Jesus knew not only the words of Scripture, but He knew the One Who inspired them. Jesus also knew what they meant.

Satan put us to the test so that our true character might be revealed. As we enter into the season of Lent, this time of trial that Jesus endured on our behalf serves as context. It both reminds us of why The Incarnation and The Cross are necessary and become a source of strength. We too can call upon the Holy Spirit to make us more like Christ, able to resist temptation. We too can commit ourselves to disciplines that help us to know the Spirit’s infilling. We too can sacrifice and trust that God’s word and work are true.

Let us build our strength in God during times of preparation. Take time to pray, take time to fast, take time to give, and be merciful.

Homily recap by Sally Illustre

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