1st Sunday of Lent: Temptations to be Other than Who I am Called to Be
Lent is a good time to focus on how we have been nurtured in life, how we have nurtured others and how God as love has supported and continues to cherish us. God’s Word and actions continue to transform humanity to become more one with God–conscious participants in the evolving universe, where God is the center.
Eucharist brings together our past—God’s creative work with all people: God’s labor and patience with the Jewish people for at least 2000 years before Christ; the gift and presence of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ; and the unfolding of the incarnation into our own lives and into the evolving universe. The melding and insights of the past into the present give us energy for the future. They nurture our confidence in each other and inspire us to continue on the journey with new insights about our participation in the unfolding of God’s creative presence in the universe.
Our Lenten journey is precious because we take time to recognize God’s presence and become more one with it, identify with Jesus’ struggles, temptations, compassionate actions, new insights and ultimate gift of love. We are invited to come to deeper understandings of God’s self-emptying in Christ and Christ as one with God—giving his life so that we might live and continue to build the reign of God, becoming more unified with God, as participants in the evolving world.
Then Jesus was led into the desert by the Spirit, to be tempted by the Devil. After fasting for forty days and forty nights, Jesus was hungry. Then the tempter approached and said, “If you are the Only Begotten, command these stones to turn into bread.” Jesus replied. “Scripture has it, ‘We live not on bread alone but on every utterance that comes from the mouth of God.’” Next the Devil took Jesus to the Holy City, set him on the parapet of the Temple and said, “If you are the Only Begotten, throw yourself down, Scripture has it, ‘God will tell the angels to take care of you; with their hands they will support you that you may never stumble on a stone.’”
Jesus answered, “Scripture also says, ‘Do not put God to the test.’” The Devil then took Jesus up a very high mountain and displayed all the dominions of the world in their magnificence, promising, “All this I will give you if you fall down and worship me.” At this, Jesus said to the Devil, “Away with you, Satan! Scripture says, ‘You will worship the Most High God, God alone will you adore.’” At that the Devil left, and angels came and attended Jesus.
- What are my temptations as I think about what it means to be a person of the Gospel, in today’s Church and world?
- How are my temptations similar to Jesus? What were the differences in the devil’s world view and the world view of Jesus? What are the temptations I encounter related to my world view?
- As I continue to journey into the future, what do I need from others on the journey when I am tempted to be less than I am called to be? What can I give to others to help solidify our journeying together?