Tuesday, March 8, 2011

March 13: First Sunday of Lent

Each week during Lent and Easter, a young adult from the Archdiocese offers a reflection on the upcoming Sunday's Gospel. 

Gospel:  Matthew 4:1-11

In this Sunday’s Gospel, Jesus went to the desert for forty days and nights to pray. After the time of praying and fasting, he was then tempted by the devil. The devil first tempted him with food, then to use Jesus’ power to prove God would send angels to help Him if he jumped from the top of temple, and finally Satan offered Jesus all power and glory if he worshipped him alone.  To each temptation, Jesus held to what he knew was God’s will for him. 

As young adults, it’s difficult in this day to fall to the temptations of the secular world (the latest gadgets, fashion styles, cars, sex, etc.) and yet be able to live with strong Christian beliefs.  The word tempt in English usually means “to entice or allure to do something often regarded as unwise, wrong, or immoral.” However, the scriptural word used here also means test in the sense of proving and purifying someone to see if they are ready for the task at hand.  Each day, we encounter challenges and trials to live out the gospel, some bigger than others.  How can each and every one of us hold firm to our faith while in the midst of so many temptations this world offers?

Now as the season of Lent is upon us, we are not alone in our tests of faith.  In the words of St. Paul, “No testing [temptation] has overtaken you that is not common to everyone.  God is faithful, and he will not let you be tested beyond your strength, but with the testing he will also provide the way out so that you may be able to endure it” (1 Corinthians 10:13).  Just as Jesus was led into the desert by the Holy Spirit, so are we in this season of Lent able to endure the trials of this life and rise with Him to the next.

Melinda Evangelista
St. John the Baptist, Baldwin Park

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