FIRST SUNDAY OF LENT
The Real Deal
“Jesus returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit
into the desert for forty days, to be tempted by the devil.” Luke 4: 1-2
Imagine a man in the desert. He sees a mirage of water, runs to it, and drinks from it frantically. In reality all he is drinking is sand. It was just an illusion that did not satisfy him at all. In the Gospel today, the devil attempts to make Jesus doubt the Father, to fall for an illusion of empty promises. However, Jesus denies the devil, trusting that His Father’s love is the only thing that can truly satisfy Him, and eventually, Jesus answers these temptations with a greater reality that His Father works through Him. For example, instead of turning stone into bread in the desert, Jesus answers the first temptation by turning bread into God at the Last Supper! Instead of bowing down to worship the devil, Jesus answers the second temptation by bowing down His head in total surrender to His Father on the cross, and is not only granted reign over the kingdoms of the world, but rules over the Kingdom of Heaven as well. Finally, instead of testing God, Jesus answers the third temptation by trusting His Father’s will and dying on the cross. In return, He is not only escorted by angels to His heavenly throne but is bodily resurrected as well! Nothing with which the devil can tempt us will ever come close to the real happiness and glory God has in store for us when we trust in Him. What is real is not always visible, but what is real exists, and there is nothing more real than God’s love for you! Go to Him in the Eucharist where He is truly present, and He will strengthen you against temptation and satisfy all your longings with a deep joy that is more REAL than you will ever know. “Love never fails.” 1 Corinthians 13:8
Jesus, help me to trust in the Father as you trusted in Him, and bring me closer to you so that I may be strengthen by your love against all temptations. Amen.
Dt 26: 4-10, Ps 91: 1-2, 10-15, Rom 10: 8-13, Lk 4: 1-13