Today's Scriptural Meditation Readings:
February 25, A.D. 2007
Scripture from today's Liturgy of the Word:
Psalm 91:1-2, 10-11, 12-13, 14-15
A brief reflection on today's Scripture passages:
Are you ready for a soul-lift? It's always exciting to realize we can change and start a new relationship with Jesus. The readings at the beginning of our Lenten journey are summed up so well in the words of Tom Conry's hymn: "we rise again from ashes, to create ourselves anew!"
In the first reading from Deuteronomy, Moses is preparing the people to rise from their long trek through desert sands and joyfully enter the Promised Land. As they offer their best fruits to the Lord, Moses reminds them to throw off the shackles of sin and enter into a whole new life. They are free at last! Other trials and struggles will come later. Meanwhile, Moses charges them never to forget and never to let their children forget what they had suffered in Egypt, and how God had miraculously led them to freedom.
Well over a thousand years later, Jesus embarks on His journey as messiah and savior, not only of the Jews, but as redeemer of all the people ever born or would be born. The Spirit, who had overshadowed Jesus at His baptism at the Jordan, now leads Him into the desert for His initial battle with the powers of Evil. Satan seeks to probe any human weakness in his adversary. First, he tempts Jesus to flaunt His power right away. Why not turn stones into bread? Later, Jesus will miraculously feed others, but He refuses to let the devil manage His miracles! Again Satan tempts Jesus to political power and possessions—and Jesus, the poor and humble teacher, refuses. The last temptation is to pride and fame—and glory. Jesus, knowing that His Mission is to win hearts gently through truth and love, refuses to win hero-worship through cheap exhibits. Ultimately, He must drink the cup of suffering to secure victory—and so must we, His followers. Quite soundly beaten, Satan leaves Jesus—for awhile! Angels come and minister to Jesus who is now ready to begin His public ministry.
And how about us? Hopefully, through the liturgy of this first Sunday of Lent, we will begin with joy and energy to create ourselves anew through prayer, discipline, and communal study of the treasure of truth found in Scripture and of the Catholic Church. It may be through the new "Why Catholic" groups or through whatever form your parish provides for this short seven weeks of spiritual growth that we will truly rise from ashes to create ourselves anew.
- Msgr. Paul Whitmore
(pwhitmore29 at yahoo dot com)
The First Sunday of Lent
Lives of the saints:
Full Scripture text from today's Liturgy of the Word:
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