Today's Scriptural Meditation Readings:
February 21 A..D. 2010
Scripture from today's Liturgy of the Word:
Psalm 91:1-2, 10-11, 12-13, 14-15
A reflection on today's Scripture:
It's finally here! Lent, the springtime of the liturgical year, and the renewal time for our own personal journey to God. A good theme for our First Sunday in Lent might be found in the chorus of the Marty Haugen hymn, We Remember:
". . . .we remember, we celebrate, we believe!"
In the first reading from Deuteronomy, Moses is preparing the people to leave the desert sands and joyfully enter the Promised Land. Before they begin their new life of freedom and enjoy the fruits of the New Land that the Lord has prepared for them, Moses wants to make sure they will never forget the incredible works of God in freeing them from the shackles of slavery. And, even though during these past forty years they have grumbled much and have been unfaithful to the Covenant, God has relented and has forgiven them over and over. He has shown them mercy beyond measure. Now, God commands them to renew that covenant, and so purified, to begin a new life in the lush lands of Canaan. Moses charges them never to forget the mercies of the Lord, and never to let their children forget.
Lent is a time for us to remember and to celebrate the mercies of the Lord, and to shake off any traces of sin or sinful habits.
In the Gospel, we see a parallel to the Old Testament story of the Exodus. Well over a thousand years after the journey of the Jews through the desert, Jesus embarked on His journey in the desert as Messiah and Savior, not just for the Jews, but for all people, past, present, and future. The Spirit, who had overshadowed Him at His baptism in 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, 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 glory. Jesus, knowing that His Mission is to win hearts through love and truth, refuses to engage in theatrical stunts to win popularity. Quite soundly beaten, Satan leaves Him--for a while! Angels come and minister to Jesus who is now ready to begin His public ministry.
This Sunday, we celebrate the victory of Jesus over Satan. What were His weapons? Prayer, fasting, and the truths of Scripture. Through humility and a recognition of the weakness of being human, Jesus overcame temptations to pleasure, power, and pride. He thus strengthened Himself for His passion and death. Ultimately, He must drink the cup of suffering to secure victory--and so must we, His followers. His weapons against Satan must be our weapons too, this Lent, as we enter the discipline of believers. Jesus believed in the Father's truth and in the Father's love. He believed in obeying the Father's Will in all things. In that spirit, let us remember and celebrate . . . and believe!
~ Msgr. Paul Whitmore | email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sunday, February 21, 2010
First Sunday of Lent
Lives of the saints:
Full Scripture text from today's Liturgy of the Word:
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