February 17, 2013

First Sunday of Lent

Luke 4:1-13

Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing at all during those days, and when they were over, he was famished. The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become a loaf of bread.” Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘One does not live by bread alone.’”

Then the devil led him up and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. And the devil said to him, “To you I will give their glory and all this authority; for it has been given over to me, and I give it to anyone I please. If you, then, will worship me, it will all be yours.” Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve only him.’”

Then the devil took him to Jerusalem, and placed him on the pinnacle of the temple, saying to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here, for it is written, ‘He will command his angels concerning you, to protect you,’ and ‘On their hands they will bear you up, so that you will not dash your foot against a stone.’” Jesus answered him, “It is said, ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’” When the devil had finished every test, he departed from him until an opportune time.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved (http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations)

Our Lenten Pilgrimage

Today’s gospel invites us to ponder the image of Jesus emerging from his baptism and moving immediately to the solitude and prayer of the desert.  While there, he is tempted by the devil.  Note the three movements at work here: baptism, prayerful retreat, and temptation. The story can serve as a template of our own Lenten pilgrimage.

First, we are invited to ponder our own baptism and the meaning embedded in our being grafted onto Christ.  As we journey with Christ to Jerusalem and his passion we assess the state of our companionship with him.  How have I embraced the liberation of my baptism?  Second, we enter more deeply into this season which serves as extended retreat, a prolonged meditation on who Christ is and what he does for us.  As we retreat, we acknowledge that we have, at times, succumbed to the temptations offered along the way.  In a season of repentance and reconciliation, we desire to become more aware of the ways we have failed to live our unique vocation that flows from our baptism.

Jesus emerges from his baptism and he takes the next steps in his public life and ministry.  As he prayerfully retreats to consider this moment in his life, the devil tempts him to move away from the calling that has been whispered into his heart and to embrace the powers and pleasures of the world.  In his rejection of the dark spirit’s temptation, Jesus claims himself and his vocation.  He will not be distracted from living the mission given him by the Father.  What temptations draw us from our destiny of companionship with Jesus?  What holds us back from responding more generously to the call?

—Fr. Patrick McGrath, S.J., President of Loyola Academy

Prayer

Life-giving God, you bring me once again into this season of Lent.  Along this journey your Word is near—on my lips and in my heart.  As I face the temptations and challenges of these coming weeks, show me how to walk in Jesus’ footsteps, to hear his words, and to trust in his ways.  Be with me, O Lord, especially when I am in trouble.  Amen!

—Fr. Patrick McGrath, S.J., President of Loyola Academy

 


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

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February 17, 2013

First Sunday of Lent

Luke 4:1-13

Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing at all during those days, and when they were over, he was famished. The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become a loaf of bread.” Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘One does not live by bread alone.’”

Then the devil led him up and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. And the devil said to him, “To you I will give their glory and all this authority; for it has been given over to me, and I give it to anyone I please. If you, then, will worship me, it will all be yours.” Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve only him.’”

Then the devil took him to Jerusalem, and placed him on the pinnacle of the temple, saying to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here, for it is written, ‘He will command his angels concerning you, to protect you,’ and ‘On their hands they will bear you up, so that you will not dash your foot against a stone.’” Jesus answered him, “It is said, ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’” When the devil had finished every test, he departed from him until an opportune time.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved (http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations)

Our Lenten Pilgrimage

Today’s gospel invites us to ponder the image of Jesus emerging from his baptism and moving immediately to the solitude and prayer of the desert.  While there, he is tempted by the devil.  Note the three movements at work here: baptism, prayerful retreat, and temptation. The story can serve as a template of our own Lenten pilgrimage.

First, we are invited to ponder our own baptism and the meaning embedded in our being grafted onto Christ.  As we journey with Christ to Jerusalem and his passion we assess the state of our companionship with him.  How have I embraced the liberation of my baptism?  Second, we enter more deeply into this season which serves as extended retreat, a prolonged meditation on who Christ is and what he does for us.  As we retreat, we acknowledge that we have, at times, succumbed to the temptations offered along the way.  In a season of repentance and reconciliation, we desire to become more aware of the ways we have failed to live our unique vocation that flows from our baptism.

Jesus emerges from his baptism and he takes the next steps in his public life and ministry.  As he prayerfully retreats to consider this moment in his life, the devil tempts him to move away from the calling that has been whispered into his heart and to embrace the powers and pleasures of the world.  In his rejection of the dark spirit’s temptation, Jesus claims himself and his vocation.  He will not be distracted from living the mission given him by the Father.  What temptations draw us from our destiny of companionship with Jesus?  What holds us back from responding more generously to the call?

—Fr. Patrick McGrath, S.J., President of Loyola Academy

Prayer

Life-giving God, you bring me once again into this season of Lent.  Along this journey your Word is near—on my lips and in my heart.  As I face the temptations and challenges of these coming weeks, show me how to walk in Jesus’ footsteps, to hear his words, and to trust in his ways.  Be with me, O Lord, especially when I am in trouble.  Amen!

—Fr. Patrick McGrath, S.J., President of Loyola Academy

 


Please share the Good Word with your friends!