Discussion Questions

First Reading
Genesis 2:7-9; 3:1-7

1. What in the creation story establishes a bond between humans and all other creatures of earth? What establishes a bond between humans and God? Would it be a better world if humans did not have the freedom to choose? Knowing that people would not always resist the temptation to choose evil, why would God ever give the human race free will?

2. After their sin Adam and Eve wanted to cover their bodies. They did not want to be seen as they really were. Is it easy to be honest about faults? If you do become honest about your failings, what is the next step?

Second Reading
Romans 5:12-19

1. We hear at Easter, “O happy fault! O necessary sin of Adam, which gained for us so great a Redeemer!” St. Paul says in Sunday’s reading, “But the gift is not like the transgression” (like killing a roach with a nuclear weapon). Why do you think God would go to this extreme to save us? 

2. Pope Francis said “Sometimes we are saddened by the weight of our sins. May we not be discouraged. Christ has come to lift this burden and give us peace.” Does the fact that Christ represents all of us before God and that his obedience outweighs our sins or disobedience explain Pope Francis’s statement? What does all this mean to you?

Gospel
Matthew 4:1-11

1. Right after Jesus was baptized and heard the Father’s voice calling him “My Beloved Son,” the Spirit led him to the desert. Jesus probably wanted to think about what those words meant, and to pray about his ministry. The Spirit wanted him to be tested. How does it make you feel to think he had to fight temptation the same way you do?

2. What desert images hold Lenten meanings for you? Do you ever hear the Spirit calling you to pray when you feel you are in the wilderness? What part did the Spirit play in this Gospel story? What part will you let the Spirit play in your Lent this year?

Anne Osdieck

**From Saint Louis University

Kristin Clauson