Working with the Word

Focusing the Gospel 

Key words and phrases:   tempted by the devil; he was hungry; Get away, Satan; The Lord, your God

To the point: Jesus spent forty days alone in the desert and was vulnerable, so the devil tried to allure him with tantalizing temptations. Temptation is essentially an enticement to put our own desires and needs first. Resisting temptation, then, is really resisting self-centeredness. Like Jesus, we must choose instead to surrender ourselves to God who alone should be the center of our lives. To make any other choice is to choose a false god. This First Sunday of Lent poses this question: Do we serve god or God?

Connecting the Gospel …

… to the First Reading:  The Second Reading contrasts Adam, who did not resist temptation with its consequences for humanity, and Christ, who did resist temptation and so gave humanity the promise of new Life. How frequently we are like Adam; how continuously grace calls us to be like Christ!

… to experience: We use the word “temptation” rather lightly in all kinds of contexts; for example, we say we are “tempted” to abandon our diet for a sumptuous dessert. But the nature of temptation described in this Sunday’s readings is much more serious, for its consequences involve our very Life and salvation.

 

**From Saint Louis University

Kristin Clauson