What faithful looks like

Greetings on this the First Sunday of Lent
Readings: Dt 26:4-10; Ps 91:1-2, 10-11, 12-13, 14-15; Rom 10:8-13; Lk 4:1-13
Notes: Two tracks today.

  1. The faithfulness of the Lord is a foundational reality.
  2. Modelled behavior impels us to do the same.

First reading
Now, therefore, I have brought the first fruits of the products of the soil which you, LORD, have given me.” You shall set them before the LORD, your God, and you shall bow down before the LORD, your God.

The Lord delivered the Jewish people from bondage.
The people, in thanksgiving, brought the Lord the first fruits of the land.

You shall declare before the LORD, your God, “I have purged my house of the sacred portion and I have given it to the Levite, the resident alien, the orphan and the widow, just as you have commanded me. I have not transgressed any of your commandments, nor forgotten any (Dt 26:13).

Note here: even the sacred we give away – a model of the fulness of love.

  1. Gratitude.
  2. Awareness.
  3. Action.
  • The fruit of the land is a gift from the Lord.
  • The freedom from bondage is a gift from the Lord.

This first reading sets the stage well for the gospel portion.

The bread and freedom are gifts from the Lord. We are to do likewise.
Our worship and trust belong to the Lord for he is faithful and true.

Responsorial Psalm
Be with me, Lord, when I am in trouble.

Second reading
The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart.
For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

Verse Before the Gospel
One does not live on bread alone,
but on every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.

Gospel Portion
The Temptation of Jesus is recorded in the three Synoptic Gospels.

The Luke version is our gospel portion today.
Filled with the holy Spirit is the only way to blunt the attacks of the Evil One.
Knowing sacred scripture and having relation with the Lord gives strength to be hungry.

Forty Days (the conflict):

  1. Hunger for the Lord body and soul or only satisfy the body alone.
  2. Worship the Lord or strive for Power/Glory.
  3. Trust the Lord’s faithfulness or Test/Tempt the Lord (in disbelief).

Jesus faced the temptations we all face, every moment of every day. He gave us the blueprint for faith, hope and charity in this hour of temptation. I have given you a model to follow, so that as I have done for you, you should also do (Jn 13:15).

A KEY part of the message of Jesus is the meeting of the Other in the moment of the action. The action, important of itself, but has a transcendent quality to it. To quote again: in face of the directness of the relation everything becomes irrelevant.

Hunger (Fasting) – humans hunger not just for the body but also the soul yearns for the Lord. Relation, not object to satisfy.

(Resp) One does not live by bread alone, but by every word the comes forth from the mouth of God (MT 4;4b). Yet, we know that bread is a gift to us we are to give others. There is a difference between feeding ourselves and feeding others. A critical difference. The difference of the Other (first reading).

Power (Almsgiving) – Giving for the good of the other. Giving for the good of relation. Devil: Worship me.

(Resp) The Lord, your God, shall you worship and him alone shall you serve (MT4:9, 10b). Relation, not object to satisfy. Become powerless.

Desire (Prayer) – Prayer for the good of the other. Prayer for the good of relation.

Devil: Throw yourself down.

(Resp) You shall not put the Lord, your God, to the test (MT 4:5d, 7b). Relation, not object to satisfy. Pray and trust.

Peace be with you,
Deacon Gerry

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