First Sunday in Lent
Gospel: The Temptations of Jesus
The Temptations of Jesus occur in the Gospels immediately after his Baptism. It has become clear to Jesus that this is the time He should begin His three-year public ministry. The Baptism connects His ministry to the ‘Suffering Servant’ figure from the prophet Isaiah.
Now He is tempted to carry out His ministry in a way that is more comfortable than that of the Suffering Servant. To impress people, show off, play power games – that would be easier – but Jesus rejects those temptations. Through the Cross is the only road to Resurrection.
Today’s Gospel offers each parish community the chance to look at where we are tempted to water down the challenge of following Jesus and make life easier for ourselves.
Reflections for discussion and consideration:
The start of Jesus’ public ministry was a time of change for Him; He would encounter opposition, hostility and obstacles. In our parish(es), what are the challenges we face as the disciples of Jesus entering the 2020s? Are we courageous in engaging positively with the challenges of change? Is the building of God’s kingdom, and our faith communities within it, our priority?
To prepare Himself for His public ministry, Jesus was guided by the Holy Spirit to quiet of the desert, where He prayed and fasted. What are we doing this Lent that might help us prepare for the celebration of the passion, death and resurrection of Christ?
Are we Christ-like in the face of temptation or are we self-centred? What are the things that draw us away from following the way of Jesus, in these secular times?
For those of us who are in positions of authority - be that in family, workplace, parish, our Church - do we imitate Jesus in such positions? Is our approach to authority that of the ‘Suffering Servant’?