First Sunday of Lent
Readings: Deuteronomy 26:4-10; Romans 10:8-13; Luke 4:1-13
Filled with the Holy Spirit
The temptations of Jesus in the desert is the theme for this Sunday. We’ve well and truly begun the season of Lent. Last Wednesday, we put ashes on our forehead and began the season with resolutions to pray more, to fast and to be generous with our resources. Today we are asked to look into these resolutions seriously, for we can be tempted away from them and we will be tested as Jesus was in the wilderness.
The Gospel tells us that Jesus, after his Baptism, was filled with the Holy Spirit and was led to the wilderness, where he spent forty days. He ate nothing during that time, and he was hungry. The devil uses this opportunity to tempt Jesus, but Jesus does not give in. We too can be tempted in our day-to-day life. The evil one finds opportunity in our weakness and strikes us when we are very vulnerable. How do we respond?
The temptations of Jesus for food, glory and wealth are the symbols of our own weaknesses. How many of us give in to temptations, when there is a slightest opportunity to boss over others? How often do we indulge ourselves with food, drinks, fancy clothes, etc., even though we know we have enough? How often we struggle to resist the temptation to take a bit more than what is our due? Jesus shows us his example today. Even though he was tempted in every way, he keeps God his focus. He uses the words from the scripture to defeat the temptation, even when the devil misquotes from the scripture! How often do I find time to read the scripture?
Dear friends, we might have already resolved to give up few things for this Lent. We might have already begun contributing to the welfare of others, a bit more than what we usually do! We might have already sacrificed our wellbeing for the sake of others. Let us stick with it, because, we can be talked out of it very easily. It is easy to stop doing good, it is easy to look after oneself and not bother about others, it is easy to hoard things and not let go. And these are our weaknesses and we can be tempted into them. But we are not alone. We have our saviour Jesus, who has overcome the temptations. He has shown us the way.
So, may this season of Lent be a time to continue to do good in our lives. Even if we give in to temptations, let us try our best to walk out of them. Let us spend a bit more time in reading the scriptures and remember, we are guided by the Holy Spirit. Let us also remember to pray for one another, because the prayer of each other continues to strengthen us. And finally, let this season of Lent be a time to refresh our relationship with God, who fills us with joy and happiness. May this Lent be filled with God’s blessing on each one of you. Amen.