FIRST SUNDAY OF LENT
At that time Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. He fasted for forty days and forty nights, and afterwards he was hungry. The tempter approached and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command that these stones become loaves of bread.” He said in reply, “It is written: One does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.” The devil took him to the city, and made him stand on the parapet of the temple, and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down. …Jesus answered him, “Again it is written, You shall not put the Lord, your God, to the test.” Then the devil took him up to a very high mountain, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in their magnificence, and he said to him, “All these I shall give you, if you will prostrate yourself and worship me.” At this Jesus said to him, “Get away, Satan! It is written: The Lord, your God, shall your worship and him alone shall you serve.”
We are never immune to temptation; it is real. But temptation always brings choice,
decision, and greater self-knowledge. In the case of the Son of God, his choice was also
between God and Satan, his decision was to be faithful to God’s Law and revelation, and
his greater self-knowledge led him out of the desert to begin his public ministry. In our daily living we must place our temptations and the choices within the context of the commandment to love God and neighbor. This is Lent’s challenge and invitation. (Living Liturgy, p. 64).
Frederic Ozanam suffered temptations against his faith, and he was literally brought to
his knees. Thanks to a friend, we know that: “In the darkest hour of trial, which had
become for him actual pain, the young student appealed to the mercy of God for light and
peace. He threw himself on his knees before the Most Blessed Sacrament, and there in
tears and in all humility, he promised Our Lord that, if He would deign to make the lamp
of truth shine in his sight, he would consecrate his life to it’s defense.” –Bl. Frederic Ozanam (Ramson, Praying with Frederic, p.50)
"When I was hungry, you gave me something to eat, and when I was thirsty, you gave me something to drink. When I was a stranger , you welcomed me, and when I was naked, you gave me clothes to wear. When I was sick, you took care of me, and when I was in jail, you visited me." Then the ones who pleased the Lord will ask, "When did we give you something to eat or drink? When did we welcome you as a stranger or give you clothes to wear or visit you while you were sick or in jail?" The king will answer, "Whenever you did it for any of my people, no matter how unimportant they seemed, you did it for me."
"Blessed are you poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. Blessed are you who are hungry now, for you shall be satisfied. Blessed are you who are weeping now, for you shall laugh. Blessed shall you be when men will have hated you, and when they have separated you and reproached you, and thrown out your name as if evil, because of the Son of Man. Be glad in that day and exult, For behold, your reward is great in heaven."