First Sunday of Lent – Forty days in the desert

Scripture Reading – Luke 4:1,1-13

Filled with the Holy Spirit, Jesus left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit through the wilderness, being tempted there by the devil for forty days. …Having exhausted all these ways of tempting him, the devil left him, to return at the appointed time.

Cardinal“During Lent, like Christ, we too need to live for forty days in the desert. It is for us a time to attend more closely to God, and to purify our hearts. Today we begin to reflect on the mystery by recalling the three temptations of Christ. The temptations of Christ reveal the human condition. They tell us something about faith, hope and sovereignty of God over the whole creation.

First, the devil took advantage of Christ’s hunger to tempt him to limit his concern to the relief of human need. We need daily bread; we need too a reason for living, a sense of purpose, a vision. We need the bread of life, the word of truth which comes from God.

The second temptation was to seek a sign. We have to be prepared to wait in faith and enduring hope. To realise that love alone will conquer hate, and that life is found only in the experience of death. In the darkness we have faith in the light, we hope for life without end.

The final temptation is to use earthly power and strength to compel the good we wish to achieve. In faith and hope we must be content with weakness and apparent failure. It is our task to witness to the truth and commit ourselves to the gospel of reconciliation, peace, unity and love of others.

Prayer

Father, give me the strength to reject temptation and to put my trust in you in all things.

For the Cardinal Hume Centre

Father, please let the Centre be a witness to the truth, a place where people in need find peace.

P

“I had done enough bad things… I realised my life was going down the wrong path. At the Centre I had the chance to have a fresh start.”

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