First Sunday of Lent

Forty days in the desert


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.    
Luke 4:1-2

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 the sovereignty of God over the whole of 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.

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

We pray for all staff and volunteers at the Centre – that they will continue to help people
find strength and feel loved.

Reflection by Cardinal Basil Hume OSB – originally in ‘A Turning to God’, edited by Patricia Hardcastle Kelly (DLT 2007), used with permission