First Sunday of Lent – March 10, 2019

1LC19. Deuteronomy 26:4-10. The nation of God’s Chosen People started as a small household that lived in Egypt as oppressed aliens that the Lord made into a nation of numerous people. Moses said, “God ‘heard our cry and saw our affliction, our toil, and our oppression. He brought us out of Egypt with his strong hand and outstretched arm, with terrifying power, with signs and wonder; and bringing us into this country, he gave us this land flowing with milk and honey.’” For those who entrust themselves to God, who respect him as God over them, he uses his power for their benefit because they have given themselves over to belong to him. They are his.

Luke 4:1-13. After his baptism, Jesus “was led by the spirit into the desert for forty days, to be tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and when they were over he was hungry.” Jesus is both truly human and truly divine. In his divinity he is infinite and cannot experience a lack of anything, in other words, God cannot be hungry. However, in his humanity Jesus was definitely hungry. As the Israelites spent forty years in the desert in order to learn to be God’s People, so too Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert for forty days as a learning experience for Jesus in his humanity. Jesus in his humanity needed to learn just as any human needs to learn. He learned to be dependent on the Holy Spirit who filled him. It was the Spirit who gave him the strength and wisdom to defeat Satan. Without the Spirit Jesus in his humanity was no match for the devil, nor are we. The temptations that Jesus experienced were genuine and real. The devil knew well that he truly could tempt Jesus in his humanity but trying to tempt God would have been an absurdity. As in the first reading, God used his infinite power to defend those who belong to him. God would never allow Jesus to sin and will never allow us to sin as long as we live our lives in him.

Romans 10:8-13. “For the Scripture says, No one who believes in him will be put to shame.” Paul wrote, “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” Only if we consistently put our salvation in the hands of the Savior will we be saved. He will never fail us but we must pray always that we will not fail him. We must always be a people who live only out of his provident goodness, never neglecting to go to him for our needs and as the source of our daily life.