From the desk of Ms. Kathleen Cook, Director of Religious Education
Theme: Luke 4:1-13 In the desert, Jesus is tempted by the devil.
Summary: In today’s Gospel, we hear about how the Holy Spirit led Jesus into the desert where he was tempted by the devil. During these trials and temptations, Jesus demonstrates faithfulness, unlike the nation of Israel, who were unfaithful during their time in the desert. Temptations have everything to do with the comforts that we all need and desire. For Jesus, one of these temptations is hunger. However, in the midst of all the temptations presented to Jesus by the devil, Jesus remains steadfast in his faithfulness.
Scripture: Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the desert, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. Luke 4:1-2a
In our Scripture today, Jesus was led by the Spirit out into the wilderness where he was tempted by the devil for forty days. Jesus ate nothing all that time and he was very hungry.
The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become a loaf of bread.”
Jesus answered, “No! The Scripture says, ‘People do not live by bread alone.'”
Next, the devil took Jesus up and showed him all the kingdoms of the world. “I will give you all of these kingdoms and the authority over them if you will worship me.”
Jesus replied, “The Scripture says, “You must worship the Lord your God and serve only him.”
Then the devil took Jesus to Jerusalem. He took him up to the highest point of the Temple and said, “If you are the Son of God, jump off! The Scripture says that ‘God will order his angels to guard and protect you. They will hold you up with their hands so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone.'”
Jesus answered him, “The Scriptures also say, ‘You must not test the Lord your God.'”
Heavenly Father, over and over again the devil tempts us to do things we should not do. Help us to study your Word so that we will know how to resist the devil when he tries to lead us astray. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
My Promise to Jesus: Lord, now that I am older, I know the difference between right and wrong. With your help, I will choose what is right. When I feel lost, I will ask the Holy Spirit to guide me.
Reflect: If a word or phrase from the Gospel captures your heart, sit quietly for several minutes, repeating it to yourself and asking God to show you how it applies to your life. Or reflect and possibly journal on the following question: When has giving in to temptation hurt you? How does giving in to temptation keep you from being the person you think God wants you to be?
Suggested book that compliments today’s Gospel:
Horton Hatches the Egg
Written by Dr. Seuss
In Luke’s Gospel, the story of Jesus’ temptation in the desert appears just after Jesus’ baptism and before Jesus begins his public ministry. We can imagine this as a time of transition, a turning point in Jesus’ life. Perhaps we can liken it to one of the important turning points in our own lives: the decision to marry, the birth of a child, the acceptance of a new job, or the decision to move to a new home. After the moment of decision, having reached the point of no return, we sometimes begin to wonder if we are prepared and ready for the task before us. Turning points can be times of doubt and insecurity. Jesus’ response to the temptations of the devil offers an example for responding in faith when our doubts and insecurities tempt us to distrust God’s sufficiency. Jesus rebukes the devil by quoting Scripture. Each citation is an affirmation of trust in God. We learn to trust in big things by practicing trust in little things. Our Lenten practices of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving invite us to trust God in these small ways. They remind us that God will suffice for us. They prepare us to trust in God in all things, especially in moments of doubt and uncertainty.
As a family, talk about ways in which trust has been built among members of the family. Observe how being trustworthy in small matters enables us to trust one another in more important matters. Offer specific examples if possible (e.g., children who establish their responsibility in household tasks can be granted greater independence and freedom to choose how they perform these tasks). Today’s Gospel shows us how Jesus trusted God in all things. Read aloud today’s Gospel, Luke 4:1-13. Discuss how Jesus showed his trust in God when he resisted the devil’s temptations. Invite family members to name times when they have trusted God in matters small or large. Write a family prayer together. You might write the prayer so that each line begins with a letter in the word “trust.” Pray this prayer together.
The Importance of Sunday: Sunday, the “Lord’s day,” is central to our liturgical life. Our observance begins on the Saturday evening before, and all Catholics are obligated to participate in Mass every weekend. There, the “Lord’s Supper is its center, for there the whole community of the faithful encounters the risen Lord who invites them to his banquet” (CCC 1166).
The Church also encourages us to treat Sunday as a day of rest, recreation, and family time as a way of keeping the Third Commandment: “Remember the Sabbath day…..keep it holy. Six days you may labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of the Lord your God” (Exodus 20:8-10)
How do you spend Sundays? How can you “keep it holy?”