First Week of Lent (Year A) – March 5, 2017
1st Reading: Gen 2:7-9, 3:1-7
2nd Reading: Rom 5:12-19
Gospel: Mt. 4, 1-11
The First Sunday of Lent introduces us to the many realities of our lives as we follow our Lord Jesus: The themes of sin, the fall of Adam, the redemption of Christ and overcoming sin and evil. These themes are a key to a better preparation before we celebrate the feast of Easter.
The First Reading (Gen 2:7-9, 3:1-7) brings us to an awareness of sin which enters through our first parents’ disobedience by eating the forbidden fruit. Their sinning was realized through the deception of the devil. As a result, many graces had been lost because of sin, and their action had an effect to the entire humanity.
While, the Second Reading (Rom 5:12-19) contrasts Adam with Christ. As St. Paul says, “For just as through the disobedience of one man the many were made sinners, so, through the obedience of the one, the many will be made righteous.” Thus, we have been saved by the obedience of Christ which culminated in His Paschal Mystery – Passion, Death and Resurrection.
In the Gospel (Mt 4, 1-11), Jesus was led to the desert by the Holy Spirit to be tempted by the devil who is the master of lies and half-lies. If Jesus was not strong in the Spirit, He would have fallen to the lures and enticements of the devil. What made Jesus strong? Prayer and fasting: May we learn and live these two disciplines as we follow our Lord, especially in this season of Lent.
The clear message for all of us is to avoid temptation or to stand up against temptation for it will not bear any good fruit through prayer and fasting. Let us be reminded that Lenten Season is a time to go back to God. If we have the capacity to refuse temptations, in effect we acknowledge the true God who must be in control of our life.
Hence, the struggle between Jesus and the devil goes on within each of us, every day of our life. The urge to be true to God is real, but so is the urge to be untrue. Thus, temptation is not a sin, but an incitement to evil, a test. It’s when we give in that sin happens. (Rev. Matt Bernard Quiao)