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This Sunday we begin the season of Lent. Each year on the first Sunday of Lent we read an account of Jesus’ temptation in the desert. This year we read Mark’s account which is the shortest. It doesn’t have any of the details that are included in Matthew and Luke’s account. We are told simply that “The Spirit drove Jesus out into the desert, and he remained in the desert for forty days, tempted by Satan. He was among wild beasts and the angels ministered to him.”
Despite the lack of details in Mark’s account of Jesus’ temptation, the point is clear. Jesus is like us in all things, but sin. In the desert he experienced real temptations, but unlike us he did not give in to those temptations. The forty days that Jesus remained in the desert recalls the forty years that the Jews wandered in the desert for forty years after they left Egypt.
Our first reading this weekend is from the Book of Genesis. It is the story of the new covenant God made with Noah after the flood. God tells Noah: “This is the sign that I am giving for all ages to come, of the covenant between me and you; I set my bow in the clouds to serve as a sign of the covenant between me and the earth.” The rainbow, then, was a sign that “………. the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all mortal beings.”
For our second reading this weekend we read from the first Letter of Saint Peter. In it we are reminded that “Christ suffered for sins once, the righteous for the sake of the unrighteous, that he might lead you to God.”
Questions for Reflection/Discussion:
1. Where do you experience temptation in your life?
2. What helps you to overcome temptation?
3. Where and/or how are you being led to God?