Sunday, March 13, 2011
First Sunday in Lent—A
Genesis: 2:7-9; 3:1-7
Romans 5: 12-19
The Word of God is not something outside us. Rather, the Word is a Person already written on our hearts. We have only to open ourselves to the presence of the Eternal Word, to hunger for the Word made Flesh, and then share this Life of Christ with the world.
This is borne out in the first sentence of today’s first reading: God “blew into [man’s] nostrils the breath of life.” And as we know from the Gospel of John (1:1), “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” This Word is our very breath!
Jesus, fasting in the desert for 40 days in today’s Gospel, is tempted by Satan three times to turn away from God the Father in ways that should be familiar to us all. Each time, Jesus resists with words from Scripture. “One does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes forth from the mouth of God,” he declares.
This is inspiration for us all, especially during Lent. Jesus was also human. While fasting, he was hungry. But when tempted to distrust and disobey God, he turned to the very Word that gives us life because he IS Life (John 6:27).
As we make our own Lenten journey into the desert where temptation can serve to strengthen our holy resolve, let us meditate more deeply on God’s gift to us in Word and Sacrament. As Pope Benedict XVI said during his Ash Wednesday general audience, “He does not really fast who does not know how to nourish himself on the Word of God. Lent invites us to more faithful and intense prayer and to a prolonged meditation on the Word of God.”