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Scripture Reflection - February 26, 2023

First Sunday of Lent

Sisters of Saint Dominic of Blauvelt, New York Scripture Reflection

The readings for this first Sunday of Lent present a biblical history of sin. We are reminded that we are sinners. Even Jesus was tempted, but by the power of the Holy Spirit, He did not fall. We human beings are not so fortunate. We have the aid of the Holy Spirit in helping us avoid sin, but our pride, selfishness, and human weakness get in the way.

In the first reading from the Book of Genesis, we read how sin came into the world through Adam and Eve. They ate from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, and then they had knowledge of evil. They were vulnerable, full of guilt, and full of shame. Their choice was a turning away from God and choosing that which is not life. All humankind has suffered from the result of their choice.

St. Paul reminds us in the second reading that as sin entered the world through the fall of the first man and woman, redemption came through Jesus’ death and resurrection. The first event affected all humanity; the second event freed all who believed in and lived according to the teachings of Jesus.

In the Gospel passage, Jesus, after praying and fasting for forty days and nights in the desert, demonstrates His power over evil when He rejected the devil and his temptations. Jesus would seek His bread from God, not from the world. He would not jump from the parapet of the temple in an attempt to force the Father into action. Jesus would not be bribed with the kingdoms and riches of the world for rebelling against the Father, as there is only one Kingdom that mattered. In the end, Satan could not use physical cravings, pride, or lust to turn Jesus from His Father and His mission.

We enter these forty days of Lent with Jesus, not only knowing we will be tested but also assured He has gone before us, He walks with us, and He has guaranteed the outcome. This Lenten season is a time to rethink our values, our lifestyle, and our relationship with our God. We remember that the victory over sin as described in Genesis and Romans was made ours through the death and resurrection of Jesus. Through our Lenten desert experience with Jesus, may we, with fullness of joy, exalt as God’s Easter people.

Sr. Margaret Flood, OP


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