First Sunday of Lent
1 Genesis 2:7-9; 3:1-7; Psalm 51:3-4; 5-6; 12-13, 17; 2 Romans 5:12-19; Matthew 4:1-11
The first Sunday of Lent brings us back to God’s revelation to the people of Israel of the Creation and of the early transgression of human kind; then to St. Paul’s letter to the Romans to whom Paul is sent to bring the knowledge of Jesus, the Son of God, promised through the prophets, whose gracious gift “acquitted” human kind from original sin and the transgressions that followed.
The Gospel of Matthew leads us through the temptations endured by Jesus after 40 days and nights of fasting in the desert. Would we need any further proof that Jesus is our brother and understands our human tendency to satisfy our hungers, to take improvident risks and to seek power? Tempted by the premise that a desire satisfied is preferable to observing the command of the Creator, sin enters the human spectrum. Jesus, through His obedience to the Creator, returns human kind to the availability of righteousness. The words of the Psalmist remind us that we can call on the Lord for mercy even if we have not always pursued the road of righteousness and have sinned.
As we begin the season of Lent, thanks to the wisdom of the Church, we are offered 40 days to deepen our sense of who we are as children of God and brothers and sisters of our Savior and are given yet another opportunity to renew the precious lives with which we have been gifted. It’s a time to seek new ways to open our minds and hearts to God’s Presence and to seek love and peace with the brothers and sisters whom we meet on the journey whether we or they, are experiencing the “way of the Cross” at this time.
Searching for a centering place where we can be in contact with God and open our hearts and minds to His work within and among us, we pray:
“We lift up our hearts to you, O God, in this season of Lent – during the last days of winter – that gently sweep across our tired and sleeping hearts, awakening us to a deeper love for you.
May the wind of the Spirit that drove Jesus into the desert into the furnace of prayer, also drive us with a passion during this Lenten season to enkindle the fire of our devotion in the desert of Lenten love.
May we earnestly use this Lenten season to answer the inner urge to awaken and be filled with a spirit of hope, compassion and new life."
Sister Kathleen Sullivan, OP