Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament

Province of Saint Ann

St Ann Crown red

Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament

Province of Saint Ann

St Ann Crown red
Eymard stained glass window

Daily Eucharistic Reflections

February 18, 2024

1st Sunday of Lent

The Gospels invite us to enter the narratives they spin. We recall an event in the life of Jesus to enter into it. We become Jesus. Today’s passage, the account of Jesus’ temptation in the desert, doesn’t pull us away from our time or world; it intensifies and brings it into focus.

I believe the entire human family is experiencing a Spirit-directed time of temptation. Many countries are in crisis. It has become painfully evident that no one and no country is an island. The Middle East is a powder keg. In the Far East, a city and a vast, powerful country are engaged in a dangerous game of chicken. The earth of Eastern Europe is muddied with blood. Democracies are floundering. Fascism continues to seduce one country after another, our own included.

“He was among the wild beasts, and the angels ministered to him.” God didn’t take the temptations away or save him from the crucible. He was still in the desert amid the wild beasts.

Mark recalls Isaiah’s prophecy of universal peace when the lion and the lamb live together in a new, redeemed world – the kingdom of God. These angels who came to him in the desert will again minister to him in Gethsemane as he begins his Passover. Mark is giving us hope. A time of temptation always opens to a time of grace.

This Lent, our time in the desert, may be one of the most important of our lives. Temptations are sent to purify and make us strong. We’re challenged to question how we have been thinking and our loyalties. But the Spirit is with us in our temptation. The angels minister to us. We’re being guided to open our eyes and hearts and envision the world God intends for us, the Kingdom of God. Let’s strengthen ourselves with Paul’s words to the Corinthians, “the world as we know it is passing.”

Prayer:

Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. May Christians and all people of good faith join as brothers and sisters united by the bond of love. May the sacrifices we make for the good of all help to bring about your reign. Amen.

 

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