First Sunday of Lent Year C
When you call, I shall answer: ‘I am with you.’
Grant, almighty God,
through the yearly observances of holy Lent,
that we may grow in understanding of the riches hidden in Christ
and by worthy conduct pursue their effects
We begin our Lenten journey in the wilderness. In the First Reading, Moses reminds the people of Israel of the story of how they became a mighty nation. He tells of their years of slavery in Egypt, and how the Lord heard their cry. God’s people were led through many trials in the desert to the promised land.
The Psalm is a song full of confidence in the power of God, to help us endure the difficulties of life. We can imagine Jesus taking comfort from praying this psalm when he was led by the Spirit into the wilderness. And yet it is a verse from this very same psalm that the tempter in the desert uses to test Jesus’s trust in God. The psalm reminds us that God is always with us, whatever trials we may face.
Luke’s Gospel account of the testing in the wilderness sees Jesus being tempted to use his divinity for his own needs, and of the possibility of seizing earthly power. Jesus shows that true power comes from centring your life on God.
The Second Reading reminds us of this teaching, and tells us that the Word of God is very close to us. It is deep within our being for all who believe in the saving love of Christ. We are all equal in that love, and we are called to proclaim this message of love in our lives. When we call on the Lord for help in our daily struggles, God will be with us.
Let us hold each other in prayer and pray too for our communities, that we may grow in our trust in God and deepen our prayer life in the coming weeks of Lent.