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All Issues > Volume 27, Issue 2

<< Sunday, March 13, 2011 >> First Sunday of Lent
Genesis 2:7-9; 3:1-7
Romans 5:12-19

View Readings
Psalm 51:3-6, 12-14, 17
Matthew 4:1-11

Similar Reflections


"Jesus was led into the desert by the Spirit." —Matthew 4:1

In the stark desolation of the physical desert, you can:

  • see clearly without distraction.
  • live simply, in a "lean and mean" lifestyle. Only the basic necessities for survival are valuable.
  • discern value clearly. We tend to overvalue the things the world affords (1 Jn 2:16). In the desert, a cup of water has far more value than a diamond necklace.

In Lent, the Holy Spirit leads us into the desert to speak to our heart (Hos 2:16). This spiritual desert is similar to the physical desert:

  • Temptations can be seen more clearly for what they are, without distraction.
  • Things that seem so important in the world, such as the regard of others, fade into obscurity in the spiritual desert.
  • Things that seem obscure in the clutter of society, such as God's opinion of you, are critically important in the desert.
  • Your need for God's provision and protection is acute in the desert. The consequences of rebelling against God's direction can be fatal.

Most of all, the desert is a place of love (see Jer 2:2). In the desert the Lord allures us (Hos 2:16) by pouring out His love into our heart through the Holy Spirit (Rm 5:5). The Israelites grumbled in the desert (see Ex 16:2), but in the Lenten desert, we will rejoice (Is 35:1). "In the desert prepare the way of the Lord!" (Is 40:3)

Prayer: Jesus, let me count everything as loss so that I may always consider You, and You alone, to be my Wealth (Phil 3:7-8).
Promise: "Through one Man's obedience, all shall become just." —Rm 5:19
Praise: Praise Jesus, Who precedes us into the desert and teaches us how to pray.
(This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)
Rescript: In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant the Imprimatur ("Permission to Publish") for One Bread, One Body covering the period from February 1, 2011 through March 31, 2011.
†Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July27, 2010.
The Imprimatur ("Permission to Publish") is a declaration that a book or pamphlet is considered to be free of doctrinal or moral error. It is not implied that those who have granted the Imprimatur agree with the contents, opinions, or statements expressed.
Volume 27, Issue 2
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