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Sunday, March 1, 2020

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First Sunday of Lent

Genesis 2:7-9; 3:1-7
Romans 5:12-19
Psalm 51:3-6, 12-13, 17
Matthew 4:1-11

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a sunday to remember

"Then Jesus was led into the desert by the Spirit to be tempted by the devil." —Matthew 4:1

I have wonderful memories of the graces of the first Sunday of Lent. I was also intrigued by Jesus being led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by Satan. I consider it a great insight that the first and fundamental temptation of Christ and Christians is the temptation to doubt the Spirit's proclamation of our being sons or daughters of God the Father (Mt 4:3). It is so glorious to hear Jesus boldly state His divinity at the beginning of the New Testament when He commands Satan: "You shall not put the Lord your God to the test" (Mt 4:7).

On the first Sunday of Lent, we probably have a fresh enthusiasm for Lent and a break in our weekday fasting. This Sunday is the worldwide rite of election where the millions who elect to join the Church by being baptized into Christ on Easter are accepted by the Church. If you've been to your cathedral for the rite of election, you probably can remember the Lord's presence through the bishop, successor of the apostles, and through the worshipping assembly of the elect, their sponsors, the families and parish of the elect, and other members of the body of Christ.

Today is a very "acceptable time" (2 Cor 6:2). "Now is the day of salvation!" (2 Cor 6:2) Rejoice in the First Sunday of Lent.

Prayer:  Father, thank You for days like today: days of hope, love, and joy.

Promise:  "If death began its reign through one man because of his offense, much more shall those who receive the overflowing grace and gift of justice live and reign through the one Man, Jesus Christ." —Rm 5:17

Praise:  "The Resurrection of Jesus is the crowning truth of our faith in Christ" (see Catechism of the Catholic Church, 638). Praise the risen Jesus!

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 8, 2019

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