1st Sunday of Lent

Our Gospel reading this week sees Jesus tested over and over by satan. With each rebuke, Jesus asserts the wisdom he was taught growing up. He ultimately tells satan ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test’. The responsorial psalm echoes our Lenten sentiments of desire for accompaniment: “Be with me, Lord, when I am in trouble”. It is in our weaker moments that we are reminded how great our need is to feel the presence of Christ, and of others in our lives. Lent is a time for simplicity, restraint, and reflection. Our practice of giving something up is meant to challenge us with the ultimate goal of bringing us closer to God. It gives us opportunity to reflect on our privilege, and allows us to make considerations for others who do not have as much as us. Satan knows that we are weak, and that we can be persuaded to take the easy way out; in fact, he seeks the opportunity to come to us at our weakest. If we are not presented with the opportunity to give alms during our sacrifice, we lose the dimension of gratitude and our Lenten practice can become a shallow struggle which often results in us succumbing to our desires and cracking open the top of the ice cream container. The reason almsgiving is so crucial is because it is a moment of encounter for us with Christ. “Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me” (Matthew 25.40) Through almsgiving, we are able to be the accompaniment to others. As we set out on these 40 days, we ought to reflect (and act!) on how we are called to accompany one another. Sunday Readings Deuteronomy 26.4-10 Psalm 91 Romans 10.8-13 Luke 4.1-13