【Spiritual Talk】The First Sunday of Lent – Fr. Anthony Ho

by Kenny Cheng

This week, the Church celebrates the beginning of Lent, the forty days of preparation for Easter. In fact, there are 46 days between Ash Wednesday and Holy Saturday, but since fasting is not kept on Sundays, the Sundays are not included in the calculation. This Sunday, the Gospel reading is about Jesus spending forty days in the desert praying and fasting, which reminds us of the forty days Moses spent in the desert, praying and fasting to prepare to receive the Ten Commandments from God. When the Devil tempts Jesus, He quotes from the Book of Deuteronomy that Moses wrote, using the Word of God as His weapon. When the Devil tempts Jesus to turn stones into bread, He quotes Deuteronomy 8:3, “Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” When the Devil tells Jesus to jump from a height to display His power as the Son of God, Jesus quotes Deuteronomy 6:16, “You must not put the Lord your God to the test.” Finally, the Devil tells Jesus to worship him in return for the world’s wealth and honour, but Jesus quotes Deuteronomy 6:13, “You shall worship the Lord your God and serve Him alone.” We often rely on our selfish desires to make decisions when we encounter temptation and often make mistakes and distance ourselves from God. When we frequently read Scripture, meditate, and pray the Rosary, we immerse ourselves in the grand scheme of the Gospel, training us to naturally use the Word of God to resist temptation when it comes our way.

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