1st Sunday of Lent (Feb. 14, 2016)

1st Sunday of Lent (Feb. 14, 2016)


With the recent Super Bowl—and more likely because it was Super Bowl 50—there were a lot of special remembrances: 50 top players, the greatest Super Bowl commercials, the greatest Super Bowl halftime shows (to which I would not include the most recent).  These remembrances might make us nostalgic, but do they really do anything for us?  Do they elicit an active response in us, or call us to do something?  Of course not.


In our Scriptures today, we have some special remembrances, but these remembrances call forth an active response.  Moses reminds the people of how the Lord freed them from slavery in Egypt and was bringing them into a land flowing with milk and honey.  And at this remembrance, he tells the people that therefore they should offer first fruits to the Lord and also bow down in worship of God. 


In the Gospel, during Jesus’ temptations in the desert, three times He responds to the devil with Scripture quotations from Israel’s time in the desert.  By doing this, He’s saying He’s not going to fail like they did.  His remembrance of the covenant helped Him to stand firm in the face of temptations.


What about us, brothers and sisters?  We can recall all that God has done for us.  We can recall Christ’s saving death on the Cross, and His Resurrection that gives us life.  This remembrance should bring forth something in us.  Like with Moses and the people, it should move us to give our best to God and to give Him all honor and glory.  Like with Jesus, remembering the covenant relationship we have with the living God should allow us to withstand temptation, the same temptations that Jesus faced: pursuing physical comforts or pleasures first, putting other things in the place of God, and trying to have God under our control.


The Mass is a living remembrance of Christ’s saving death on the Cross.  In the Mass, we encounter and have communion with the complete self-giving love of Christ.  This should move us to go out and to proclaim and to live, “Jesus Christ is the Lord of my life, and I give everything to Him and for Him.”