First Sunday of Lent 2013
Today's gospel story reminds us that just as Jesus became one with us and so faced temptation in the desert, we will also live through desert times and need to deal with temptation. Lent is a time to reflect on how well we do this not only personally but communally. Today, we might consider how we approach the major temptations referred to in the gospel. As a nation - and in our personal lives, do we use our gifts for good, or do we abuse our power and hoard an inordinate share of the goods of the earth? Do we acknowledge the challenge of our times to do what we can to fight oppression and injustice, or do we accept the evil of allowing wealthy countries to overpower their less fortunate neighbours as if it was their due? Do we acknowledge God as our creator or put our God to the test by our lack of trust? Temptations are always with us. Our challenge is to reflect on what changes are possible in our own lives, in our circle of friends, in our parish, and in our society, to ensure that we use our power for good -always seeking a kingdom of peace and justice. The cross - the Tree of Life - reminds us that God has been with us throughout all human history. When we learn to let go and trust in God’s covenantal love, we can renew our lives and retreat to our own desert places. It is here that we can find the strength to die to sin and evil, live with our brokenness, and find our God in our sisters and brothers as we gather beneath the tree of life.
– Patty Fowler, PBVM Associate