Preaching The Word
THIS WEEK’S SCRIPTURES
March 10, 2019
First Sunday of Lent
Deuteronomy 26:4–10 + Romans 10:8–13 + Luke 4:1–13
Reflection by: Sister Ann Marie Rimmer, OP
Lent is God’s Time
When we think we are in control, the temptations of Jesus are our temptations. Jesus was tempted by power, pride and glory. But he constantly deferred to God: it is not by bread alone…worship only God…do not put God to the test. The goals of the temptations are admirable— to feed the hungry, to bring the world under the control of good, and to trust in God’s power to protect us. We believe we can work to bring these worthy goals nearer to fulfillment. We make resolutions; we determine we will do more good actions. We will fast; we will pray more and with greater intensity. In other words, we will be super-ministers, we will be super-Christians on our own. Perhaps the greatest temptation we face is to refuse to accept our human limitations and let God be God for us.
In the reading from Deuteronomy, Moses reminds the people of God’s loving care, leading them out of slavery into a land of freedom, a land flowing with milk and honey. It was God’s initiative. Paul stresses to the local community the importance of faith in Jesus, not deeds, but deep faith. For, “everyone who calls on the name of Jesus will be saved.”
Perhaps Lent is less a time for doing religious deeds than for us to be open to transformative things God can do for us. We need to listen to the aches and stirrings of our heart to receive God’s promptings. God’s plan unfolds within and around us. It is an act of humility to remember that we are dust and not merely to wear it on our foreheads. Lent is God’s time.