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Catholic Caucus: Sunday Mass Readings, 02-17-13, First Sunday of Lent
USCCB.org/RNAB ^ | 02-17-13 | Revised New American Biblel

Posted on 02/16/2013 9:35:36 PM PST by Salvation

February 17, 2013

 

First Sunday of Lent

 

Reading 1 Dt 26:4-10

Moses spoke to the people, saying:
“The priest shall receive the basket from you
and shall set it in front of the altar of the LORD, your God.
Then you shall declare before the Lord, your God,
‘My father was a wandering Aramean
who went down to Egypt with a small household
and lived there as an alien.
But there he became a nation
great, strong, and numerous.
When the Egyptians maltreated and oppressed us,
imposing hard labor upon us,
we cried to the LORD, the God of our fathers,
and he heard our cry
and saw our affliction, our toil, and our oppression.
He brought us out of Egypt
with his strong hand and outstretched arm,
with terrifying power, with signs and wonders;
and bringing us into this country,
he gave us this land flowing with milk and honey.
Therefore, I have now brought you the firstfruits
of the products of the soil
which you, O LORD, have given me.’
And having set them before the Lord, your God,
you shall bow down in his presence.”

Responsorial Psalm Ps 91:1-2, 10-11, 12-13, 14-15

R. (cf. 15b) Be with me, Lord, when I am in trouble.
You who dwell in the shelter of the Most High,
who abide in the shadow of the Almighty,
say to the LORD, “My refuge and fortress,
my God in whom I trust.”
R. Be with me, Lord, when I am in trouble.
No evil shall befall you,
nor shall affliction come near your tent,
For to his angels he has given command about you,
that they guard you in all your ways.
R. Be with me, Lord, when I am in trouble.
Upon their hands they shall bear you up,
lest you dash your foot against a stone.
You shall tread upon the asp and the viper;
you shall trample down the lion and the dragon.
R. Be with me, Lord, when I am in trouble.
Because he clings to me, I will deliver him;
I will set him on high because he acknowledges my name.
He shall call upon me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in distress;
I will deliver him and glorify him.
R. Be with me, Lord, when I am in trouble.

Reading 2 Rom 10:8-13

Brothers and sisters:
What does Scripture say?
The word is near you,
in your mouth and in your heart

—that is, the word of faith that we preach—,
for, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord
and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead,
you will be saved.
For one believes with the heart and so is justified,
and one confesses with the mouth and so is saved.
For the Scripture says,
No one who believes in him will be put to shame.
For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek;
the same Lord is Lord of all,
enriching all who call upon him.
For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

Gospel Lk 4:1-13

Filled with the Holy Spirit, Jesus returned from the Jordan
and was led by the Spirit into the desert for forty days,
to be tempted by the devil.
He ate nothing during those days,
and when they were over he was hungry.
The devil said to him,
“If you are the Son of God,
command this stone to become bread.”
Jesus answered him,
“It is written, One does not live on bread alone.
Then he took him up and showed him
all the kingdoms of the world in a single instant.
The devil said to him,
“I shall give to you all this power and glory;
for it has been handed over to me,
and I may give it to whomever I wish.
All this will be yours, if you worship me.”
Jesus said to him in reply,
“It is written:
You shall worship the Lord, your God,
and him alone shall you serve.

Then he led him to Jerusalem,
made him stand on the parapet of the temple, and said to him,
“If you are the Son of God,
throw yourself down from here, for it is written:
He will command his angels concerning you, to guard you,
and:
With their hands they will support you,
lest you dash your foot against a stone.

Jesus said to him in reply,
“It also says,
You shall not put the Lord, your God, to the test.
When the devil had finished every temptation,
he departed from him for a time.


TOPICS: Catholic; General Discusssion; Prayer; Worship
KEYWORDS: catholic; lent; prayer
For your reading, reflection, faith-sharing, comments, questions, discussion.

1 posted on 02/16/2013 9:35:46 PM PST by Salvation
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To: nickcarraway; NYer; ELS; Pyro7480; livius; ArrogantBustard; Catholicguy; RobbyS; marshmallow; ...

Praise to you, Lord, Jesus Christ, King of Endless Glory Ping!

If you aren’t on this ping list NOW and would like to be on it, please Freepmail me.



2 posted on 02/16/2013 9:38:23 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: Deuteronomy 26:4-10

First Fruits


(Moses spoke to the people saying,) [4] “Then the priest shall take the basket
from your hand, and set it down before the altar of the Lord your God.

[5] “And you shall make response before the Lord your God, ‘A wandering Ara-
mean was my father; and he went down into Egypt and sojourned there, few in
number; and there he became a nation, great, mighty, and populous. [6] And
the Egyptians treated us harshly, and afflicted us, and laid upon us hard bon-
dage. [7] Then we cried to the Lord the God of our fathers, and the Lord heard
our voice, and saw our affliction, our toil, and our oppression; [8] and the Lord
brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, with great
terror, with signs and wonders; [9] and he brought us into this place and gave
us this land, a land flowing with milk and honey. [10] And behold, now I bring the
first of the fruit of the ground, which thou, O Lord, hast given me.’ And you shall
set it down before the Lord your God, and worship before the Lord your God.

*********************************************************************************************
Commentary:

26:1-11. The Deuteronomic Code, which began by specifying that there should
be only one sanctuary (cf. chap. 12), concludes by giving the prayers that were
to be said in that sanctuary in connection with the offering of the first fruits.

The offering of the first fruits was an appropriate way for Israel to express grati-
tude for the great deeds done by God, the “magnalia Dei”, the wonders he
worked in liberating the people from bondage and establishing them in the pro-
mised land.

The prayer that is said on this occasion (vv. 5-9) is a kind of historical-religious
Creed, a very important one, which takes in all the main features of Old Testa-
ment faith. It is a summary of the history of Israel, centered on its deliverance
from Egypt and settlement in the promised land. These two saving actions form
a paradigm: they are the hinges on which this “creed” (vv. 8-9) turns. Other Old
Testament passages containing similar “professions of faith” are to be found in
Deut 6:20-23; Josh 24:1-13; Neh 9:4ff; Jer 32:16-25 and Ps 136.

Jacob is portrayed as a key figure in the early history of the people of Israel; he
personifies the patriarchal era. The reference to him not by name but as a “wan-
dering Aramaean” (v. 5) underlines the contrast between the miserable circum-
stances of Israel earlier and settlement in the promised land. Jacob could be
called an Aramaean because Abraham may have been connected with the mi-
grations of Aramaean tribes. Moreover, one must bear in mind the long years
Jacob spent in north-eastern Mesopotamia, and his Aramaean wives (Gen 29-
30). The prayer at the first-fruits offering heightens the contrast between the po-
verty of the homeless, landless Aramaean and the prosperity of the rich land-
owner enjoying his freedom in a land flowing with milk and honey.

*********************************************************************************************
Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.


3 posted on 02/16/2013 9:43:24 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: Romans 10:8-13

Israel’s Infidelity (Continuation)


[8] But what does it [Moses’ writing] say? The word is near you, on your lips
and in your heart (that is, the word of faith which we preach); [9] because, If
you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that
God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. [10] For man believes with
his heart and so is justified, and he confesses with his lips and so is saved.
[11] The scripture says, “No one who believes in him will be put to shame.”
[12] For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; the same Lord is
Lord of all and bestows his riches upon all who call upon him. [13] For, “eve-
ry one who calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved.”

******************************************************************************************
Commentary:

6-8. St Paul here quotes and applies some words from Deuteronomy: “This
commandment,” Moses tells the people of Israel, “which I command you this
day is not too hard for you, neither is it far off. It is not in heaven, that you
should say, ‘Who will go up for us to heaven, and bring it to us, that we may
hear it and do it? [...] Who will go over the sea for us, and bring it to us, that
we may hear it and do it?’ But the word is very near you; it is in your mouth
and in your heart, so that you can do it” (Deut 30:11-14). The law which God
handed to Moses, then, clearly revealed his will and made it much easier to
fulfill. By the Incarnation, the Word of God became flesh and dwelt among us
and showed us the way to God. For the Christian the life and teaching of the
Word made flesh are divine precepts and commandments. Through his Incar-
nation Jesus Christ brought us grace and truth; by rising from the dead he
conquered death; and by ascending into heaven and, with the Father, sen-
ding the Holy Spirit, he perfected his work of redemption.

9. At least from the third century B.C. we have documentary evidence that,
out of respect, the Jews did not utter the name “Yahweh” but generally re-
ferred to God instead as “Lord”. The first Christians, by giving Christ the title
of “Lord”, were making a profession of faith in the divinity of Jesus.

10. To make the act of faith, human free will must necessarily be involved as
St Thomas explains when commenting on this passage: “He very rightly says
that man believes with his heart. Because everything else to do with external
worship of God, man can do it against his will, but he cannot believe if he
does not want to believe. So, the mind of a believer is not obliged to adhere
to the truth by rational necessity, as is the case with human knowledge: it
is moved by the will” (”Commentary on Rom, ad loc.”)

However, in order to live by faith, in addition to internal assent external pro-
fession of faith is required; man is made up of body and soul and therefore
he tends by nature to express his inner convictions externally; when the ho-
nor of God or the good of one’s neighbor requires it, one even has an obliga-
tion to profess one’s faith externally. For example, in the case of persecution
we are obliged to profess our faith, even at the risk of life, if, on being interro-
gated about our beliefs, our silence would lead people to suppose that we
did not believe or that we did not hold our faith to be the true faith and our bad
example would cause others to fall away from the faith. However, external pro-
fession is an obligation not only in extreme situations of that kind. In all situa-
tions — be they ordinary or exceptional — God will always help us to confess
our faith boldly (cf. Mt 10:32-33; Lk 12:8).

******************************************************************************************
Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.


4 posted on 02/16/2013 9:44:36 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: Luke 4:1-13

Jesus Fasts and Is Tempted in the Wilderness


[1] And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by
the Spirit [2] for forty days in the wilderness, tempted by the devil. And He ate
nothing in those days; and when they were ended, He was hungry. [3] The devil
said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.”
[4] And Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone.’”
[5] And the devil took Him up, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in
a moment of time, [6] and said to Him, “To You I will give all this authority and
glory; for it has been delivered to me, and I give it to whom I will. [7] If you, then,
will worship me, it shall all be yours.” [8] And Jesus answered, “It is written,
‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only shall you serve.’”

[9] And he took Him to Jerusalem, and set Him on the pinnacle of the temple,
and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down from here;
[10] for it is written, ‘He will give His angels charge of you, to guard you,’ [11]
and ‘On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a
stone.’”

[12] And Jesus answered him, “It is said, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your
God.’” [13] And when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from
Him until an opportune time.

*********************************************************************************************
Commentary:

1-13. Here we see the devil interfere with Jesus’ life for the first time. He does
so very brazenly. Our Lord is about to begin His public ministry, so it is a parti-
cularly important point in His work of salvation.

“The whole episode is a mystery which man cannot hope to understand — God
submitting to temptation, letting the Evil One have his way. But we can meditate
upon it, asking our Lord to help us understand the teaching it contains” (St. J.
Escriva, “Christ Is Passing By”, 61).

Christ, true God and true man, made Himself like us in everything except sin (cf.
Philippians 2:7; Hebrews 2:7; 4:15) and voluntarily underwent temptation. “How
fortunate we are,” exclaims the Cure of Ars, “how lucky to have a God as a mo-
del. Are we poor? We have a God who is born in a stable, who lies in a manger.
Are we despised? We have a God who led the way, who was crowned with
thorns, dressed in a filthy red cloak and treated as a madman. Are we tormen-
ted by pain and suffering? Before our eyes we have a God covered with wounds,
dying in unimaginable pain. Are we being persecuted? How can we dare com-
plain when we have a God who is being put to death by executioners? Finally,
are we being tempted by the demon? We have our lovable Redeemer; He was
also tempted by the demon and was twice taken up by that hellish spirit: there-
fore, no matter what sufferings, pains or temptations we are experiencing, we
always have, everywhere, our God leading the way for us and assuring us of vic-
tory as long as we genuinely desire it” (”Selected Sermons”, First Sunday of
Lent).

Jesus teaches us therefore that no one should regard himself as incorruptible
and proof against temptation; He shows us how we should deal with temptation
and exhorts us to have confidence in His mercy, since He Himself experienced
temptation (cf. Hebrews 2:18).

For further explanation of this passage, see the notes on Matthew 4:3-11.

13. Our Lord’s temptations sum up every kind of temptation man can experience:
“Scripture would not have said”, St. Thomas comments, “that once all the temp-
tation ended the devil departed from Him, unless the matter of all sins were inclu-
ded in the three temptations already related. For the causes of temptation are
the causes of desires — namely, lust of the flesh, desire for glory, eagerness for
power” (”Summa Theologiae”, III, q. 41, a. 4 ad 4).

By conquering every kind of temptation, Jesus shows us how to deal with the
snares of the devil. It was as a man that He was tempted and as a man that He
resisted: “He did not act as God, bringing His power into play; if He had done
so, how could we have availed of His example? Rather, as a man He made use
of the resources which He has in common with us” (St. Ambrose, “Expositio
Evangelii Sec. Lucam, in loc.”).

He wanted to show us the methods to use to defeat the devil — prayer, fasting,
watchfulness, not dialoguing with temptation, having the words of God’s Scrip-
ture on our lips and putting our trust in the Lord.

“Until an opportune time”, that is, until it is time for Jesus to undergo His pas-
sion. The devil often appears in the course of our Lord’s public life (cf., for exam-
ple, Mark 12:28), but it will be at the Passion—”this is your hour, and the power
of darkness” (Luke 22:53)—that he will be most clearly seen in his role as temp-
ter. Jesus will forewarn His disciples about this and once more assure them of
victory (cf. John 12:31; 14:30). Through the passion, death and resurrection of
Christ, the devil will be overpowered once and for all. And by virtue of Christ’s
victory we are enabled to overcome all temptations.

*********************************************************************************************
Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.


5 posted on 02/16/2013 9:45:39 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Scripture readings taken from the Jerusalem Bible, published and copyright © 1966, 1967 and 1968 by Darton, Longman & Todd

Readings at Mass


First reading Deuteronomy 26:4-10 ©
Moses said to the people: ‘The priest shall take the pannier from your hand and lay it before the altar of the Lord your God. Then, in the sight of the Lord your God, you must make this pronouncement:
  ‘“My father was a wandering Aramaean. He went down into Egypt to find refuge there, few in numbers; but there he became a nation, great, mighty, and strong. The Egyptians ill-treated us, they gave us no peace and inflicted harsh slavery on us. But we called on the Lord, the God of our fathers. The Lord heard our voice and saw our misery, our toil and our oppression; and the Lord brought us out of Egypt with mighty hand and outstretched arm, with great terror, and with signs and wonders. He brought us here and gave us this land, a land where milk and honey flow. Here then I bring the first-fruits of the produce of the soil that you, the Lord, have given me.”
  ‘You must then lay them before the Lord your God, and bow down in the sight of the Lord your God.’

Psalm Psalm 90:1-2,10-15 ©
Be with me, O Lord, in my distress.
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
  and abides in the shade of the Almighty
says to the Lord: ‘My refuge,
  my stronghold, my God in whom I trust!’
Be with me, O Lord, in my distress.
Upon you no evil shall fall,
  no plague approach where you dwell.
For you has he commanded his angels,
  to keep you in all your ways.
Be with me, O Lord, in my distress.
They shall bear you upon their hands
  lest you strike your foot against a stone.
On the lion and the viper you will tread
  and trample the young lion and the dragon.
Be with me, O Lord, in my distress.
His love he set on me, so I will rescue him;
  protect him for he knows my name.
When he calls I shall answer: ‘I am with you,’
  I will save him in distress and give him glory.
Be with me, O Lord, in my distress.

Second reading Romans 10:8-13 ©
Scripture says: The word (that is the faith we proclaim) is very near to you, it is on your lips and in your heart. If your lips confess that Jesus is Lord and if you believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, then you will be saved. By believing from the heart you are made righteous; by confessing with your lips you are saved. When scripture says: those who believe in him will have no cause for shame, it makes no distinction between Jew and Greek: all belong to the same Lord who is rich enough, however many ask his help, for everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.

Gospel Acclamation Mt4:4
Praise to you, O Christ, king of eternal glory!
Man does not live on bread alone,
but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.
Praise to you, O Christ, king of eternal glory!

Gospel Luke 4:1-13 ©
Filled with the Holy Spirit, Jesus left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit through the wilderness, being tempted there by the devil for forty days. During that time he ate nothing and at the end he was hungry. Then the devil said to him, ‘If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to turn into a loaf.’ But Jesus replied, ‘Scripture says: Man does not live on bread alone.’
  Then leading him to a height, the devil showed him in a moment of time all the kingdoms of the world and said to him, ‘I will give you all this power and the glory of these kingdoms, for it has been committed to me and I give it to anyone I choose. Worship me, then, and it shall all be yours.’ But Jesus answered him, ‘Scripture says:
You must worship the Lord your God,
and serve him alone.’
Then he led him to Jerusalem and made him stand on the parapet of the Temple. ‘If you are the Son of God,’ he said to him ‘throw yourself down from here, for scripture says:
He will put his angels in charge of you
to guard you,
and again:
They will hold you up on their hands
in case you hurt your foot against a stone.’
But Jesus answered him, ‘It has been said:
You must not put the Lord your God to the test.’
Having exhausted all these ways of tempting him, the devil left him, to return at the appointed time.

6 posted on 02/16/2013 9:50:23 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Pray with Pope Benedict

On Ash Wednesday
On God As Creator of Heaven and Earth
On Abraham's Faith
On Christ As Mediator Between God and Man
On the Incarnation
On God the Almighty Father
Year of Faith: Indulgences and Places of Pilgrimage [Ecumenical]
On the Identity of Jesus

On the Faith of Mary, the Virgin Mother of Christ
Father Cantalamessa's 1st Advent Sermon (Catholic Caucus)
On The Unfolding of God's Self-Revelation
On the Beauty of God's Plan of Salvation
On Bearing Witness to the Christian Faith
On the Splendor of God's Truth
On the Knowledge of God
Archbishop Chaput says Year of Faith holds solution to relativism
Following the Truth: The Year Of Faith – 10 Things You Should Know [Catholic Caucus]
Papal Encyclical on Faith Announced

On the Desire for God
On the Ecclesial Nature of Faith
On the Nature of Faith
Catechism's benefits explained for Year of Faith (Catholic Caucus)
A Life of Faith: Papal Theologian Speaks on the Grace of Faith
ASIA/LAOS - "Year of Faith" amid the persecutions of Christians forced to become "animists"
From no faith to a mountain-top of meaning: Father John Nepil (Catholic Caucus)
Living the Year of Faith: How Pope Benedict Wants You to Begin [Catholic Caucus]
Share Your Faith in This Year of Faith: Two keys to help you do it.
On A New Series of Audiences for The Year of Faith

Pope will deliver year-long teaching series on restoring faith
Pope Benedict XVI Grants Plenary Indulgence to Faithful [Catholic Caucus]
Pope, at Marian shrine, entrusts Year of Faith, synod to Mary (Catholic Caucus)
Catholic Church Calls for Public Prayers in Offices on Fridays
Highlights in the Plan for Year of Faith: Traditional Events Will Take on Special Perspective
Catholic Church calls for public prayers in offices on Fridays
Vatican Unveils Logo for Year of Faith [Catholic Caucus]
Miami Prelate Recalls Pope's Visit to Cuba, Looks to Year of Faith [Catholic Caucus]
The World-Changing Year of Faith [Catholic Caucus]
Vatican to Issue Recommendations for Celebrating Year of Faith

7 posted on 02/16/2013 9:51:57 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Your Guide To A Catholic Lent
Following the Truth: Lent: Becoming Uncomfortable About Being Comfortable [Catholic and Open]
Following the Truth: Spiritual Exercises – Week One [of Lent] In Review
Clerical Narcissism and Lent
Content of Pope's Lenten spiritual exercises revealed
How Lent Can Make a Difference in Your Relationship with God (Ecumenical Thread)
A Call from the FSSP French District: offer up your Lent for Catholic Unity [Catholic Caucus]
A Call from the FSSP French District: offer up your Lent for Catholic Unity [Catholic Caucus]
On the 40 Days of Lent
Christians Tailor Lent Outside Catholic Traditions
Christians Tailor Lent Outside Catholic Traditions
Lent, A Time to Shoulder Our Christian Responsibilities
Consecrate this Lent to Jesus through Mary, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity [Catholic Caucus]
Opinion: Lent for Redacted [Ekoomenikal]

Ash (or Clean) Monday - Lent Begins (for some Catholics) - February 20, 2012
[Why I Am Catholic]: Lent And Holy Week (A Primer) [Catholic Caucus]
Lent, A Time to Give from the Heart [Catholic caucus}
Learning the beatitudes during Lent -- use your Rosary to learn the Beatitutdes [Catholic Caucus]
Lenten Ember Days: March 16th, 18th, and 19th, 2011 (Catholic/Orthodox Caucus)
St. Vincent Ferrer - Sermon for the First Sunday of Lent [Ecumenical]
Pope describes ‘Lenten road’ that leads to renewal
St. Andrew of Crete, Great Canon of Repentance - Tuesday's portion (Orthodox/Latin Caucus)
The Great Canon of St. Andrew of Crete (Monday's portion) [Orth/Cath Caucus]
Penance and Reparation: A Lenten Meditation(Catholic/Orthodox Caucus)
For Lent - Top 10 Bible Verses on Penance
Cana Sunday: Entrance into Great Lent
2011 Catechetical Homily on the opening of Holy and Great Lent
8 Ways to Pray During Lent [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
Baptists, Lent, and the Rummage Sale
So What Shall We Do during These Forty Days of Lent? [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
Lenten Traditions (Catholic Caucus)
Are You Scrupulous? A Lenten Homily by John Cardinal O’Connor
Blow the Trumpet! Call the Assembly! The Blessings of Fasting
Lenten Challenges

Lent and the Catholic Business Professional (Interview)
Temptations Correspond to Our Vulnerabilities: Biblical Reflection for 1st Sunday of Lent
A Lenten “Weight” Loss Program
On the Lenten Season
Lent 2010: Pierce Thou My Heart, Love Crucified [Catholic Caucus]
US seminarians begin Lenten pilgrimage to Rome's ancient churches
Conversion "is going against the current" of an "illusory way of life"[Pope Benedict XVI for Lent]
vanity] Hope you all make a good Lent [Catholic Caucus]
Lent -- Easter 2010, Reflections, Prayer, Actions Day by Day
Stational Churches (Virtually visit one each day and pray)
40 Ways to Get the Most Out of Lent!
What to Give Up (for Lent)? The List
On the Spiritual Advantages of Fasting [Pope Clement XIII]
Christ's temptation and ours (Reflection for the First Sunday of Lent)
Pope Benedict XVI Message for Lent 2010 (Feb 15 = Ash Monday & Feb 17 = Ash Wednesday)
Whatever happened to (Lenten) obligations? [Prayer, Fasting, Almsgiving]Archbishop John Vlazny
Vatican Presents Lenten Website: LENT 2009
A Scriptural Way of the Cross with Meditations by Saint Alphonsus Liguori (Lenten Prayer/Devotional)
Prayer, Fasting and Mercy by St. Peter Chrysologus, Early Church Father [Catholic Caucus]
History of Lent (Did the Church always have this time before Easter?)

Beginning of Lent
Lent (Catholic Encyclopedia - Caucus Thread)
At Lent, let us pray for the Pope (converts ask us to pray for the pope)
Daily Lenten Reflections 2009
LENTEN STATIONS [Stational Churches for Lent] (Catholic Caucus)
40 Days for Life campaign is now under way (February 25 - April 5]
This Lent, live as if Jesus Christ is indeed Lord of your life
Reconciliation, forgiveness, hope – and Lent
Intro to Fast and Abstinence 101
Lent: Why the Christian Must Deny Himself (with Scriptural references)
40 Ways to Improve Your Lent
Everything Lent (Lots of links)
The Best Kind of Fasting
Getting Serious About Lent
Lent Overview
Meditations on the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ [Devotional]
On Lent... and Lourdes (Benedict XVI's Angelus address)
Lent for Newbies
Lent -- 2008 -- Come and Pray Each Day
Lent: Why the Christian Must Deny Himself

Lenten Workshop [lots of ideas for all]
Lent and Reality
Forty Days (of Lent) [Devotional/Reflections]
Pope Benedict takes his own advice, plans to go on retreat for Lent
GUIDE FOR LENT - What the Catholic Church Says
Message of His Holiness Benedict XVI for Lent 2008
40 Days for Life: 2008 Campaigns [Lent Registration this week]
Vatican Web Site Focuses on Lent
Almsgiving [Lent]
Conversion Through Prayer, Fasting and Almsgiving [Lent]
Lenten Stations -- Stational Churches - visit each with us during Lent {Catholic Caucus}
Something New for Lent: Part I -- Holy Souls Saturdays
Reflections for Lent (February, March and April, 2007)
Lent 2007: The Love Letter Written by Pope Benedict
Pre-Lent through Easter Prayer and Reflections -- 2007
Stations of the Cross [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
For study and reflection during Lent - Mind, Heart, Soul [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
Ash Wednesday and the Lenten Fast-Family observance Lenten season [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
Pre-Lenten Days -- Family activities-Shrove Tuesday (Mardi Gras)[Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
40 Ways to Get the Most Out of Lent! [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]

Lenten Fasting or Feasting? [Catholic Caucus]
Pope's Message for Lent-2007
THE TRUE NATURE OF FASTING (Catholic/Orthodox Caucus)
The Triduum and 40 Days
The Three Practices of Lent: Praying, Fasting. Almsgiving
Why We Need Lent
MESSAGE OF HIS HOLINESS BENEDICT XVI FOR LENT 2006
Lent a Time for Renewal, Says Benedict XVI
Why You Should Celebrate Lent
Getting the Most Out of Lent
Lent: A Time to Fast >From Media and Criticism Says President of Pontifical Liturgical Institute
Give it up (making a Lenten sacrifice)
The History of Lent
The Holy Season of Lent -- Fast and Abstinence
The Holy Season of Lent -- The Stations of the Cross
Lent and Fasting
Mardi Gras' Catholic Roots [Shrove Tuesday]
Kids and Holiness: Making Lent Meaningful to Children
Ash Wednesday
All About Lent

8 posted on 02/16/2013 9:53:05 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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40 Days for Life: Vision and Mission, February 13 - March 24, 2013
9 posted on 02/16/2013 10:23:51 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Perpetual Novena for the Nation (Ecumenical)
10 posted on 02/16/2013 10:24:39 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Prayers for The Religion Forum (Ecumenical)
11 posted on 02/16/2013 10:27:05 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
Prayers for Pope Benedict XVI

Continue to Pray for Pope Benedict [Ecumenical]

12 posted on 02/16/2013 10:28:05 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Jesus, High Priest
 

We thank you, God our Father, for those who have responded to your call to priestly ministry.

Accept this prayer we offer on their behalf: Fill your priests with the sure knowledge of your love.

Open their hearts to the power and consolation of the Holy Spirit.

Lead them to new depths of union with your Son.

Increase in them profound faith in the Sacraments they celebrate as they nourish, strengthen and heal us.

Lord Jesus Christ, grant that these, your priests, may inspire us to strive for holiness by the power of their example, as men of prayer who ponder your word and follow your will.

O Mary, Mother of Christ and our mother, guard with your maternal care these chosen ones, so dear to the Heart of your Son.

Intercede for our priests, that offering the Sacrifice of your Son, they may be conformed more each day to the image of your Son, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Saint John Vianney, universal patron of priests, pray for us and our priests

This icon shows Jesus Christ, our eternal high priest.

The gold pelican over His heart represents self-sacrifice.

The border contains an altar and grapevines, representing the Mass, and icons of Melchizedek and St. Jean-Baptiste Vianney.

Melchizedek: king of righteousness (left icon) was priest and king of Jerusalem.  He blessed Abraham and has been considered an ideal priest-king.

St. Jean-Baptiste Vianney is the patron saint of parish priests.


13 posted on 02/16/2013 10:30:42 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Pray a Rosary each day for our nation.

Pray the Rosary

1.  Sign of the Cross:  In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

2.  The Apostles Creed:  I BELIEVE in God, the Father almighty, Creator of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell; on the third day he rose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty; from there He shall come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

3.  The Lord's Prayer:  OUR Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.

4. (3) Hail Mary:  HAIL Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now, and in the hour of our death. Amen. (Three times)

5. Glory Be:  GLORY be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Fatima Prayer: Oh, my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, lead all souls to heaven, especially those in most need of your mercy.

Announce each mystery, then say 1 Our Father, 10 Hail Marys, 1 Glory Be and 1 Fatima prayer.  Repeat the process with each mystery.

End with the Hail Holy Queen:

Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, our life, our sweetness and our hope! To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve! To thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this vale of tears! Turn then, most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy towards us; and after this, our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus!

O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary! Pray for us, O holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Final step -- The Sign of the Cross

 

The Mysteries of the Rosary

By tradition, Catholics meditate on these Mysteries during prayers of the Rosary.
The biblical references follow each of the Mysteries below.


The Glorious Mysteries
(Wednesdays and Sundays)
1.The Resurrection (Matthew 28:1-8, Mark 16:1-18, Luke 24:1-12, John 20:1-29) [Spiritual fruit - Faith]
2. The Ascension (Mark 16:19-20, Luke 24:50-53, Acts 1:6-11) [Spiritual fruit - Christian Hope]
3. The Descent of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:1-13) [Spiritual fruit - Gifts of the Holy Spirit]
4. The Assumption [Spiritual fruit - To Jesus through Mary]
5. The Coronation [Spiritual fruit - Grace of Final Perseverance]


14 posted on 02/16/2013 10:31:35 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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~ PRAYER ~

St. Michael, the Archangel, defend us in battle
 Be our protection against the wickedness
and snares of the devil;
May God rebuke him, we  humbly pray,
 and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host,
 by the power of God,
 Cast into hell Satan and all the evil spirits
who prowl through the world seeking the ruin of souls.
 Amen
+

15 posted on 02/16/2013 10:33:05 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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A Prayer for our Free Nation Under God
God Save Our Country web site (prayer warriors)
Prayer Chain Request for the United States of America
Pray for Nancy Pelosi
Prayer and fasting will help defeat health care reform (Freeper Prayer Thread)
Prayer Campaign Started to Convert Pro-Abortion Catholic Politicians to Pro-Life
[Catholic Caucus] One Million Rosaries
Non-stop Rosary vigil to defeat ObamaCare

From an Obama bumper sticker on a car:

"Pray for Obama.  Psalm 109:8"

   

PLEASE JOIN US -

Evening Prayer
Someone has said that if people really understood the full extent of the power we have available through prayer, we might be speechless.
Did you know that during WWII there was an advisor to Churchill who organized a group of people who dropped what they were doing every day at a prescribed hour for one minute to collectively pray for the safety of England, its people and peace?  


There is now a group of people organizing the same thing here in America. If you would like to participate: Every evening at 9:00 PM Eastern Time (8:00 PM Central) (7:00 PM Mountain) (6:00 PM Pacific), stop whatever you are doing and spend one minute praying for the safety of the United States, our troops, our citizens, and for a return to a Godly nation. If you know anyone else who would like to participate, please pass this along. Our prayers are the most powerful asset we have.    Please forward this to your praying friends.


16 posted on 02/16/2013 10:34:19 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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February Devotion: The Holy Family

Since the 16th century Catholic piety has assigned entire months to special devotions. The month of February has been primarily asociated with the Holy Family, probably due to the feast of Our Lord's presentation at the temple, celebrated on February 2. At the very outset of Christ's work on earth, God showed the world a family in which, as Pope Leo XIII teaches, "all men might behold a perfect model of domestic life, and of all virtue and holiness." The harmony, unity, and holiness which characterized this holy Family make it the model for all Christian families.

INVOCATION
Jesus, Mary, and Joseph most kind, Bless us now and in death's agony.

FOR THE PROTECTION OF THE HOLY FAMILY
Grant unto us, Lord Jesus, ever to follow the example of Thy holy Family, that in the hour of our death Thy glorious Virgin Mother together with blessed Joseph may come to meet us and we may be worthily received by Thee into everlasting dwellings: who livest and reignest world without end. Amen.
Roman Missal

CONSECRATION TO THE HOLY FAMILY
O Jesus, our most loving Redeemer, who having come to enlighten the world with Thy teaching and example, didst will to pass the greater part of Thy life in humility and subjection to Mary and Joseph in the poor home of Nazareth, thus sanctifying the Family that was to be an example for all Christian families, graciously receive our family as it dedicates and consecrates itself to Thee this day. Do Thou defend us, guard us and establish amongst us Thy holy fear, true peace, and concord in Christian love: in order that, by conforming ourselves to the divine pattern of Thy family, we may be able, all of us without exception, to attain to eternal happiness.

Mary, dear Mother of Jesus and Mother of us, by thy kindly intercession make this our humble offering acceptable in the sight of Jesus, and obtain for us His graces and blessings.

O Saint Joseph, most holy guardian of Jesus and Mary, assist us by thy prayers in all our spiritual and temporal necessities; that so we may be enabled to praise our divine Savior Jesus, together with Mary and thee, for all eternity.

Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory be, three times.

IN HONOR OF THE HOLY FAMILY
O God, heavenly Father, it was part of Thine eternal decree that Thine only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ, the Savior of the human race, should form a holy family with Mary, His blessed mother, and His foster father, Saint Joseph. In Nazareth home life was sanctified, and a perfect example was given to every Christian family. Grant, we beseech Thee, that we may fully comprehend and faithfully imitate the virtues of the Holy Family so that we may be united with them one day in their heavenly glory. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.

Prayer Source: Prayer Book, The by Reverend John P. O'Connell, M.A., S.T.D. and Jex Martin, M.A., The Catholic Press, Inc., Chicago, Illinois, 1954

Holy Family Chaplet

Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, I give you my heart.
Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, be with me in my last hour.
Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, may I breathe forth my soul
in peace with you.

Blessed be Jesus Christ, true God and true man.
Blessed be the great Mother of God, Mary most holy.
Blessed be St. Joseph, her most chaste spouse. Amen.

Say 3 Our Father's, 3 Hail Mary's, and 3 Glory be's.

The Holy Family Icon by Nicholas Markell

PRAYER TO
THE HOLY FAMILY
=====================================================================================

GOD our Heavenly Father, You call all peoples to be united as one family in worshipping You as the one and true God. You willed that Your Son become man, giving Him a virgin mother and a foster father to form the Holy Family of Nazareth.

WE pray: may the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, image and model of every human family unit walk in the spirit of Nazareth and grow in the understanding of its particular mission in society and the Church. May our families be living cells of love, faithfulness and unity, thus reflecting God's covenant with humanity and Christ's redeeming love for His Church.

JESUS, Mary and Joseph protect our families from all evil; keep us, who are away from home, one in love with our dear ones.

The Holy Family


 
"The Holy Family with the infant St. John the Baptist ( the Doni tondo )" by Michelangelo c.1506, Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence
Parent's Prayer

Jesus, Son of God, Son of Man, and Son of Mary, I thank you for the gift of life you have entrusted to my care. Help me be a parent both tender and wise, both loving and forgiving.

Mary, Holy Mother of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and our Motherly Queen of Heaven, nourish our family with your heavenly grace. Help us to remain faithful to The Most Holy Trinity, in all our sorrows and joys.

Joseph, Earthly father to our Lord God, guardian and spouse of Mary, keep our family safe from harm. Help us in all times of discouragement or anxiety.

Holy Family of Nazareth, help our family to walk in your footsteps. May we be peace-loving and peace-giving.
Amen.
 

Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph
Recovering God’s Plan for Marriage and Family: A Sermon on the Feast of the Holy Family

“Why were you looking for me?" (On the Feast of The Holy Family)
U.S. Postal Service Issues Holy Family Forever Stamp
On Prayer in the Life of the Holy Family
The Holy Family - held together by Love through all their problems [Ecumenical]
Feast of the Holy Family: The Christian Family is a Domestic Church
Chesterton on "The Human Family and the Holy Family"
Joseph, Mary and Jesus: A Model Family
ADVICE TO PARENTS by Saint Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787)
The Holy Family
St. Joseph as Head of the Holy Family (Catholic/Orthodox Caucus)

Feast of the Holy Family
Feast of the Holy Family (Dom Guéranger OSB)
The Feast of the Holy Family
The Holy Family vs. The Holy Innocents: A Christmas season reflection [Catholic Caucus]
Vatican creche to place Holy Family in Joseph's carpentry workshop
The Redemption and Protection of the Family [Feast of the Holy Family]
Study Backs Tradition of Loreto House - Stones in Altar Match Those in Nazareth, It Says
Unraveling Jesus' mystery years in Egypt
Gaudi’s Church of the Holy Family to be ready for worship in 2008
Imitating the Holy Family; Four Traits that Make It Possible
Lots of Graphics: Post your favorite image of the St. Mary and Child, the Holy Family...


17 posted on 02/16/2013 10:35:18 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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February 2013
Pope's Intentions
 
Migrant Families: That migrant families, especially the mothers, may be supported and accompanied in their difficulties.
 
Peace: That the peoples at war and in conflict may lead the way in building a peaceful future.

18 posted on 02/16/2013 10:36:59 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Daily Gospel Commentary

First Sunday of Lent - Year C
Commentary of the day
Saint Raphael Arnaiz Baron (1911-1938), a Spanish Trappist monk
Spiritual writings, 15/12/1936 (trans. 'To know how to wait', Mairin Mitchell)

The Son of God rejects the temptations of other ways and obeys the Father's will

I, too, once went tearing along the roads of Spain, with the idea of making the speedometer register ninety kilometers an hour: how foolish! When I was conscious that for me, the horizon marked earth's uttermost limit, I suffered the disappointment of one who enjoys earthly freedom, for the earth is small and moreover quickly comes to an end. Man is bounded by narrow and limited horizons, and for him whose soul aspires after infinite horizons, earthly ones aren't enough, they throttle him; the world isn't sufficient for him, and only in the vastness and immensity of God will he find what he is seeking. You free men, making journeys around this planet, I don't envy you your life in the world; enclosed in a convent at the foot of a Crucifix I have boundless freedom, I have Heaven, I have God. What a great blessing it is to have a heart that is in love with Him!...

Poor Brother Rafael!... Go on waiting, waiting with that sweet serenity which sure hope gives. Keep calm, unshaken, a prisoner of your God at the foot of his tabernacle. Listen to the distant uproar coming from men enjoying a few short days of freedom in the world, listen from afar to their voices, their laughter, their lamentations, their wars. Listen, and meditate for a moment. Meditate on a God who is infinite, who made the earth and mankind, He, the supreme Lord of skies and lands, rivers and seas, who in an instant, simply by willing it created out of the void all that exists.

Mediate for a moment on the life of Christ and you will see that it has no freedom, no outcry or clamor; you will see the Son of God subject to humankind, you will see Jesus, obedient, submissive, and with what steadfast calm he keeps as the only law of his life the fulfillment of the Father's will. And lastly, look on Christ nailed to a cross. And we talk of freedom!


19 posted on 02/16/2013 10:42:30 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Arlington Catholic Herald

GOSPEL COMMENTARY LK 4:1-13
One does not live on bread alone
Fr. Jack Peterson

Lent is a time to break from our regular routine in life and focus more upon God. It is a time to take stock of my relationship with God and seek new ways to give Him top priority. Lent is a time to recall that I often forget Him, ignore Him, turn my back on Him and sin against Him. It is a time to beg for forgiveness, promise to live differently and prepare ourselves for the new life of Easter.

On this first Sunday of Lent, our faith is strengthened by the fact that Jesus was tempted. The great truth of Christianity that Jesus took upon Himself our human condition, initiated by His birth in a stable and confirmed by His baptism in the Jordan, is further manifest by the fact that the Spirit led Him into the desert where, after 40 days of prayer and fasting, Jesus was tempted by the devil. Jesus fully and completely became like us in all things but sin.

Each of the three ways that Jesus was tempted speaks loudly to us as Jesus’ followers. First, the devil tries to attack Jesus by means of the tremendous hunger he was experiencing at the end of His period of fasting in the desert. “If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.” The devil is tempting Jesus to misuse His power for His personal benefit. Jesus’ response suggests that He wants us to beware of the fact that we are both physical and spiritual beings, we have a body and a soul. It is too easy to focus on the body and its needs while neglecting the soul and its needs. “One does not live on bread alone.”

Each human person has a need for God that is just as important, indeed truly more important, than our body’s need for its daily bread. We need to nourish the soul with Jesus, the bread of life. We need to nourish our hearts and our homes with faith, charity, joy and peace that come from Christ.

The devil’s second temptation is also quite clever. He gives Jesus a glimpse of all the kingdoms of the world in a single instant and offers Him all this power and glory if only He will bow down to worship the devil. First of all, this power and glory are not the devil’s to give away. Additionally, Satan bids Jesus compromise the Father’s plan by taking an ineffective short cut to His mission to redeem the world. Jesus’ response is clear and precise: “You shall worship the Lord, your God, and Him alone shall you serve.”

Human beings are incomplete and off track unless we worship the Lord God Almighty and Him alone. This speaks volumes about our need to gather in fellowship on Sundays to worship God. It also addresses our need on a daily basis to pray, offer our lives to God, and strive wholeheartedly to live in union with Jesus.

Finally, the devil stoops even lower in his effort to tempt Jesus by quoting the sacred Scriptures. The devil invites Our Lord to abuse His power for the sake of show. He takes the Lord up onto the parapet of the temple and asks Him to “throw yourself down from here, for it is written: He will command his angels concerning you, to guard you.” Jesus sees this test for what it is and responds, “You shall not put the Lord, your God, to the test.”

This third test translates for us into the temptation to the sin of presumption when we do stupid and/or sinful things, knowing in advance that it is wrong, and banking on God’s goodness. We presume that God will forgive us and take care of us. It is a sin of ingratitude and of pride. To sin is to offend our gracious God; to sin assuming in advance God will forgive is really to sin twice.

Today, our faith teaches us that Jesus was truly tempted in the desert. It is comforting to know that Jesus understands this aspect of our daily lives. Jesus shows by example that one can confront temptation and, by the grace of God, chose the way of the Lord. We don’t have to give in to temptation. The way of Christ, which is the way of love, truth and virtue, is the path to happiness and to the fullness of life. This Lent, let’s strive to give God top priority in our lives and remember that man does not live on bread alone.

Fr. Peterson is assistant chaplain at Marymount University in Arlington and director of the Youth Apostles Institute in McLean.


20 posted on 02/16/2013 11:04:19 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Archdiocese of Washington

The Gospel Train reaches Temptation Station: Stay on Board Children! A Meditation on the Gospel for the First Sunday of Lent

By:

There’s an old Gospel song tradition that speaks of the Christian life as a ride on the “Gospel Train.” But the Gospel Train not always and easy ride with perfect scenery. But you gotta get your ticket for the Gospel Train and stay aboard.

Mysteriously, the train sometimes passes through difficult terrain and life’s temptations. But just stay on board! Jesus too, on his way to glory faced trials, hatred, and even temptation (yet without sin).

Today the Gospel Train pulls into “Temptation Station” and we are asked to consider life’s temptations. The three temptations faced by Jesus are surely on wide display in our own times. What are these temptations and how do we resist them?

In the desert scene of this Gospel, the Lord Jesus faces down three fundamental areas of temptation, but all of them have one thing in common: they seek to substitute the cross for a couch.

In a way the devil has one argument: “Why the Cross?!” And his question is not a real one, but a rhetorical one. He wants you to blame God for the cross, and, in your anger, to reject God as some despot.

Well, pay attention Church, the cross comes from the fact that you and I, ratifying Adam and Eve’s choice, have rejected the tree of life, for the tree that brought death. We, along with satan (I refuse to capitalize his name) may wish to wince at, and scornfully blame God for the Cross, but in the end, the cross was our choice.

And if you think that you have never chosen the tree of death and that God is “unfair,” then prove to me that you have never sinned, and I’ll accept that you never chose the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil,  over the Tree of Life and that you deserve something better than the cross. I’ll accpet that you never insisted on “knowing” evil as well as good.

Otherwise, you’ve made the same self-destructive, and absurd choice that the rest of us have, and it is not God that is cruel but we who are wicked who are to blame for the presence of the cross. And, thus  the cross comes not from God but from us.We ought to stop blaming God for evil, suffering and the Cross and look into the mirror. And the glory of this gospel is that the Lord Jesus enters into this twisted world of OUR making and endures its full absurdity for our sake. If there is evil in this world, it is our choice, not God’s.

OK, are we over “blame God” thing and ready to focus on our own issues? If that be the case then let us look to some areas of temptation that satan is able to exploit because WE indulge them.  Let us also see the answer that the Lord Jesus has for these temptations. For the Lord, though tempted, never yields.

1. Pleasures and Passions - The devil encourages Jesus to turn stones into bread. After having fasted, the thought of bread is surely a strong temptation. In effect the devil tells Jesus to “scratch where it itches,” to indulge his desire, to simply give in to what his body craves.

We too have many desires and we too are told by the devil in many ways to scratch where it itches. Perhaps no generation before has faced temptation in this area so strongly as we. We live in a consumer culture that is well skilled at eliciting and satisfying our every desire. All day long advertisements reach into our mind to excite desire and to advise that we MUST fulfill our every desire and wish. If something is out of stock or unavailable in exactly the form we want we are indignant. “Why should I have to wait? Why can’t I have it in that color?” and so forth. The advertiser’s basic message is “You can have it all!” This is a lie of course but it is told so frequently that we feel entitled to just about everything.

Some of our biggest cultural problems are problems of over-indulgence. We are a culture that struggles with obesity, addiction, sexual misconduct, greed, and an over-stimulation that robs us of an attention span, and this causes boredom to be a significant issue for many who are too used to the frantic pace of a video game or action movie. We have done well in turning stones to bread.

To all this Jesus rebukes the devil by saying, “Man does not live on bread alone.” In other words there are things that are just more important and bread and circuses, than creature comforts and indulgence. Elsewhere Jesus says, “A man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” (Lk 12:15). I have written on this in another post: The Most Important Things in Life Aren’t Things

2. Popularity and Power -  Taking Jesus up a high mountain the devil shows him all the nations and people of the earth and promises them to him if Jesus but bow down and worship the devil. This is a temptation to power but also to popularity for the devil promises him not only sovereignty but also glory.

Since most of us are not likely to attain to sovereignty, and since temptation is only strong in those matters that seem possible for us, I will focus on popularity. Here too we face a lot of this in life. One of the deeper wounds in our soul is the extreme need that most of us have to be liked, popular, well thought of, respected, and to fit in. We dread being laughed at, scorned or ridiculed. We cannot stand the thought of feeling minimized in any way.

For many people the desire for popularity is so strong that they’ll do almost anything to attain it. It starts in youth when peer pressure “causes” young people to do lots of stupid stuff. They will join gangs, get tattoos, piercings, wear silly clothes. Many a young lady desperate to have a boyfriend and thus feel loved and/or impress her friends, will sleep with boys or do other inappropriate things to gain that “love.” As we get older we might be willing to bear false witness, make compromises etc to advance our career, lie to impress others, spend money we don’t have to buy things we don’t really need, to impress people we don’t really like. Likewise, we can tempted to be silent when we should speak out for what is right and so forth.

All of this is a way of bowing before the devil since we are, in effect, willing even to sin in order to fit in, advance, or be popular. Here Jesus says, You shall worship the Lord, your God, and him alone shall you serve.

The real solution to this terrible temptation to popularity is to fear the Lord. When we fear God we need fear no one else. If I can kneel before God, I can stand before any man. If God is the only one we need to please, then we don’t have to run around trying to please everyone else. Here too I have written on this matter elsewhere: What Does It Mean To Fear the Lord?

3. Presumption and Pride - Finally (for now) the devil encourages Jesus to test God’s love for him by casting himself off the highest wall of the Temple Mount. Does not scripture say that God will rescue him? The devil quotes Psalm 91: With their hands they will support you, lest you dash your foot against a stone. In our time the sin of presumption is epidemic.

Many people think that they can go one behaving sinfully, recklessly, and wantonly and that they will never face punishment. “God is love!” they boldly say, “He would never send anyone to hell or punish!” In saying this they reject literally thousands of verses of Scripture that say otherwise. But they have refashioned God, and worship this idol. “God does not care if I go to Church,” they boldly declare, “He does not care if I live with my girlfriend.” The list continues to grow.

The attitude is that no matter what I do God will save me. It is boldly presumptive to speak and think like this. It is true that Hell and punishments are difficult teachings to fully comprehend and square with God’s patience and mercy. Nevertheless God teaches it and we need to stop pretending that it really isn’t for real. This is presumption.

I have written elsewhere on the topic of Hell and why it makes sense in the context of a God who loves and respects us: Hell Has to Be.

A mitigated form of presumption is procrastination wherein we put off our return to the Lord day after day. Of this it is said,

There were three demons summoned by satan as to their plan to entrap as many human beings as possible. The first demon announced that he would tell them there is no God. But Satan wasn’t too impressed. “You’ll get a few, but not many and even those atheists are mostly lying and know deep down inside that someone grater than them made them and all things.” The Second demon said he would tell them there was no devil. But satan said, “That won’t work, most of them have already met me and know my power. Finally the third demon said, “I will not tell them there is no God or no devil, I will simply tell them there is no hurry!” And satan smiled an ugly grin and said, “You’re the man!

And thus presumption, pride and their ugly cousin presumption are widespread today.

Jesus rebukes satan by quoting Deuteronomy: You shall not put the Lord, your God, to the test. We ought to be very careful about presumption for it is widespread today.

This does not mean we have to retreat into fear and scrupulosity. God loves us and is rich in mercy, but we cannot willfully go on calling “no big deal” what God calls sin and takes seriously. Hence we should be sober about sin and call on the Lord’s mercy rather than doubt we really need it and just presume God doesn’t mind etc.

Our train is leaving the station soon. It is to be hoped that you and I have benefited from this brief stop and have stored up provisions for the journey ahead such as: insight, resolve, appreciation, understanding, determination and hope.

The journey ahead is scenic but also difficult and temptations are a reality. But as the Old Gospel Song says: The Gospel train’s a’comin’, I hear it just at hand. I hear the car wheel rumblin’ And rollin’ thro’ the land. Then Get on board, Children, Get on board, there’s room for many a more!


21 posted on 02/16/2013 11:22:56 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Sunday Gospel Reflections

1st Sunday of Lent
Reading I:
Dt 26:4-10 II: Rom 10:8-13
Gospel
Luke 4:1-13

1 And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan, and was led by the Spirit
2 for forty days in the wilderness, tempted by the devil. And he ate nothing in those days; and when they were ended, he was hungry.
3 The devil said to him, "If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread."
4 And Jesus answered him, "It is written, 'Man shall not live by bread alone.'"
5 And the devil took him up, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time,
6 and said to him, "To you I will give all this authority and their glory; for it has been delivered to me, and I give it to whom I will.
7 If you, then, will worship me, it shall all be yours."
8 And Jesus answered him, "It is written, 'You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve.'"
9 And he took him to Jerusalem, and set him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to him, "If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here;
10 for it is written, 'He will give his angels charge of you, to guard you,'
11 and 'On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.'"
12 And Jesus answered him, "It is said, 'You shall not tempt the Lord your God.'"
13 And when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from him until an opportune time.


Interesting Details
  • This account immediately follows the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan. The spirit given Jesus at His baptism (3:22) does not lead Him into temptation, but is the sustaining power with Him during this time. As the baptism revealed His divinity, so the temptation story emphasizes His humanity.
  • The wilderness/desert was believed to be the place of demons (Lk 8:29, Lk 11:24).
  • (v.2) Jesus' forty days in the desert recalls the forty years of the wilderness wandering of the Israelites during the exodus (Dt 8:2). While the people of God's forty years are described as years of testing and failure (Acts 7:39-43), Jesus' forty days are those of testing, faithful and victory.
  • (v.3) "stone to bread": Jesus is challenged to use His power for His own ends rather than to obey His Father.
  • (v.4) "man shall not live by bread alone": Jesus' response to the devil is taken from Deut. 8:3. His responses in vv 8 and 12 are also from Deut. (6:13,16).
  • "Son of God": Luke refers his readers back to Jesus' baptism, where God had declared, "You are my Son" (3:22). Jesus, God's Son, is faithful to His Father and does not fall during His testing as Israel, God's Son, had done.
  • Jesus' testing in Jerusalem is the final and climatic one. It is in Jerusalem that the devil will return at "the opportune time". As Jesus is about to begin His public ministry, Luke directs our attention to Jerusalem, where Jesus again remains victorious and God's promises will be ultimately fulfilled.
  • (vv.10-11) The devil tries to use Scripture (Ps 91:11-12) to offer Jesus to test His sonship against the promise of God to protect Him. Scripture is no more authorative than any other text if it is wrongly interpreted as in this case by the devil.

One Main Point

Jesus' victory over the devil. Luke presents Jesus precisely as the kind of person John the Baptizer predicted: the "more powerful one" (3:16)


Reflections
  1. What have you found most helpful in Jesus' victory over temptation?
  2. If the Devil could identify your three greatest weaknesses, what would they be?
  3. In your prayer, be with Jesus, imagine His physical weakness and His strong determination to obey His Father's will.

22 posted on 02/16/2013 11:29:17 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Sunday, February 17, 2013
First Sunday of Lent
First Reading:
Psalm:
Second Reading:
Gospel:
Deuteronomy 26:4-10
Psalm 91:1-2, 10-15
Romans 10:8-13
Luke 4:1-13

This Creed is the spiritual seal, our heart's meditation and an ever-present guardian; it is, unquestionably, the treasure of our soul.

-- St. Ambrose


23 posted on 02/16/2013 11:33:18 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Just A Minute Just A Minute (Listen)
Some of EWTN's most popular hosts and guests in a collection of one minute inspirational messages. A different message each time you click.

24 posted on 02/16/2013 11:34:17 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All



The Angelus 

The Angel of the Lord declared to Mary: 
And she conceived of the Holy Spirit. 

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen. 

Behold the handmaid of the Lord: Be it done unto me according to Thy word. 

Hail Mary . . . 

And the Word was made Flesh: And dwelt among us. 

Hail Mary . . . 


Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ. 

Let us pray: 

Pour forth, we beseech Thee, O Lord, Thy grace into our hearts; that we, to whom the incarnation of Christ, Thy Son, was made known by the message of an angel, may by His Passion and Cross be brought to the glory of His Resurrection, through the same Christ Our Lord.

Amen. 


25 posted on 02/16/2013 11:36:06 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
The Seven Founders of the Order of Servites, Religious

The Seven Founders
of the Order of Servites, religious
Optional Memorial
February 17th


Abbot L Jaud,
Life of the Saints for tous.les.jours of the year,
Turns, Mame, 1950.

 

Seven members of a Florentine Confraternity founded the Order of Servites of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The Servites lead a life of prayer and mortification, meditating constantly on the Passion of the Lord and venerating the Blessed Virgin as Our Lady of Sorrows.

Source: Daily Roman Missal, Edited by Rev. James Socías, Midwest Theological Forum, Chicago, Illinois ©2003

 

Collect:
Impart to us, O Lord, in kindness
the filial devotion with which the holy brothers
venerated so devoutly the Mother of God
and led your people to yourself.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. +Amen.

First Reading: Romans 8:26-30
Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with sighs too deep for words. And He who searches the hearts of men knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.

We know that in everything God works for good with those who love Him, who are called according to His purpose. For those whom He foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, in order that He might be the first-born among many brethren. And those whom He predestined He also called; and those whom He called He also justified; and those whom He justified He also glorified.

Gospel Reading: Matthew 19:27-29
Then Peter said in reply, "Lo, we have left everything and followed You. What then shall we have?" Jesus said to them, "Truly, I say to you, in the new world, when the Son of man shall sit on His glorious throne, you who have followed Me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And every one who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for My name's sake, will receive a hundredfold, and inherit eternal life.


26 posted on 02/17/2013 6:58:26 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Saint's Days are superseded by the Sunday liturgy.

Seven Founders of the Order of Servites

27 posted on 02/17/2013 7:00:34 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All


Information:
Founders of the Orders of Servites
Feast Day: February 17

28 posted on 02/17/2013 7:09:02 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
Interactive Saints for Kids

Seven Founders of the Servite Order

 
Feast Day: February 17
Born/Died: Thirteenth Century

These seven saints all came from among the richest families in Florence, Italy. Each had a great love for Mary, the Mother of God. They were active members of a confraternity of the Blessed Virgin Mary popularly known as the 'Laudesi' or Praisers.

The eldest was Buonfiglio Monaldo, who became their leader. The others were Alexis Falconieri, Benedict dell' Antella, Bartholomew Amidei, Ricovero Uguccione, Gerardino Sostegni, and John Buonagiunta. Their spiritual director was St. James of Poggibonsi, who was chaplain of the Laudesi, a man of great holiness and spiritual insight.

On the feast of the Assumption, while the seven men were deep in prayer, the Blessed Mother appeared to them. She inspired them to leave the world and to live alone with God.

After many years of living as hermits, they went to their bishop. They asked him for a rule of life to follow. The bishop encouraged them to pray and to ask for guidance from Mary.

Mary appeared to the men carrying a black habit. At her side was an angel bearing a scroll with the words "Servants of Mary" written on it. In this vision, the Blessed Mother said that she had chosen them to be her servants. She asked them to wear a black habit and to follow the Rule of St. Augustine.

These wonderful men helped each other love and serve God better. Six of them were ordained priests. The seventh founder, Alexis, remained a wonderful religious until death. In his humility, he chose not to be ordained to the priesthood.

Many young men came to join these holy founders. They were known as Servants of Mary or Servites.

Reflection: These men have left us a remarkable example of fraternal charity and solidarity. How can I help cultivate unity and charity in my family, in my work place, or in the community that I live in? He was cruelly tortured in Rome, for eighteen days, by a governor of that city, who became angry by his preaching of the Gospel. His legs were broken and he was then stoned to death.

29 posted on 02/17/2013 7:11:50 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
Luke
  English: Douay-Rheims Latin: Vulgata Clementina Greek NT: Byzantine/Majority Text (2000)
  Luke 4
1 AND Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost, returned from the Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the desert, Jesus autem plenus Spiritu Sancto regressus est a Jordane : et agebatur a Spiritu in desertum ιησους δε πνευματος αγιου πληρης υπεστρεψεν απο του ιορδανου και ηγετο εν τω πνευματι εις την ερημον
2 For the space of forty days; and was tempted by the devil. And he ate nothing in those days; and when they were ended, he was hungry. diebus quadraginta, et tentabatur a diabolo. Et nihil manducavit in diebus illis : et consummatis illis esuriit. ημερας τεσσαρακοντα πειραζομενος υπο του διαβολου και ουκ εφαγεν ουδεν εν ταις ημεραις εκειναις και συντελεσθεισων αυτων υστερον επεινασεν
3 And the devil said to him: If thou be the Son of God, say to this stone that it be made bread. Dixit autem illi diabolus : Si Filius Dei es, dic lapidi huic ut panis fiat. και ειπεν αυτω ο διαβολος ει υιος ει του θεου ειπε τω λιθω τουτω ινα γενηται αρτος
4 And Jesus answered him: It is written, that Man liveth not by bread alone, but by every word of God. Et respondit ad illum Jesus : Scriptum est : Quia non in solo pane vivit homo, sed in omni verbo Dei. και απεκριθη ιησους προς αυτον λεγων γεγραπται οτι ουκ επ αρτω μονω ζησεται [ο] ανθρωπος αλλ επι παντι ρηματι θεου
5 And the devil led him into a high mountain, and shewed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time; Et duxit illum diabolus in montem excelsum, et ostendit illi omnia regna orbis terræ in momento temporis, και αναγαγων αυτον ο διαβολος εις ορος υψηλον εδειξεν αυτω πασας τας βασιλειας της οικουμενης εν στιγμη χρονου
6 And he said to him: To thee will I give all this power, and the glory of them; for to me they are delivered, and to whom I will, I give them. et ait illi : Tibi dabo potestatem hanc universam, et gloriam illorum : quia mihi tradita sunt, et cui volo do illa. και ειπεν αυτω ο διαβολος σοι δωσω την εξουσιαν ταυτην απασαν και την δοξαν αυτων οτι εμοι παραδεδοται και ω εαν θελω διδωμι αυτην
7 If thou therefore wilt adore before me, all shall be thine. Tu ergo si adoraveris coram me, erunt tua omnia. συ ουν εαν προσκυνησης ενωπιον εμου εσται σου πασα
8 And Jesus answering said to him: It is written: Thou shalt adore the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. Et respondens Jesus, dixit illi : Scriptum est : Dominum Deum tuum adorabis, et illi soli servies. και αποκριθεις αυτω ειπεν ο ιησους υπαγε οπισω μου σατανα γεγραπται προσκυνησεις κυριον τον θεον σου και αυτω μονω λατρευσεις
9 And he brought him to Jerusalem, and set him on a pinnacle of the temple, and he said to him: If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself from hence. Et duxit illum in Jerusalem, et statuit eum super pinnam templi, et dixit illi : Si Filius Dei es, mitte te hinc deorsum. και ηγαγεν αυτον εις ιερουσαλημ και εστησεν αυτον επι το πτερυγιον του ιερου και ειπεν αυτω ει υιος ει του θεου βαλε σεαυτον εντευθεν κατω
10 For it is written, that He hath given his angels charge over thee, that they keep thee. Scriptum est enim quod angelis suis mandavit de te, ut conservent te : γεγραπται γαρ οτι τοις αγγελοις αυτου εντελειται περι σου του διαφυλαξαι σε
11 And that in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest perhaps thou dash thy foot against a stone. et quia in manibus tollent te, ne forte offendas ad lapidem pedem tuum. και επι χειρων αρουσιν σε μηποτε προσκοψης προς λιθον τον ποδα σου
12 And Jesus answering, said to him: It is said: Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. Et respondens Jesus, ait illi : Dictum est : Non tentabis Dominum Deum tuum. και αποκριθεις ειπεν αυτω ο ιησους οτι ειρηται ουκ εκπειρασεις κυριον τον θεον σου
13 And all the temptation being ended, the devil departed from him for a time. Et consummata omni tentatione, diabolus recessit ab illo, usque ad tempus. και συντελεσας παντα πειρασμον ο διαβολος απεστη απ αυτου αχρι καιρου
14 And Jesus returned in the power of the spirit, into Galilee, and the fame of him went out through the whole country. Et regressus est Jesus in virtute Spiritus in Galilæam, et fama exiit per universam regionem de illo. και υπεστρεψεν ο ιησους εν τη δυναμει του πνευματος εις την γαλιλαιαν και φημη εξηλθεν καθ ολης της περιχωρου περι αυτου

30 posted on 02/17/2013 9:26:58 AM PST by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex
1. And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost, returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness,
2. Being forty days tempted of the devil. And in those days he did eat nothing: and when they were ended, he afterward hungered.
3. And the devil said to him, If you be the Son of God, command this stone that it be made bread.
4. And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.

THEOPHYL. Christ is tempted after His baptism, showing us that after we are baptized, temptations await us. Hence it is said, But Jesus being full of the Holy Spirit it, &c.

CYRIL. God said in times past, My Spirit shall not always abide in men, for that they are flesh. But now that we have been enriched with the gift of regeneration by water and the Spirit, we are become partakers of the Divine nature by participation of the Holy Spirit. But the first-born among many brethren first received the Spirit, who Himself also is the giver of the Spirit, that we through Him might also receive the grace of the Holy Spirit.

ORIGEN; When therefore you read that Jesus was full of the Holy Spirit, and it is written in the Acts concerning the Apostles, that they were filled with the Holy Spirit, you must not suppose that the Apostles were equal to the Savior. For as if you should say, These vessels are full of wine or oil, you would not thereby affirm them to be equally full, so Jesus and Paul were full of the Holy Spirit, but Paul's vessel was far less than that of Jesus, and yet each was filled according to its own measure. Having then received baptism, the Savior, being full of the Holy Spirit, which came upon Him from heaven in the form of a dove, was led by the Spirit, because, as many as are led by the Spirit, they are the sons of God, but He was above all, especially the Son of God.

THEOPHYL; That there might be no doubt by what Spirit He was led, while the other Evangelists say, into the wilderness, Luke has purposely added, And he was led by the Spirit into the wilderness for forty days. That no unclean spirit should be thought to have prevailed against Him, who being full of the Holy Spirit did whatever He wished.

GREEK EX. But if we order our lives according to our own will, how was He led about unwillingly? Those words then, He was led by the Spirit, have some meaning of this kind: He led of His own accord that kind of life, that He might present an opportunity to the tempter.

BASIL; For not by word provoking the enemy, but by His actions rousing him, He seeks the wilderness. For the devil delights in the wilderness, he is not wont to go into the cities, the harmony of the citizens troubles him.

AMBROSE; He was led therefore into the wilderness, to the intent that He might provoke the devil, for if the one had not contended, the other it seems had not conquered. In a mystery, it was to deliver that Adam from exile who was cast out of Paradise into the wilderness. By way of example, it was to show us that the devil envies us, whenever we strive after better things; and that then we must use caution, lest the weakness of our minds should lose us the grace of the mystery. Hence it follows: And he was tempted of the devil.

CYRIL; Behold, He is among the wrestlers, who as God awards the prizes. He is among the crowned, who crowns the heads of the saints.

GREG. Our enemy was however unable to shake the purpose of the Mediator between God and men. For He condescended to be tempted outwardly, yet so that His soul inwardly, resting in its divinity, remained unshaken.

ORIGEN; But Jesus is tempted by the devil forty days, and what the temptations were we know not. They were perhaps omitted, as being greater than could be committed to writing.

BASIL; Or, the Lord remained for forty days untempted, for the devil knew that He fasted, yet hungered not, and dared not therefore approach Him. Hence it follows: And he eat nothing in those days. He fasted indeed, to show that He who would gird Himself for struggles against temptation must be temperate and sober.

AMBROSE; There are three things which united together conduce to the salvation of man; The Sacrament, The Wilderness, Fasting. No one who has not rightly contended receives a crown, but no one is admitted to the contest of virtue, except first being washed from the stains of all his sins, he is consecrated with the gift of heavenly grace.

GREG. NAZ. He fasted in truth forty days, eating nothing. (For He was God.) But we regulate our fasting according to our strength, although the zeal of some persuades them to fast beyond what they are able.

BASIL; But we must not however so use the flesh, that through want of food our strength should waste away, nor that by excess of mortification our understandings wax dull and heavy. Our Lord therefore once performed this work, but during this whole succeeding time He governed His body with due order, and so in like manner did Moses and Elias.

CHRYS. But very wisely, He exceeded not their number of days, lest indeed He should be thought to have come in appearance only, and not to have really received the flesh, or lest the flesh should seem to be something beyond human nature.

AMBROSE; But mark the mystical number of days. For you remember that for forty days the waters of the deep were poured forth, and by sanctifying a fast of that number of days, He brings before us the returning mercies of a calmer sky. By a fast of so many days also, Moses earned for himself the understanding of the law. Our fathers being for so many days settled in the wilderness, obtained the food of Angels.

AUG. Now that number is a sacrament of our time and labor, in which under Christ's discipline we contend against the devil, for it signifies our temporal life. For the periods of years run in courses of four, but forty contains four tens. Again, those ten are completed by the number one successively advancing on to four more. This plainly shows that the fast of forty days, i.e. the humiliation of the soul, the Law and the Prophets have consecrated by Moses and Elias, the Gospel by the fast of our Lord Himself.

BASIL; But because not to suffer hunger is above the nature of man, our Lord took upon Himself the feeling of hunger, and submitted Himself as it pleased Him to human nature, both to do and to suffer those things which were His own. Hence it follows: And those days being ended, he was as a hungered. Not forced to that necessity which overpowers nature, but as if provoking the devil to the conflict. For the devil, knowing that wherever hunger is there is weakness, sets about to tempt Him, and as the deviser or inventor of temptations, Christ permitting him tries to persuade Him to satisfy His appetite with the stones. As it follows; But the devil said to him, If you are the Son of God, command these stones that they be made bread.

AMBROSE; There are three especial weapons which we are taught the devil is wont to arm himself with, that he may wound the soul of man. One is of the appetite, another of boasting, the third ambition. He began with that wherewith he had already conquered, namely, Adam. Let us then beware of the appetite, let us beware of luxury, for it is a weapon of the devil. But what mean his words, If you are the Son of God, unless he had known that the Son would come, but supposed Him not to have come from the weakness of His body. He first endeavors to find Him out, then to tempt Him. He professes to trust Him as God, then tries to deceive Him as man.

ORIGEN; When a father is asked by his son for bread, he does not give him a stone for bread, but the devil like a crafty and deceitful foe gives stones for bread.

BASIL; He tried to persuades Christ to satisfy His appetite with stones, i.e. to shift his desire from the natural food to that which was beyond nature or unnatural.

ORIGEN; I suppose also that even now at this very time the devil shows a stone to men that he may tempt them to speak, saying to them, Command this stone to be made bread. If you see the heretics devouring their lying doctrines as if they were bread, know that their teaching is a stone which the devil shows them.

BASIL; But Christ while He vanquishes temptation, banishes not hunger from our nature, as though that were the cause of evils, (which is rather the preservative of life, but confining nature within its proper bounds, shows of what kind its nourishment is, as follows; And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone.

THEOPHYL. As if He said, Not by bread alone is human nature sustained, but the word of God is sufficient to support the whole nature of man. Such was the food of the Israelites when they gathered manna during the space of forty, years, and when they delighted in the taking of quails. By the Divine counsel Elias had the crows to entertain him; Elisha feel his companions on the herbs of the field.

CYRIL; Or, our earthly body is nourished by earthly food, but the reasonable soul is strengthened by the Divine Word, to the right ordering of the spirit.

GREG. NAZ. For the body nourishes not our immaterial nature.

GREG. NYSS. Virtue then is not sustained by bread, nor by flesh does the soul keep itself in health and vigor, but by other banquets than these is the heavenly life fostered, and increased. The nourishment of tile good man is chastity, his bread, wisdom, his herbs, justice, his drink, freedom from passion, his delight, to be rightly wise.

AMBROSE; You see then what kind of arms He uses to defend man against the assaults of spiritual wickedness, and the allurements of the appetite. He does not exert His power as God, (for how had that profited me,) but as man He summons to Himself a common aid, that while intent upon the food of divine reading He may neglect the hunger of the body, and gain the nourishment of the word. For he who seeks after the word cannot feel the want of earthly bread for divine things doubtless make up for the loss of human. At the same time by saying, Man lives not by bread alone, He shows that man was tempted, that is, our flesh which He assumed, not His own divinity.

5. And the devil, taking him up into a high mountain, showed to him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time.
6. And the devil said to him, All this power will I give you, and the glory of them: for that is delivered to me; and to whomsoever I will I give it.
7. If you therefore will worship me, all shall be yours.
8. And Jesus answered and said to him, Get you behind me, Satan: for it is written, You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve.

THEOPHYL. The enemy had first assailed Christ by the temptation of the appetite, as also he did Adam. He next tempts Him with the desire of gain or covetousness, showing Him all the kingdoms of the world. Hence it follows, And the devil taking him up.

GREG. What marvel that He permitted Himself to be led by the devil into the mountains, who even in endured to be crucified in His own body?

THEOPHYL. But how did the devil show Him all the kingdoms of the world? Some say that he presented them to Him in imagination, but I hold that he brought them before Him in visible form and appearance.

TITUS BOS. Or, the devil described the world in language, and as he thought brought it vividly before our Lord's mind as though it were a certain house.

AMBROSE;; Truly in a moment of time, the kingdoms of this world are described. For here it is not so much the rapid glance of sight which is signified as is declared the frailty of mortal power. For in a moment all this passes by, and oftentimes the glory of this world has vanished before it has arrived. It follows, And he said to him, I will give you all this power.

TITUS; He lied in two respects. For he neither had to give nor could he give that which he had not; he gains possession of nothing, but is an enemy reduced to fight.

AMBROSE; For it is elsewhere said, that all power is from God. Therefore from God's hands comes the disposal of power, the lust of power is from the evil one; power is not itself evil, but he who evilly uses it. What then; is it good to exercise power, to desire honor? Good if it is bestowed upon us, not if it is seized. We must distinguish however in this good itself. There is one good use of the world, another of perfect virtue. It is good to seek God; it is a good thing that the desire of becoming acquainted with God should be hindered by no worldly business. But if he who seeks God, is from the weakness of the flesh, and the narrowness of his mind, often tempted, how much more is he exposed who seeks the world? We are taught then to despise ambition, because it is subject to the power of the devil. But honor abroad is followed by danger at home, and in order to rule others a man is first their servant, and prostrates himself in obedience that he may be rewarded with honors, and the higher he aspires the lower he bends with feigned humility; whence he adds, If you will fall down and worship me.

CYRIL; And do you, whose lot is the unquenchable fire, promise to the Lord of all that which is His own? Did you think to have Him for your worshiper, from dread of whom the whole creation trembles?

ORIGEN; Or, to view the whole in another light. Two kings are earnestly contending for a kingdom; The king of sin who reigns over sinners, that is, the devil; The king of righteousness who rules the righteous, that is, Christ. The devil, knowing that Christ had come to take away his kingdom, shows Him all the kingdoms of the world; not the kingdoms of the Persians and of the Medes, but his own kingdom whereby he reigned in the world, whereby some are under the dominion of fornication, others of covetousness. And he shows Him them in a moment of time, that is, in the present course of time, which is but a moment in comparison of eternity. For the Savior needed not to be shown for any longer time the affairs of this world, but as soon as He turned His eyes to look, He beheld sins reigning, and men made slaves to vice. The devil therefore says to Him, Came You to contend with me for dominion? Worship me, and behold I give You the kingdom I hold. Now the Lord would indeed reign, but being Righteousness itself, would reign without sin; and would have all nations subject to Him, that they might obey the truth, but would not so reign over others as that He Himself should be subject to the devil. Hence it follows, And Jesus answering said to him, It is written, You shall worship the Lord your God.

THEOPHYL, The devil saying to our Savior, If you will fall down and worship me, receives answer that he himself ought rather to worship Christ as his Lord and God.

CYRIL; But how comes it that the Son (if as the heretics say a created being) is worshipped? What charge can be brought against those who served the creature and not the Creator, if the Son (according to them a created being) we are to worship as God?

ORIGEN; Or else, All these, he says, I would have subject to me, that they might worship the Lord God, and serve Him alone. But do you wish sin to begin from Me, which I came hither to destroy?

CYRIL; This command touched him to the quick; for before Christ's coming he was every where worshipped. But the law of God casting him down from his usurped dominion, establishes the worship of Him alone who is really God.

THEOPHYL; But someone may ask how this injunction agrees with the word of the Apostle, which says, Beloved, serve one another. In the Greek, signifies a common service, (i.e. given either to God or man,) according to which we are bid to serve one another; but is the service due to the worship of the Deity, with which we are bid to serve God alone.

9. And he brought him to Jerusalem, and set him on a pinnacle of the temple, and said to him, If you be the Son of God, cast yourself down from hence:
10. For it is written, He shall give his angels charge over you, to keep you:
11. And in their hands they shall bear you up, lest at any time you dash your foot against a stone.
12. And Jesus answering said to him, It is said, You shall not tempt the Lord thy God.
13. And when the devil had ended all the temptation, he departed from him for a season.

AMBROSE; The next weapon he uses is that of boasting, which always causes the offender to fall down; for they who love to boast of the glory of their virtue descend from the stand and vantage ground of their good deeds. Hence it is said, And he led him to Jerusalem.

ORIGEN; He followed evidently as a wrestler, gladly setting out to meet the temptation, and saying, as it were, Lead me where you will, and you will find me the stronger in every thing.

AMBROSE; It is the fate of boasting, that while a man thinks he is climbing higher, he is by his pretension to lofty deeds brought low. Hence it follows, And he said, to him, you are the Son of God, throw yourself down.

ATHAN. The devil entered not into a contest with God, (for he durst not, and therefore said, you are the Son of God,) but he contended with man whom once he had power to deceive.

AMBROSE; That is truly the devil's language, which seeks to cast down the soul of man from the high ground of its good deeds, while he shows at the same time both his weakness and malice, for he can injure no one that does not first cast himself down. For he who forsaking heavenly things pursues earthly, rushes as it were willfully down the self-sought precipice of a falling life. As soon then as the devil perceived his dart blunted, he who had subdued all men to his own power, began to think he had to deal with more than man. But Satan transforms himself into an angel of light, and often from the Holy Scriptures weaves his mesh for the faithful: hence it follows, It is written, He shall give, &c.

ORIGEN; Whence know you, Satan, that those things are written? Have you read the Prophets, or the oracles of God? You have read them indeed, but not that yourself might be the better for the reading, but that from the mere letter you might slay them who are friends to the letter. You know that if you were to speak from His other books, you would not deceive.

AMBROSE; Let not the heretic entrap you by bringing examples from the Scriptures. The devil makes use of the testimony of the Scriptures not to teach but to deceive.

ORIGEN; But mark how wily he is even in this testimony. For he would fain throw a slur upon the glory of the Savior, as though He needed the assistance of angels, and would stumble were He not supported by their hands. But this was said not of Christ, but of the saints generally; He needs not the aid of angels, Who is greater than angels. But let this teach you, Satan, that the angels would stumble did not God sustain them; and you stumble because you refuse to believe in Jesus Christ the Son of God. But why are you silent as to what follows, You shall walk upon the asp and the basilisk, except that you are the basilisk, you are the dragon and the lion?

AMBROSE; But the Lord, to prevent the thought that those things which had been prophesied of Him were fulfilled according to the devil's will, and not by the authority of His own divine power, again so foils his cunning, that he who had alleged the testimony of Scripture, should by Scripture himself be overthrown. Hence it follows, And Jesus answering said, It is said, You shall not tempt the Lord thy God.

CHRYS For it is of the devil to cast one's self into dangers, and try whether God will rescue us.

CYRIL; God gives not help to those who tempt Him, but to those who believe on Him. Christ therefore did not show ills miracles to them that tempted Him, but said to them, An evil generation seeks a sign, and no sign shall be given to them.

CHRYS. But mark how the Lord, instead of being troubled, condescends to dispute from the Scriptures with the wicked one, that you, as far as you are able, might become like Christ. The devil knew the arms of Christ, beneath which he sunk. Christ took him captive by meekness, He overcame him by humility. Do you also, when you see a man who has become a devil coming to meet you, subdue him in like manner. Teach your soul to conform its words to those of Christ. For as a Roman judge, who on the bench refuses to hear the reply of one who knows not how to speak as he does; so also Christ, except you speak after His manner, will neither hear you nor protect you.

GREG. NYSS. In lawful contests the battle is terminated either when the adversary surrenders of his own accord to the conqueror, or is defeated in three falls, according to the rules of the art of fighting. Hence it follows, And all the temptation being completed, &c.

AMBROSE; He would not have said that all the temptation was ended, had there not been in the three temptations which have been described the materials for every crime; for the causes of temptations are the causes of desire, namely, the delight of the flesh, the pomp of vain-glory, greediness of power.

ATHAN. The enemy came to Him as, man, but not finding in Him the marks of his ancient seed, he departed.

AMBROSE; You see then that the devil is not obstinate on the field, is wont to give way to true virtue; and if he ceases not to hate, he yet dreads to advance, for so he escapes a more frequent defeat. As soon then as he heard the name of God, he retired (it is said) for a season, for afterwards he comes not to tempt, but to fight openly.

THEOPHYL. Or, having tempted Him in the desert with pleasure, he retires from Him until the crucifixion, when he was about to tempt Him with sorrow.

MAXIMUS; Or the devil had prompted Christ in the desert to prefer the things of the world to the love of God. The Lord commanded him to leave Him, (which itself was a mark of Divine love.) It was afterwards then enough to make Christ appear the false advocate of love to His neighbors, and therefore while He was teaching the paths of life, the devil stirred up the Gentiles and Pharisees to lay traps for Him that He might be brought to hate them. But the Lord, from the feeling of love which He had towards them, exhorted, reproved, ceased not to bestow mercy upon them.

AUG. The whole of this narrative Matthew relates in a similar manner, but not in the same order. It is uncertain therefore which took place first, whether the kingdoms of the earth were first shown to Him, and He was afterwards taken up to the pinnacle of the temple; or whether this came first, and the other afterwards. It matters little however which, as long as it is clear that they all took place.

MAXIMUS; But the reason why one Evangelist places this event first, and another that, is because vain-glory and covetousness give birth in turn to one another.

ORIGEN; But John, who had commenced his Gospel from God, saying, In the beginning was the Word, did not describe the temptation of the Lord, because God can not be tempted, of whom he wrote. But because in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke the human generations are given, and in Mark it is man who is tempted, therefore Matthew, Luke, and Mark have described the temptation of the Lord.

14. And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee: and there went out a fame of him through all the region round about.

ORIGEN; The Lord having overcome the tempter, power was added to Him, i.e. as far as regards the manifestation of it. Hence it is said, And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit.

THEOPHYL; By the power of the Spirit he means showing forth of miracles.

CYRIL; Now He performed miracles not from any external power, and from having as it were the acquired grace of the Holy Spirit, as other saints, but rather as being by nature the Son of God, and partaking of all things which are the Father's, He exercises as by His own power and operation that grace which is of the Holy Spirit. But it was right that from that time He should become known, and that the mystery of His humanity should shine forth among those who were of the seed of Israel. It therefore follows, And his fame went out.

Catena Aurea Luke 4
31 posted on 02/17/2013 9:28:18 AM PST by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex


The Temptations of Christ
12th century mosaic
St Mark's Basilica, Venice


32 posted on 02/17/2013 9:29:34 AM PST by annalex (fear them not)
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To: All
The Temptations of Jesus Christ
Christ's temptation and ours (Reflection for the First Sunday of Lent)
Christ's temptation and ours
THE PATHOLOGY OF POWER: 3rd temptation of Christ - Part 1
33 posted on 02/17/2013 1:34:47 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
 
Catholic
Almanac:

Sunday, February 17

Liturgical Color: Green


Today is the optional memorial of the Seven Founders of the Order of Servites, religious. In 1240, seven holy men received a vision of the Blessed Virgin. She instructed them to found the Servites, which has since spread around the world.


34 posted on 02/17/2013 2:37:58 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
The Work of God

 You shalt not tempt the Lord your God. Catholic Gospels - Homilies - Matthew, Luke, Mark, John - Inspirations of the Holy Spirit

Year C

 -  1st Sunday of Lent

You shalt not tempt the Lord your God.

You shalt not tempt the Lord your God. Catholic Gospels - Matthew, Luke, Mark, John - Inspirations of the Holy Spirit Luke 4:1-13

1 Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness,
2 where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing at all during those days, and when they were over, he was famished.
3 The devil said to him, "If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become a loaf of bread."
4 Jesus answered him, "It is written, 'One does not live by bread alone.' "
5 Then the devil led him up and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world.
6 And the devil said to him, "To you I will give their glory and all this authority; for it has been given over to me, and I give it to anyone I please.
7 If you, then, will worship me, it will all be yours."
8 Jesus answered him, "It is written, 'Worship the Lord your God, and serve only him.' "
9 Then the devil took him to Jerusalem, and placed him on the pinnacle of the temple, saying to him, "If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here,
10 for it is written, 'He will command his angels concerning you, to protect you,'
11 and 'On their hands they will bear you up, so that you will not dash your foot against a stone.' "
12 Jesus answered him, "It is said, 'Do not put the Lord your God to the test.' "
13 When the devil had finished every test, he departed from him until an opportune time. (NRSV)

Inspiration of the Holy Spirit - From the Sacred Heart of Jesus

1st Sunday of Lent - You shalt not tempt the Lord your God. I am the Eternal Word, the Son of God. In my spiritual nature I am pure Spirit. I am also the Son of Mary, conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit in the womb of my Virgin Mother, therefore I have shared human nature and for the sake of your salvation I became a man.

As a man I shared all the weaknesses and temptations of human beings. After my baptism, I was filled with the Holy Spirit and decided to prepare myself for the work I was going to do. I went to the desert to fast and to pray for my mission. Right at the end when I was at my weakest human point the devil appeared to me trying to seduce me with his temptations.

I represented the whole human race in my spiritual struggle with the powerful enemy of souls so that you all would learn a lesson and always draw your wisdom and strength from me. The three enemies of the soul are the flesh, the world and the devil. He tempted me as he tempts everyone but I overcame his temptations. You can also overcome the same way I did.

To the weakness of the flesh, the devil tempted me with bread in order to interrupt my self-denial, my reply to him was “Human beings live not on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” I have taught you everything you need to know, my word will be your wisdom and your strength. Deny yourselves and you will have total self-control against temptation.

The devil tempted me to worship him in exchange for power, glory and riches, I said to Him “You must do homage to the Lord, Him alone must you serve” The first commandment calls to worship God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength, but many people neglect God and worship the false gods of the world, therefore becoming victims of the devil.

The devil tempted me to throw myself from a pinnacle of the temple, to which, I replied, “You shall not tempt the Lord your God”. Every time you sin, you are doing just that. You are forgetting the damage you are doing to your soul, you are putting the Lord to the test. Therefore don’t put me to the test, avoid sin, do what is good and you will conquer temptations when they come.

Author: Joseph of Jesus and Mary


35 posted on 02/17/2013 2:45:18 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Catholic Culture

Daily Readings for: February 17, 2013
(Readings on USCCB website)

Collect: Grant, almighty God, through the yearly observances of holy Lent, that we may grow in understanding of the riches hidden in Christ and by worthy conduct pursue their effects. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Lent: February 17th

First Sunday of Lent

Old Calendar: First Sunday of Lent

Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan, and was led by the Spirit for forty days in the wilderness, tempted by the devil. And he ate nothing in those days; and when they were ended, he was hungry. The devil said to him, "If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread." And Jesus answered him, "It is written, 'Man shall not live by bread alone." And the devil took him up. and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time, and said to him, "To you I will give all this authority and their glory; for it has been delivered to me, and I give it to whom I will. If you, then, will worship me, it shall all be yours." And Jesus answered him, "It is written, 'You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve."

Stational Church


Sunday Readings
The first reading is from Deuteronomy 26: 4-10. In these verses we have the ritual prescribed by Moses for the feast of the harvest thanksgiving. The people once settled in the Promised Land are to show their gratitude to the good God who brought them out of the slavery of Egypt and gave them this good land to be their home.

The second reading is from St. Paul to the Romans 10: 8-13. He is discussing the sad fact that Israel (as a whole) rejected Christ as the promised Messiah and the Son of God.

The Gospel is from St. Luke 5:1-11. Christ's voluntary self-mortification of forty days' fast, with its accompanying temptations, was but part of the self-mortification, with its climax on the Cross, which He gladly underwent for our salvation. He did not need to fast in order to keep the inclinations of the body in subjection, He did not need to allow the insult of temptation. He could have said, "begone Satan" at the beginning as easily and as effectively as be said it at the end. But He willingly underwent this humiliation in order to set us an example and to prove to us the infinite love He bears us and the value, the priceless value, He sets on our eternal salvation. He became like us in all things (except sin) in order to make it possible for us to become like Him—the beloved of his Father—and co-heirs with Him in the kingdom of heaven.

With this example given us by Christ no Christian can or should expect to travel the road to heaven without meeting obstacles and temptations. Our weak human nature is of itself, even without any external tempter, a source of many temptations to us, especially of those three illustrated in the case of Christ. Our body desires all the pleasures and comforts that can be got out of life and resents any curtailment of these desires even on the part of our Creator and Benefactor. Our gifts of intelligence and free-will often tempt most of us to look for power, political or economic, over our fellowmen. We want to be better off than others in this world, when our purpose in life is to help ourselves and our fellowmen to the better life. Finally. so fully occupied are many in the mad rush after pleasure and power that they have no time to devote to the one thing that matters, the attainment of eternal life.

Yet, through some foolish logic of our own, we expect God to do for us what we refuse to do for ourselves. We are tempting God by presuming he will save us if we have deliberately chosen the road to perdition.

There are few, if any, amongst us who can honestly say: "I am free from such inclinations or temptations." The vast majority of us can and should beat our breasts and say with the publican: "O God, be merciful to me a sinner." And merciful he will be if we turn to him with true humility. He may not remove all our temptations, all our wrong inclinations, but he will give us the grace to overcome them if we sincerely seek his aid.

Excerpted from The Sunday Readings by Fr. Kevin O'Sullivan, O.F.M.


The Station today is at St. John Lateran. The Lateran is comprised of the Basilica, the Pontifical Palace and the Baptistry. The church is dedicated to the Christ the Savior. In the fifth century the titles of St. John Baptist and St. John the Evangelist were added. The Papal altar contains the wooden altar on which St. Peter is said to have celebrated Mass. This basilica is the mother of all churches and is the only church which has the title of Archbasilica.


36 posted on 02/17/2013 3:35:56 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
The Word Among Us

Meditation: Deuteronomy 26:4-10

1st Sunday of Lent

The Lord brought us out of Egypt with a strong hand and outstretched arm. (Deuteronomy 26:8)

When we read the story of Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness, we may put brackets around it in our minds, thinking it’s not all that relevant to our own lives. After all, we’re not God’s divine Son. Sure, we may hunger for food, power, and recognition, but we aren’t about to turn stones to bread or throw ourselves off the roof to see if angels will catch us.

But God’s people have always had to face one fundamental temptation: forgetting the Lord and all the ways he has blessed us. The trouble is, when we forget our past, we tend to think that we’re alone in the present, that God isn’t with us to help us and guide us.

Because Jesus never forgot his people’s history, he was able to resist the devil’s temptation. He knew that the God who fed Israel in the desert would not let his Son starve. No, his Father would take care of him in exactly the right way at exactly the right time.

In today’s first reading, Moses exhorts the people to remember their history and to offer God their “first fruits” in gratitude. Each year at the beginning of the harvest, they were to recount their story and insert themselves personally into that story: God made us his own people, he delivered us from slavery, he fed us in the desert, he enabled us to defeat our enemies and settle in the Promised Land.

This is the kind of remembering that we do every time we celebrate the Eucharist. We remember Jesus’ love for us. We remember his teachings, his miracles, and his compassion. We remember his death and resurrection. We remember our own redemption. And as we remember, these events come alive again. We find new grace to resist temptation and continue our journey in faith. So remember the Lord today at Mass. Remember your heritage as an honored, beloved child of God.

“Father, may I never forget your many blessings. Come, Lord, and fill my heart with praise and gratitude.”

Psalm 91:1-2, 10-15; Romans 10:8-13; Luke 4:1-13

Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion

1. In the first reading, Moses reminds the people of all that God has done for them by setting them free from slavery to the Egyptians. He also instructs the people (and the priests) to express their gratefulness and thanks to God by offering him their “first fruits.” Each of us has been set free from slavery to sin, through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. What are some “first fruits” you can offer to God out of gratefulness to Him for this wonderful work. What are some gift(s) God has given you that he may be asking you to use for him now?

2. The Responsorial Psalm calls God our “refuge and fortress,” that is, the source of our comfort and strength. Where do you turn for comfort and strength? In light of the many promises of the Lord in this Psalm, how can you overcome the obstacles that keep you from seeking your comfort and strength from the Lord?

3. In the second reading, what does St. Paul say is required to be “saved”? In what ways do you agree or disagree with this?

4. The second reading also says that in Christ all distinctions between people, whether Jew or Greek, have been abolished. Considering that we will all be together in heaven one day, what are the prejudices in your life God might be asking you to eliminate?

5. In the Gospel reading, how would you summarize the temptations of the devil towards Jesus in the desert? How would you relate them to the ways the devil tries to tempt you? In the Gospel, Jesus quotes the truths of Scripture, the Word of God, to respond to the lies and temptations of the devil. How often do you read Scripture on your own now? How often do you use Scriptures (the Sword of the Spirit) as a weapon against the devil’s temptations? What are some steps you can take during Lent that will allow you to read and meditate on Scripture more regularly?

6. The meditation reminds us that “God’s people have always had to face one fundamental temptation: forgetting the Lord and all the ways he has blessed us. The trouble is, when we forget our past, we tend to think that we’re alone in the present, that God isn’t with us to help us and guide us.” Take some time to read and reflect on the words of the last paragraph in the meditation. What steps can you take during Lent to better remember at Mass what the Lord has done for you, and to allow these truths to come alive in a greater way in your life?.

7. Take some time now to pray and ask for the grace to always remember how the Lord has blessed your life, no matter what difficulties you have faced, or may have to face. Use the prayer at the end of the meditation as a starting point.


37 posted on 02/17/2013 3:43:47 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
A Christian Pilgrim

WE ARE WEAK. JESUS IS STRONG. WE NEED HIM!

(A biblical refection on the 1st Sunday of Lent, Year C – 17 February 2013)

Gospel Reading: Luke 4:1-13 

First Reading: Deut 26:4-10; Psalms: Ps 91:1-2,10-15; Second Reading: Rom 10:8-13

DIGODA IBLIS - 16

The Scripture Text

And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan, and was led by the Spirit for forty days in the wilderness, tempted by the devil. And He ate nothing in those days; and when they were ended, he was hungry. The devil said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.” And Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone.’” And the devil took Him up and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time, and said to Him, “To You I will give all this authority and their glory; for it has been delivered to me, and I give it to whom I will. If You, then, will worship me, it shall all be Yours.” And Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only shall you serve.’” And he took Him to Jerusalem, and set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down from here; for it is written, ‘He will give His angels charge of you, to guard You,’ and ‘On their hands they will bear You up, lest You strike Your foot against a stone.’” And Jesus answered him, “It is said, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God.’” And when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from Him until an opportune time. (Lk 4:1-13 RSV) 

Adam, tempted in the garden, fell by eating the fruit; but Jesus, when enticed by the lure of food, triumphed. In Him we have removal of original sin and a fresh beginning. He is the New Adam (see Rom 5:12-21). The fact that Jesus was tempted proves He is human (see Heb 4:15). That He did not succumb is a sign of His divinity.

In today’s Gospel, it seems that the devil wanted to know Jesus’ identity and tried to trick Him into working a miracle that would prove He was God, for only God could turn rocks into bread. If the local baker happened to turn bread into rocks, it is a sign of human weakness; but turning rocks to bread requires a greater power.

This whole temptation scene shows the strength of Jesus, who could control His great hunger. If we were famished, we would probably do almost anything to get food and would feel justified in doing so. When it concerns food, some of us fall very easily. The devil knows how to handle a hungry man, but he never learned how to handle a hungry God.

Jesus was tempted by the devil to other foolish deeds, such as bowing down to worship him – which He didn’t do, of course, but which we might do if the payoff is big enough. Then there was the invitation to leap off a tall building – the corner of the Temple overlooking the deep Kidron Valley. It would have been a show-off stunt to impress the people. Here again, Jesus didn’t jump for glory; just as He didn’t jump off the cross, in spite of His agonizing pain. Instead, we do the jumping, to gain approval or applause and to avoid little inconveniences or difficulties. We manifest a severe spiritual weakness when we jump to false conclusions about others and misjudge their motives. That’s sinful.

Jesus must have endured numerous temptations during His life, especially in those unsheltered public years. We believe He emerged completely victorious – a 4. average, summa cum laude. 

As for the rest of us who fail our many temptations, we realize that the power of Christ has not yet really taken hold of our lives. As we read the story of the temptations, let us acknowledge some basic truths. We are weak. Jesus is strong. We need Him.

Short Prayer: Lord Jesus, You know the temptations I face every day. Put Your truth deep in my heart so that I can stand against Satan’s lies. I want to take up the authority You gave me against Satan through Your cross! Amen.


38 posted on 02/17/2013 3:54:50 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
A Christian Pilgrim

THE DEVIL USES PEOPLE

 (A biblical refection on the 1st Sunday of Lent, Year C – 17 February 2013)

First Reading: Deut 26:4-10; Psalms: Ps 91:1-2,10-15; Second Reading: Rom 10:8-13; Gospel Reading: Lk 4:1-13  

CHRIST TEMPTED

A priest was having a hard time looking for a parking space. After sneaking into a no-double parking space, he left note on his wiper which read: “I’ve gone around the corner three times but couldn’t find a space – ‘Forgive me my trespasses.’” When he returned, a violation ticket was tucked on his wiper with the note, “I will be removed from my post if I don’t book you – ‘Lead me not into temptation.’” 

Temptation is an ever-present reality in life. Even the Lord Jesus was tempted as shown in Scriptures (cf. Lk 4:1-13). Jesus withdrew to the wilderness for a long retreat. There He encountered Satan who offered Him the ultimate in power, money and material comforts. The offer was, of course, conditional. Jesus was to acknowledge Satan as supreme being. “All these I will give you if you will fall down and worship me,” the devil said. Jesus answered with an emphatic “No.” 

The struggle in the wilderness between Jesus and the devil goes on within each of us, every day of our life. The urge to be true to God is real, but so is the urge to be untrue. St. Paul describes the inner struggle or spiritual combat in his letter to the Romans: “I can’t understand myself; for I don’t do what I would like to do, but instead I do what I hate” (Rom 7:15). 

Note that temptation is not a sin. It is an incitement to evil. It is a testing. God allows Satan to test someone to see how good he/she is. It’s like a girl testing the fidelity of her suitor. God allows Satan to test us so that we can prove whether we are on Satan’s or God’s side. 

In temptation the devil does not always appear as a horrible looking half-man, half-animal with horns and tail. He could appear in the form of a well-dressed man with pleasing personality but offers “indecent proposals” like approving an anomalous contract or bribing people. The devil could be a smart, charming lady, say, in the office who seduces you to be unfaithful to your wife. In other words, individuals and institutions can be used, and are being used today by sweet-talking Satan. 

Temptation is related to free will. God gives us free will to test our love for Him. I have to make decisions for or against God when I am tempted. If I have no free choice to love or not to love, if I am simply compelled by human nature to love, my love for someone would have no value whatsoever. Destroy free will and you destroy the very concept of love for God that is free. 

St. Paul writes in 1Cor 10:13 “God will not allow you to be tempted beyond your power to remain firm. Every time you’re put to test He will give you the strength to endure it, and provide you the way out.” The ideal thing to do is to ask the Lord to help you. 

One thing we have to remember, when the Lord shooed Satan away and left Him, the struggle didn’t end there. The Gospel writer tells us that “when the devil had finished tempting Jesus, he left Him, to await another opportunity” (Lk 4:13). 

Temptation is a continuing struggle in our lives to keep God at the center. And as someone quipped: “When you flee temptation, be sure you don’t leave a forwarding address.” Sometimes we are attracted to infidelity, to excessive drinking, or to cheating in money matters. In all these cases we are tempted to substitute the lesser for the greater, the superficial for the real, the trivial for the essential. 

We’ve begin the season of Lent. It’s a season of testing and discipline, of choosing good and evil, of focusing on the greater and better choices. Are we making the right choices? 

Note: Taken (with very little changes) from Fr. Bel San Luis SVD, WORD ALIVE, Manila, Philippines: LOGOS Publications, Inc., 1994, pages 34-35.


39 posted on 02/17/2013 3:57:33 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
 
Marriage = One Man and One Woman
Til' Death Do Us Part

Daily Marriage Tip for February 17, 2013:

The devil tempted Jesus with food, power, glory, and safety. (Lk 4:1-13) What is the greatest temptation to your marriage? Overwork? Inattentiveness? Sports? Technology? Wanting to be right? Worry about finances, the kids, security? Face it together.


40 posted on 02/17/2013 4:07:07 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Sunday Scripture Study

First Sunday of Lent - Cycle C

February 17, 2013

Click here for USCCB readings

Opening Prayer  

First Reading: Deuteronomy 26:4-10

Psalm: 91:1-2,10-15

Second Reading: Romans 10:8-13

Gospel Reading: Luke 4:1-13

  • In this Sunday’s reading, Jesus has just come from being baptized by John the Baptist. It was here that the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove descended upon him, and God’s voice from heaven identified him as his beloved Son (Luke 3:21 and following).
  • Immediately after this he was led by the Spirit (Mark 1:12 says he was driven) into the desert to be tempted by Satan. His fasting for 40 days calls to mind many significant Old Testament events that also involved 40 days—Noah in the ark (Genesis 7:12), Moses on Mt. Sinai (Exodus 24:18), and Jonah in Nineveh (Jonah 3:4).
  • Jesus’ temptation mirrors that of notable Old Testament figures (Adam, Moses, the Israelites in the wilderness) who were also tempted. The difference is that Jesus is successful in resisting, atoning for the failure of those who came before.
  • Jesus shows that he can empathize with us in that he was subject to temptation just as we are (see Hebrews 2:18; 4:15). He also shows us how to resist the devil.

 

QUESTIONS:

  • Why were the temptations directed at Jesus immediately after he was affirmed by God at his baptism (Luke 3:22)?

  • In each temptation, what was its appeal? Its price? How does Jesus resist them? How are the three temptations similar? How are they different?

  • What does it mean to you that all the power and glory of the kingdoms of the world have been given to Satan (verses 5-6. See also John 12:31; 14:30; 16:11)?
  • If the devil had three shots at you, what temptations would he use? What resources does God give to help us resist?
  • In verse 12, Jesus quotes Deuteronomy 6:16. What does it mean to “tempt the Lord, your God”? How is that different from “taking a step out in faith”? What is your own experience in this regard?
  • In the First Reading, on the verge of their entry into the Promised Land, Moses reminds the Israelites of all that God has done for them to bring them to this point. How are they to show their gratitude to God once they have taken possession of the land? How do you show gratitude to the Lord for all the good he has done for you? How do you “give to God what belongs to God” (Matthew 21:22)?

Catechism of the Catholic Church: §§ 538-540; 2096; 2119

 

A man who governs his passions is master of the world. We must either command them, or be enslaved by them. It is better to be a hammer than an anvil. -St. Dominic


41 posted on 02/17/2013 4:44:56 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Remembering Pope Benedict XVI
Pastor’s Column
1st Sunday of Lent
February 17, 2013
 
 
          Having spent this past week recovering from the worst case of flu I have ever had, I was still flabbergasted to hear this morning that Pope Benedict is resigning! Well, by the time this column appears this will be old news, but I have done a bit of reflecting in the meantime.
 
          We meet the Catholic Church at three levels: the global church, symbolized by the Pope; the local church, symbolized by our bishop; and our parish church, symbolized perhaps best by our church building, and all three of these will be changing in 2013! So we at Saint Ed’s have entered into a place of transition and opportunity.
 
          I want to share with you again some of my best memories of Pope Benedict XVI, which are encapsulated by a picture I took in Saint Peter’s Square of the Pope amid 10,000 priests in June 2010: 
 
 
          As you may remember, the diocese sent me and another priest, Fr. Peter Smith, to represent our diocese at the closing ceremonies of the Year of the Priest at the Vatican in June of 2010. Because there were over 10,000 priests in attendance, the largest concelebrated Mass in the history of the Catholic Church, the Mass was held outside in Saint Peter’s Square rather than in Saint Peter’s itself. Prior to the actual Mass, the Pope made his rounds through the vast crowd of priests slowly in his “Pope-Mobile”…..very slowly. And he went through every aisle twice, so that as many of us as possible could connect with him. I noticed he was making eye contact with us.
 
          I took this picture myself the second time the Pope passed by. I thought to myself, “here is an (at that time) 82 year old man, one who never sought to be Pope and would have preferred another choice, who has risen to the occasion and has sought to renew the church by striving to renew her priests.   This is true for us as well: whatever we are asked to do in life, all that God asks of us is that we try our best! It is up to God to make fruitful our humble efforts.
 
          We at Saint Ed’s have begun the physical transition to an exciting new building. The fences are up! And, on April 2, we will be installing a new archbishop for our diocese, Archbishop Alexander King Sample.  Perhaps by April we will have a new Pope as well. But the church continues, not only because Jesus is really present in the Eucharist, not only because he remains eternally in his Word, but also because he remains in you, the people of Saint Edward, as we journey together through these interesting times.
 
   
 
         
 
          This final picture was taken after the conclusion of the Papal Mass. Though the Pope, Bishop, Pastor or Church Building may change, Jesus remains forever in our hearts. He remains with us forever!
                                                                                       Father Gary

42 posted on 02/17/2013 5:16:55 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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St. Paul Center Blog

Forty Days: Scott Hahn reflects on the 1st Sunday in Lent

Posted by Dr. Scott Hahn on 02.15.13 |


Temptation of Jesus

Deuteronomy 26:4-10
Psalm 91:1-2,10-15
Romans 10:8-13
Luke 4:1-13

In today’s epic Gospel scene, Jesus relives in His flesh the history of Israel.

We’ve already seen that like Israel, Jesus has passed through water, been called God’s beloved Son (see Luke 3:22; Exodus 4:22). Now, as Israel was tested for forty years in the wilderness, Jesus is led into the desert to be tested for forty days and nights (see Exodus 15:25).

He faces the temptations put to Israel: Hungry, He’s tempted to grumble against God for food (see Exodus 16:1-13). As Israel quarreled at Massah, He’s tempted to doubt God’s care (see Exodus 17:1-6). When the Devil asks His homage, He’s tempted to do what Israel did in creating the golden calf (see Exodus 32).

Jesus fights the Devil with the Word of God, three times quoting from Moses’ lecture about the lessons Israel was supposed to learn from its wilderness wanderings (see Deuteronomy 8:3; 6:16; 6:12-15).

Why do we read this story on the first Sunday of Lent? Because like the biblical sign of forty (see Genesis 7:12; Exodus 24:18; 34:28; 1 Kings 19:8; Jonah 3:4), the forty days of Lent are a time of trial and purification.

Lent is to teach us what we hear over and over in today’s readings. “Call upon me, and I will answer,” the Lord promises in today’s Psalm. Paul promises the same thing in today’s Epistle (quoting Deuteronomy 30:14; Isaiah 28:16; Joel 2:32).

This was Israel’s experience, as Moses reminds his people in today’s First Reading: “We cried to the Lord…and He heard.” But each of us is tempted, as Israel was, to forget the great deeds He works in our lives, to neglect our birthright as His beloved sons and daughters.

Like the litany of remembrance Moses prescribes for Israel, we should see in the Mass a memorial of our salvation, and “bow down in His presence,” offering ourselves in thanksgiving for all He has given us.


43 posted on 02/17/2013 5:37:27 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Jesus begins his Lent


". . . and when they were over he was hungry."
 
 
1st Sunday of Lent. The Word: http://usccb.org/bible/readings/021713.cfm
 
Deut 26: 4- 10, Rm 10: 8-13, Lk 4: 1-13

By abstaining forty long days from earthly food,
he consecrated through his fast
the pattern of our Lenten observance
and, by overturning all the snares of the ancient serpent,
taught us to cast out the leaven of malice,
so that, celebrating worthily the Paschal Mystery,
we might pass over at last to the eternal paschal feast.
 
(Preface for 1st Sunday of Lent)

The desert experience is a familiar one in the scriptures.  In fact, it seems to also be a familiar one to many parishioners this time of year!  Once the leaves start to turn, the daylight shortens, the clouds open and the rain drops fall with a decidedly colder temperature, I often hear – “Well, Father, see you at Easter” and the caravan down south begins.  For all those who head down to Arizona and California the desert experience of Jesus in today’s Gospel, always a favorite as we begin our Lenten season, is a little more than a get-away time for R and R.

The Gospel of Luke may also be titled the Gospel of the Holy Spirit.  As he begins his public ministry, Luke makes the point of telling us that Jesus’ mission was not something of his own.  Rather as we hear today, “Filled with the Holy Spirit, Jesus returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the desert for forty days, to be tempted by the devil . . .” (Lk 4: 1). Luke reminds us that the entire ministry of Jesus upon earth was of divine origin; that it was the united work of the Trinity in the cause of our salvation and it is that same Spirit which compels us.

Salvation is a familiar word in our Christian life.  Our first reading from Deuteronomy tells the sweeping story of God’s work among his enslaved people: the Egyptians, the Hebrews as captive slaves, the liberating response of God to their prayers, the call of Moses to lead the people with the “strong hand and outstretched arm” of God through the desert into a land of plenty.  It is a time to give thanks, Moses reminds the people, for God has saved them.

In a more personal way, we now see in Jesus’ desert experience the continued work of God with a new Moses.  Jesus is the One who doesn’t speak on the authority of another as a spokesman but rather one who is that authority himself; it Jesus himself who will become our salvation. But in his humanity we see the overwhelming self-sacrifice on our behalf – one like us who is given for us.

St. Luke in this familiar temptation story of Jesus unfolds a mysterious encounter with the evil one.  Jesus, alone in the desert after his baptism and led there by the Spirit of God now encounters another spirit with opposite intentions.  The grand deceiver, the father of darkness, the embodiment of all that is not of God, approaches Jesus at a time most vulnerable. 

Luke tells us that Jesus was “hungry” after more than a month of fasting and prayer.  It would be an easy line to dismiss – of course he was! But it seems to be Luke’s way of reminding us that this was the human Jesus who was tempted.  That in his humanity, in his hunger, he identified with all of humanity in our weakness and sin. Though Jesus confronted the evil one in the solitude of the desert it was for the collective interest of our salvation that he embraced his mission in the resistance of temptations familiar to us.

The devil appeals to the lowest need that Jesus, and all humankind feels - that of physical hunger.  When he fails in that attempt, Satan’s temptations increase in appeal – the hunger for power and prestige: “I shall give you all this power and glory . . .” When that fails, he dares to confront Jesus in a blatant defiance of God: “. . . throw yourself down from here!” In the end, all three temptations are about self as the center rather than the call to mission on behalf of the other.  “Jesus, abandon your mission and enjoy the comfort of earthly power and influence!” Think of the “me” and forget about the “you.” We may all hear a familiar ring in this temptation sequence about our own struggle to carry out our baptismal mission in the name of the Lord Jesus.

Temptation is both subtle and sometimes overt but in the end it seems to carry a consistent theme: to put the me before the you. We are often tempted think of our own self-interests before we think of the other.  So it was for Jesus in the desert and so it is for us today. How many multiple applications can we all find in this area?

In our present culture with its strong emphasis on the individual the greatest temptation, it seems to me, is that of self-promotion. While finding one’s way and making our mark in the world is not necessarily a wrong direction, the temptation is to do so without regard for others - To sacrifice principle for popularity or morality for convenience. To insist on “my way” or “my rights” or to justify “my lifestyle” as long as I don’t hurt anyone. To sacrifice the common good of all for the sake of personal interests and desires.

As we journey through this Lenten desert time it is for us a challenge to confront our own humanity. Is my mission a series of self-promoting insistence on my own way with things? Have there been moments when I’ve sacrificed the common good of others for the sake of my personal needs?

The ancient Jewish people, and the same today, see themselves with a collective vision and the individual is a part of the whole.  As the chosen people, our “elder brothers” as the late Pope John Paul II referred to them, might their collective identity be a lesson for us?

We are the People of God with a vision of Christianity that is broad and inclusive.  As Catholics we see ourselves as members of this vast and inclusive family. Can I see myself as a supportive, humble, servant or as one whose own opinion about things demands constant attention about the way things should be?

In this desert Lent, it is the Lord Jesus who leads us as the new Moses but greater than Moses for in Christ Jesus we find our collective identity called away from the temptations of “me” and sent on mission in Jesus’ name for the sake of the other. 

Here at Word and Sacrament we gather as that people on this common journey to be fed by Christ himself.
 
Fr. Tim

44 posted on 02/17/2013 6:13:28 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
Insight Scoop

The Temptation reveals three important things

A Scriptural Reflection on the Readings for Sunday, February 17, 2013, the First Sunday of Lent | Carl E. Olson

Readings:
• Dt 26:4-10
• Ps 91:1-2, 10-11, 12-13, 14-15
• Rom 10:8-13
• Lk 4:1-13

“The whole story of the Temptation is misconceived,” wrote Monsignor Ronald Knox, “if we do not recognize that it was an attempt made by Satan to find out whether our Lord was the Son of God or not.” In so writing, he echoed many of the Church Fathers, who pondered the question of what Satan knew and what he wished to accomplish in tempting Jesus in the desert. St. Ephrem the Syrian wrote, “He tempted Jesus because a definite sign of Christ’s divinity had not yet been given from heaven.” Yes, Ephrem noted, Satan was aware of Jesus’ baptism, but thought the true identity of Jesus couldn’t be known until he was tested in spiritual combat, through temptation.

It is a point worth contemplating on this first Sunday of Lent for three reasons: temptation reveals the nature of our enemy, it reveals the reality of our situation, and it reveals the identity of the sons and daughters of God.

The enemy has many names, including Beelzebul, the evil one, the ruler of the demons and of this world, the serpent, and the tempter. He is not a metaphor or a myth, but a real creature, a fallen angel. Pope Paul VI, in an audience titled, “Confronting the Devil’s power” (Nov. 15, 1972), said that refusing to acknowledge the devil’s existence or to explain him away as “a pseudo-reality, a conceptual, fanciful personification of the unknown causes of our misfortunes” is a complete rejection of Scripture and Church teaching. Ironically, the refusal of so many—including not a few Catholics—to admit the true identity of the devil is itself a dark triumph for the great deceiver.

The name “the devil,” comes from the Greek word diabolos (Latin, diabolus), which means “slanderer” or “accuser.” He seeks to accuse and slander each of us before God in his relentless desire to destroy souls. In doing so he has a certain advantage, namely, that on our own merits we have no real defense against his accusations. The reality of our situation is stark: we are sinners who often give into temptation and, in doing so, make ourselves subjects of the ruler of this world.

This fact is part and parcel of Jesus’ forty days in the desert. His time there was a purposeful re-enactment of the forty years the Israelites spent wandering in the desert. But whereas the Israelites failed, repeatedly, to obey, trust, and worship God, Jesus overcame the devil’s attempts to have him disobey, distrust, and deny God. “At the heart of the temptations,” notes Pope Benedict XVI in Jesus of Nazareth, “as we see here, is the act of pushing God aside because we perceive him as secondary, if not actually superfluous and annoying, in comparison with all the apparently far more urgent matters that fill our lives.”

We are rarely tempted to flatly deny the existence of God or to publicly curse him. Rather, we are tempted to gradually replace God, the highest good, with lesser goods: food, comfort, safety, possessions, and position. People rarely go from Christian to atheist in a matter of days or weeks. As Benedict points out, the devil is just as pleased when we demand that God caters to our wishes as he is when we reject God altogether. They are, in the end, not so different, especially when it comes to destroying the life of grace. 

“But,” some protest, “Jesus had an advantage: he is God!” Yet all who are baptized into Christ have put on Christ (cf. Rom 6). We are children of God because, by the work of Jesus, we are filled with the Holy Spirit. Today’s epistle states what is required in the face of temptation and trials: confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead.

In facing the enemy and rejecting temptation, Jesus revealed himself. Lent is our opportunity to do the same, in the name and power of the Lord.

(This "Opening the Word" column originally appeared in the February 21, 2010, edition of Our Sunday Visitor newspaper.)


45 posted on 02/17/2013 6:26:20 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Regnum Christi

Lenten Training Camp
| SPIRITUAL LIFE | SPIRITUALITY
First Sunday of Lent

Luke 4:1:13

Filled with the Holy Spirit, Jesus returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the desert for forty days, to be tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and when they were over he was hungry. The devil said to him, "If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread." Jesus answered him, "It is written, ´One does not live by bread alone.´" Then he took him up and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a single instant. The devil said to him, "I shall give to you all this power and their glory; for it has been handed over to me, and I may give it to whomever I wish. All this will be yours, if you worship me." Jesus said to him in reply, "It is written: ´You shall worship the Lord, your God, and him alone shall you serve.´" Then he led him to Jerusalem, made him stand on the parapet of the temple, and said to him, "If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here, for it is written: ´He will command his angels concerning you, to guard you,´ and: ´With their hands they will support you, lest you dash your foot against a stone.´" Jesus said to him in reply, "It also says, ´You shall not put the Lord, your God, to the test.´" When the devil had finished every temptation, he departed from him for a time.

Introductory Prayer: Lord Jesus, in this season of Lent, I want to draw closer to you. I believe that you truly became one of us to save us as an act of love beyond all human understanding. I know I can count on you to carry me through each day. I know that in all circumstances you are with me. I want to love you more than myself and say “yes” to your will in every moment. I trust totally in your grace. Thank you, Lord! This Lent, I want to learn to love you as you deserve by being the person you want me to be.

Petition: Help me, Lord, to take advantage of this Lent and draw closer to you.

1. Holiness and Temptation: Have you noticed in the gospels that the only times we see Jesus being tempted by the devil are those in which Christ was in prayer or was doing penance ? It’s when he’s in prayer or fasting that he is assailed by the devil, as in today’s Gospel reading or in the Garden of Gethsemane on Holy Thursday. A similar pattern frequently appears in our lives, too. We make a decision to do something good and then promptly find it hard to do. What can we conclude from this? The fact is that when we’re mediocre, we run no risk of becoming holy and spoiling Satan’s plans . Thus, he has no concern for us. It’s when we start to strive for holiness that we will find ourselves face-to-face with temptation, because the devil begins to put all sorts of obstacles in our paths.

2. Detachment from Self: Lent is a time for us to renew our awareness of the suffering Jesus endured for our sake. That awareness should lead us to action. In this Lenten season t he Church invites us to a greater self-sacrifice. Sacrifice helps us to be more detached from the sources of temptation that can keep us from reaping the full fruits of Christ’s redeeming work and from loving God with an undivided heart. That’s why our Lenten sacrifice should really be something that purifies our hearts and makes us more generous with others. Our sacrifice should make us less self-centered. It should make us better followers of Christ.

3. God as Our Point of Reference: Overcoming temptation is not an easy business. In fact, it’s impossible without God’s grace. When Jesus was tempted, he showed us what our reference point should be: God. All three times the devil tempted him in the Gospel, he answered by putting God’s word and God’s will first. In order for us to persevere in our Lenten resolutions, we must center ourselves on God and rely on his grace. That means living close to Christ in Scripture – especially the Gospels. It means staying close to him in the Sacraments, especially the Eucharist and Reconciliation.

Conversation with Christ: Lord Jesus, help me to know myself better so that I can see what I need to do in order to live a holier life. Give me resolve, perseverance to keep up the good fight and carry through, and humility to seek your grace. Without you I can do nothing.

Resolution: I will offer my Lenten sacrifice with enthusiasm and constancy today, relying on God’s grace.


46 posted on 02/17/2013 6:31:09 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Why is Lent Forty Days?

Why Is Lent Forty Days?

Marcellino D'Ambrosio, Ph.D.

by Marcellino D'Ambrosio, Ph.D. on February 15, 2013 ·  

In the English language, the special season before Easter is called “Lent.”  The word comes from the “lengthening” of daylight hours as we progress from the darkness of winter to the new light of spring.  But other languages, such as Spanish, have a name for this season that is derived from the word for forty.  It is the season of the forty days.

OK, we do penance for forty days because Jesus fasted forty days in the wilderness.  But did you ever wonder why he was out there for forty days rather than seven or ten or fifty?

Think back to the Old Testament.  Noah and company were in the Ark for 40 days.  Moses was up on Sinai receiving the 10 commandments for 40 days.   The Israelites wandered around the desert for 40 years.

So why all these forties?  Probably because it is forty weeks that a woman carries her developing baby in the womb before a new birth can take place.

All these “forties” are a necessary and not-so-comfortable prelude for something new.  In Noah’s case, it’s the rebirth of a sinful world that had been cleansed by raging flood waters.  In Moses’ case, it was the birth of the people of the covenant.  For the nomadic Israelites, it was the start of a new, settled existence in the Promised Land.

And Jesus?  What did his forty days mean?  The birth of a new Israel liberated from sin, reconciled to God, and governed by the law of the Spirit rather than a law chiseled in stone.

But think back to the story of Moses and the Israelites.  There was someone who did not want them to go out into the desert to offer sacrifice to their God.  Pharaoh did not take the loss of his cheap labor lying down.  When Jesus begins his mission of liberation, there is another slave master who is no more willing than Pharaoh to let his minions go without a fight.

Since the sixties, it has been fashionable in some quarters to dismiss the devil as a relic of ancient mythology or an invention of medieval fantasy.  The guy with the pointy tail and the pitchfork comes in handy in cartoons and costume parties, but how can we take such an image seriously?  In the Bible, they say, let’s read “Satan” merely as a symbol of human evil.

Such a view is clearly at odds with Scripture, Tradition, and the constant teaching of the Magisterium.  Our battle is not against flesh and blood, says St. Paul.  If you don’t know your enemy and his tactics, you are bound to lose.

The temptation of Jesus in the desert shows us the tactics of the “Dark Lord.”  Bread, a symbol for all that sustains our physical life, is a great blessing.  But Satan tries to make material things the ultimate, distracting us from a deeper hunger and a more satisfying food.  Political power and all leadership is intended by God for the sake of serving the common good; Satan twists things to make leaders self-seeking, oppressive tyrants like himself.  The lust for power and fame ironically leads not to dominion but to slavery to the Dark Lord (remember what happened to the Nazgûl in the Lord of the Rings!).  Then there’s religious temptation, the trickiest of them all– Manipulating God for our own glory, using his gifts to make people look at us rather than at Him.  Sounds a lot like the Pharisees.

Jesus triumphs in this first wrestling match.  He shows us how to keep from being pinned.  Fasting breaks undue attachments to material blessings and stimulates our spiritual appetite.   Humble service breaks the stranglehold of pride.  The reverent worship of authentic faith breaks the full nelson of superstition, magic, and all arrogant religion.  And the word of God is shown as the sword of the Spirit, the secret weapon that slashes through the lies of the enemy.

So our forty days?  Time to use the tactics modeled by our captain and break the strongholds. Prayer, fasting, humble service fueled by the heavenly bread of the Eucharist and Scripture.  If we make use of them diligently during this season, pregnant with possibilities, we can enter into greater freedom.  Darkness can give way to increasing light.  Something new and wonderful can be born in us.


47 posted on 02/17/2013 6:58:37 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
One Bread, One Body

One Bread, One Body

 

<< Sunday, February 17, 2013 >> First Sunday of Lent
 
Deuteronomy 26:4-10
Romans 10:8-13

View Readings
Psalm 91:1-2, 10-15
Luke 4:1-13

 

LENT IN THE SPIRIT

 
"Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, then returned from the Jordan and was conducted by the Spirit into the desert for forty days." —Luke 4:1-2
 

Lent is imitating Jesus' forty days in the desert. Jesus began His "Lent" filled with and led by the Holy Spirit. He also came out of the Lenten desert "in the power of the Spirit" (Lk 4:14). The Holy Spirit directed Jesus every step of the way through the "first Lent."

Are we letting the Spirit direct us this Lent? Are we fasting, praying, giving alms, and evangelizing in the Spirit? The Spirit will call us to do things this Lent we'd never thought of before. If these things seem impossible, the Spirit will help us in our weakness (Rm 8:26). By the Spirit, we will be able to fast in some way for each of the forty days of Lent. By praying in the Spirit, we will pray this Lent on a new level, with greater perseverance and depth. With the faith and love of the Spirit, we will give alms so much that we will have to make sacrifices and simplify our lives. Finally, this Lent, we will not only resist temptations but also make a frontal attack on the gates of hell (Mt 16:18-19), as we win the world for Christ through Spirit-filled evangelization.

A Spirit-led Lent is different from the Lents to which many of us have been accustomed. A Spirit-filled Lent is like Jesus' Lent. Let us follow in His footsteps.

 
Prayer: Jesus, may this Lent be like the first one.
Promise: "If you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved." —Rm 10:9
Praise: Praise Jesus, eternal, risen, victorious High Priest, tempted and sinless! (Heb 4:15)

48 posted on 02/17/2013 7:16:58 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

Prayer for Life

 

Dearest Lady of Guadalupe, fruitful Mother of Holiness, teach me your ways of gentleness and strength.  Hear my prayer, offered with deep-felt confidence to beg this favor...

O Mary, conceived without sin, I come to your throne of grace to share the fervent devotion of your faithful Mexican children who call to thee under the glorious Aztec title of "Guadalupe"--the Virgin who crushed the serpent.

Queen of Martyrs, whose Immaculate Heart was pierced by seven swords of grief, help me to walk valiantly amid the sharp thorns strewn across my pathway.  Invoke the Holy Spirit of Wisdom to fortify my will to frequent the Sacraments so that, thus enlightened and strengthened, I may prefer God to all creatures and shun every occasion of sin.

Help me, as a living branch of the vine that is Jesus Christ, to exemplify His Divine charity always seeking the good of others. Queen of Apostles, aid me to win souls for the Sacred Heart of my Savior.  Keep my apostolate fearless, dynamic and articulate, to proclaim the loving solicitude of Our Father in Heaven so that the wayward may heed His pleading and obtain pardon, through the merits of your merciful Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ.  Amen.


49 posted on 02/17/2013 7:19:50 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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