First Sunday of Lent

March 1, 2022 | By Bishop Roy E. Campbell, Jr.

“Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert and was tempted.”

We see the devil’s temptations at work in today’s Gospel. We see the Lord Jesus tempted by Satan. The Holy Spirit led Jesus into the desert, a hostile and dangerous wilderness for 40 days. There, in the desert, Jesus would spiritually prepare Himself for His public ministry, and ultimately His passion, death, and resurrection, for our eternal salvation, by facing the same temptations that we face.

The devil knew that something was going on with Jesus, but he wasn’t quite sure what it was. He wasn’t sure if this was the Messiah that the Scriptures had promised would come. So, he decided to temp Jesus, just as he tempted Adam and Eve to eat the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden., just as he tempted the Israelites in the desert where they wandered for 40 years, just as he tempts you and me!

Jesus turned to His heavenly Father for the strength He needed to resist Satan’s temptations. He did not lose sight of His reason for being in the desert, His preparation for His ministry. Jesus’ ministry was one of truth, love, and forgiveness, that led to His passion, death, and resurrection, and to eternal salvation for each of us.

Today is the First Sunday of Lent. Lent is our 40 days of penance and preparation for Easter, when our Lord rose in the glory of God the Father, after overcoming sin and death. We must confront our temptations from the devil, just as Jesus did in the desert. Jesus relied on His love and relationship with His Father to give Him the strength to resist Satan’s temptations. We must rely on our love and relationship with Jesus to strengthen us to resist the temptations of the devil. Jesus, our strength, comes to us in the Eucharist that we receive at Mass. We are members of Jesus’ Body, the Church, and He will not abandon us to the desert of temptation and sin.

– Bp. Roy Campbell

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