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March 5, 2017

Lenten reflection, day 5: first Sunday

This first Sunday of Lent we are asked to reflect on Jesus’ being tempted by the devil. 

The devil spoke of bread. What are my desires for the latest gadget or status symbol or my excesses in food and drink? That is where I need the gift of fasting, to allow Jesus more influence over my life, to redirect my desires to a greater good, according to the will of God.

The devil wanted to see a great sign of power. How far am I willing to go to manipulate and get the attention of others in order to feel important or loved? That is where I need the practice of prayer to allow Jesus to transform my vanity through a loving relationship with God.

The devil offered kingdoms. How badly do I need to get my own way? That is where I need almsgiving, to allow Jesus to overcome my pride by showing me the needs of others and how I can best serve them.

Jesus won his battle. As we begin Lent, we need to unite ourselves more deeply with Jesus to do battle against the evils that would diminish our dignity as children of God. 

Father Karl E. Esker C.Ss.R.
Newark, N.J.

Scripture readings for today: Genesis 2:7-9, 3:1-7; Psalm 51; Romans 5:12-19; Matthew 4:1-11

Who are the Redemptorists?

Two thousand years ago Jesus said, “He sent me to preach the Good News to the poor.” Since 1732 the Redemptorists have followed in His footsteps, preaching the Word and serving the poor and most abandoned. Our congregation of missionary priests and brothers was founded by St. Alphonsus Liguori. Like the first Apostles, our mission—and our joy—is bringing the message of salvation to all people. As Redemptorists, we have a special devotion to crib, cross, Mary, and the Eucharist. To learn more, explore our website and connect with us on Google+, Facebook, and Twitter.


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