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Since 1732, the Redemptorists — a congregation of missionary priests and brothers — have followed in Jesus’ footsteps, preaching the Word and serving the poor and most abandoned.
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Lent
Sunday

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