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Association of the Miraculous Medal
Gospel Reflections for March 5

Besides her great privilege of being the Mother of God, Mary was also her Son’s first disciple. She is often called the Model, or Exemplar of the Church. Following her example, we walk with her through the Gospels as we reflect on her response to God in her life.

March 5, 2017 —First Sunday of Lent

Matthew 4:1-11
 Father Oscar Lukefahr, C.M.

I was having breakfast at a restaurant with friends, one of whom was Lutheran, the other Baptist. We started talking about Lent, and the Baptist gentleman, in his Southeast Missouri twang, said “Until I met you guys, I always thought ‘Le-int’ was fuzz off a blanket.”

Lent is much more than fuzz! Lent is the Church’s liturgical season that prepares us for the celebration of the greatest events in history, the death and Resurrection of Jesus. Lent is designed to unite us more closely to our risen Lord. Today’s Gospel presents Jesus at the beginning of his public ministry. He has fasted for forty days, and Satan wants to throw him off course with three temptations. We can benefit from this Gospel by joining Jesus as he rejects Satan’s temptations with the three traditional practices of Lent–penance, charitable deeds, and prayer.

In the first temptation, Satan tries to make Jesus get comfortable and stop his fasting. During Lent we should join Jesus by leaving our comfort zone to perform works of penance. Every twinge of hunger or thirst can unite us to Jesus as we seek to be nourished by “every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.

In the second temptation, Satan tells Jesus to show off, to bring attention to himself. Jesus refuses. He has come into the world to serve, not to be served. Lent offers us an opportunity to serve others by works of charity, knowing that whatever we do for others, we do for Jesus.

In the third temptation, Satan suggests that Jesus stop worshiping God, and turn to the false gods of worldly fame and glory. Jesus drives Satan away, and continues to do his Father’s will. Jesus, throughout his ministry, found strength in praying, “Not my will, but thine be done.” We find strength in praying with Jesus, “Thy will be done.”

Lent is not fuzz off a blanket. It’s union with Jesus through penance, charitable deeds, and prayer!
 Read last week's reflection.