Gospel Reading: Matthew 4:1-11
Jesus fasted for forty days and forty nights and was tempted.
At that time Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. He fasted for forty days and forty nights, and afterwards he was hungry. The tempter approached and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command that these stones become loaves of bread.” He said in reply, “It is written: One does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.”
Then the devil took him to the holy city, and made him stand on the parapet of the temple, and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down. For it is written: He will command his angels concerning you’ and ‘with their hands they will support you, lest you dash your foot against a stone.” Jesus answered him, “Again it is written, You shall not put the Lord, your God, to the test.”
Then the devil took him up to a very high mountain, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in their magnificence, and he said to him, “All these I shall give to you, if you will prostrate yourself and worship me.” At this, Jesus said to him, “Get away, Satan! It is written: The Lord, your God, shall you worship and him alone shall you serve.” Then the devil left him and, behold, angels came and ministered to him.
Note that just as the devil tempted our Lord with gluttony during His fast in the desert, with pride on the parapet of the Temple, and with greed on a very high mountain, so too he tempts us with gluttony when we fast, with pride when we pray in church, and with many forms of greed on the mountain of our successes.
--Anthony of Padua, Sermones.
Dear Lord, we are now in the holy season of Lent. We begin to realize anew that these are the days of salvation. We know that we are all sinners. We know that in many things we have all offended Your infinite majesty. We know that sin destroys Your life in us. Help us, Lord, in our feeble attempts to make up for past sin. Bless our efforts with the rich blessing of Your grace. Make us realize ever more our need of penance and of mortification. Help us to see, in our ordinary difficulties and duties, in the trials and temptations of every day, the best opportunity of making up for past infidelities. Help us, by Your grace, to live the good lives that will merit this new life in heaven forever with You. Amen.