Good News Reflection
February 10, 2008
First Sunday of Lent
Gen 2:7-9; 3:1-7
Ps 51:3-6, 12-13, 17
How do you deal with temptation? That's the personal challenge given to us by the Word of God on the first Sunday of Lent. And so we begin our journey with Jesus, traveling to the holiest place we can reach at this point in our lives.
This Lent is like no other Lent. Last year, you had different needs, different areas of growth, different levels of insight and understanding. Much has happened since then, and all of it is a preparation for what the Lord is going to do in your life now.
What victory do you need this year? What needs to be resurrected? To get there, your path will lead through the cross, into the tomb, and out into God's light where his love provides healing and new life.
During Lent – and every time we make sacrifices and connect our sufferings to the Passion of Christ – we follow Jesus to the cross and to resurrection. This requires accepting and embracing our own crosses, for the Calvary Road is the only way to reach the victorious new life that we yearn to experience.
If we want Easter to be more than just a holiday of pretty eggs, chocolate bunnies and big dinners, we have to make Lent more than just 40 days of enduring an annoying, obligatory sacrifice, eating meatless pizza on Fridays, and going to an occasional extra event at church. If we want to experience the power of resurrection, we have to experience the power of mourning and repenting from our sinfulness. In other words, we have to experience the powerlessness of death – the death of our selfishness, the death of our worldliness, the death of our behaviors that are not Christ-like.
Reflect & Discuss:
2. In the reading from Romans, we hear about the abundant grace and the gift of justification that Jesus provided to each of us when he died on the cross. How does this grace and justification give us life? In other words, how does God help us to resist sin?
3. Looking at the Gospel passage, what did Jesus have to die to in the desert so that he could say no to temptation?