1st Sunday of Lent 2017
Reflection on Gospel of Matthew 4:1-11
We can often be tempted off course: a friend of mind is always telling me easier ways to get places that I travel. Or we could only imagine the consequences if an air pilot went off course.
We are reminded today of the ways Jesus might have been taken off course. His mission from his Father would be limited by his comfort zones regarding food, by his wanting to do things his way, and by placing trust only in himself. These would be constant temptations in his life right to the end, even to the Agony in the Garden where he accepted with pain that he would die for the sake of his mission.
Lent is a time for resetting the compass of life, for asking questions like, ‘Who am I?’, ‘where have I come from?’ where am I going?’ Not all at once, but these are questions that root us in the past, the present and the future.
Somehow God is involved in the answers. We come from God, and are going to God; and the answer to ‘who am I?’ is that I am loved and called by God into his service in the central desires and focus of my life.
The mantra ‘I belong to God’ might be a good prayer for this week; maybe say it in the morning, at lunchtime and in the evening.
Donal Neary SJ
Fr Donal Neary SJ is editor of the Sacred Heart Messenger