The Temptations of Jesus; Our Journey into the Desert

In the name of the Father and of the son and of the Holy Spirit.

Opening Hymn:

O word of God Come into this space;

O word of God come send us your grace.

Open our minds show us your truth;

Transform our lives a new.

Introduction:

We have begun the Lenten Journey, a season of grace. A time of prayer and spiritual renewal. We reflect on the temptations of Jesus and his power and the victory. Let us pray that we too are strengthened to overcome all evil that surrounds us through his grace.

Let us pray:

Loving God, you give us forty days to journey into the inner deserts of our hearts.  Let these sacred days be a time when we seek and find you with in each of us. Make this time of Lent a time to give all that we have without counting the cost. We ask through our Lord Jesus Christ your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.

Gospel Reading - Luke 4: 1-13

Filled with the Holy Spirit, Jesus returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the desert for forty days, to be tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and when they were over he was hungry. The devil said to him, "If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread. "Jesus answered him, "It is written, and one does not live on bread alone." Then he took him up and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a single instant. The devil said to him, "I shall give to you all this power and glory; for it has been handed over to me, and I may give it to whomever I wish. All this will be yours, if you worship me."Jesus said to him in reply, "It is written: You shall worship the Lord, your God, and him alone shall you serve. "Then he led him to Jerusalem, made him stand on the parapet of the temple, and said to him, "If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here, for it is written: He will command his angels concerning you, to guard you, and: With their hands they will support you, lest you dash your foot against a stone. "Jesus said to him in reply, "It also says, you shall not put the Lord, your God, to the test."When the devil had finished every temptation, he departed from him for a time.    

The Gospel of the Lord - Praise to you Lord Jesus Christ.            

Reflections:

The desert was a special place for the Jewish people.  There they wandered forty years, symbolically, under Moses.  For all their griping in the desert, they felt intensely close to God through Moses. God was a pillar of cloud by day, and a column of fire by night - a way of saying that God was always with them.  Later prophets often urged Israel to return spiritually to the desert, to discover their God afresh.  This is why Jesus goes into the desert.  He's taking our place, helping us re-experience intimacy with God, and providing the grace for us to identify with God - instead of becoming rivals to God.   Lent is a kind of journey into the desert.  Part of our discipline is to simplify our lives so that, with less distractions, we become more alone with God in prayer, as if we were away, on retreat in the desert.  In the desert we can see more clearly who God is, and how we relate to God.  We can see the compromises we frequently make, the excuses we give, and the lack of growth that often represents our spiritual lives.  In the desert we can also see our sin more clearly-the depth of the way we still do not trust God completely, and still want to be our own gods despite the disaster we make of our lives by our blindness and arrogance.

Please share, any word or phrase or thought that inspires you from the Gospel reading.

Dear friends lent is a time of Prayer, We share in the paschal mystery, in the suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus our Lord. Let us pray for charity, forgiveness, reconciliation, healing and renewal.

  1. For the Church: that we may be faithful children of God and remain single-minded in seeking to do God's will we pray to the Lord - Lord, create a new spirit in us.
  2. For the grace to be aware: that we may slow down, detach ourselves from the busyness of daily life and find a quiet place to listen to God, we pray - Lord, create a new spirit in us.
  3. For the gift of listening: that we may be open to the Word of God, allow our hearts to be  transformed, and be enlightened by its wisdom- Lord, create a new spirit in us
  4. For wisdom: that God will lead us to freedom of spirit and inspire our choices as we face trials and temptations in life, we pray- - Lord, create a new spirit in us.
  5. For a spirit of gratitude: that we may recognize and give thanks for all of God's gifts to us and place them in the service of the Gospel, we pray- - Lord, create a new spirit in us.
  6. For all who are struggling with life; for those who are addicted, for those who have lost meaning or hope: that God will send angels to assist and support them through their challenges. We pray - Lord, create a new spirit in us.

(Time for personal intentions - Prayer Our Father)

Closing Prayer:

God of Hope, we journey with Jesus during this Lenten season with the certain hope that you will renew each of us as your true disciples.  Call us out of the wilderness of selfishness and indifference. Help us to reach out to those who do not know hope or love being your messengers of love and peace, we ask this through Christ Our Lord, Amen.

Closing Hymn:

O word of God Come into this space;

O word of God come send us your grace.

Open our minds show us your truth;

Transform our lives a new.

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