Our site uses cookies to improve the user experience and we recommend accepting its use to take full advantage of the navigation

A team of 200 priests comment on daily Gospel

View other days:

Liturgical day: Sunday 1st (A) of Lent

1st Reading (Gen 2:7-9; 3:1-7): The Lord God formed man out of the clay of the ground and blew into his nostrils the breath of life, and so man became a living being. Then the Lord God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and placed there the man whom he had formed. Out of the ground the Lord God made various trees grow that were delightful to look at and good for food, with the tree of life in the middle of the garden and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Now the serpent was the most cunning of all the animals that the Lord God had made. The serpent asked the woman, «Did God really tell you not to eat from any of the trees in the garden?». The woman answered the serpent: «We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden; it is only about the fruit of the tree in the middle of the garden that God said, ‘You shall not eat it or even touch it, lest you die’». But the serpent said to the woman: «You certainly will not die! No, God knows well that the moment you eat of it your eyes will be opened and you will be like gods who know what is good and what is evil».

The woman saw that the tree was good for food, pleasing to the eyes, and desirable for gaining wisdom. So she took some of its fruit and ate it; and she also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized that they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made loincloths for themselves.
Responsorial Psalm: 50
R/. Be merciful, o Lord, for we have sinned.
Have mercy on me, o God, in your goodness; in the greatness of your compassion wipe out my offense. Thoroughly wash me from my guilt and of my sin cleanse me.

For I acknowledge my offense, and my sin is before me always: «Against you only have I sinned, and done what is evil in your sight».

A clean heart create for me, o God, and a steadfast spirit renew within me. Cast me not out from your presence, and your Holy Spirit take not from me.

Give me back the joy of your salvation, and a willing spirit sustain in me. O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth shall proclaim your praise.
2nd Reading (Rom 5:12-19): Brothers and sisters: Through one man sin entered the world, and through sin, death, and thus death came to all men, inasmuch as all sinned, for up to the time of the law, sin was in the world, though sin is not accounted when there is no law. But death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who did not sin after the pattern of the trespass of Adam, who is the type of the one who was to come.

But the gift is not like the transgression. For if by the transgression of the one, the many died, how much more did the grace of God and the gracious gift of the one man Jesus Christ overflow for the many. And the gift is not like the result of the one who sinned. For after one sin there was the judgment that brought condemnation; but the gift, after many transgressions, brought acquittal. For if, by the transgression of the one, death came to reign through that one, how much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of justification come to reign in life through the one Jesus Christ.

In conclusion, just as through one transgression condemnation came upon all, so, through one righteous act, acquittal and life came to all. For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so, through the obedience of the one, the many will be made righteous.
Versicle before the Gospel (Mt 4:4): One does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.

Gospel text (Mt 4,1-11): Then the Spirit led Jesus into the desert that He be put to the test by the devil. After spending forty days and nights without food, Jesus was hungry. Then the devil came to him and said, «If you are the Son of God, order these stones to turn into bread». But Jesus answered, «Scripture says: ‘One does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God’».

Then the devil took Jesus to the holy city, set him on the highest wall of the temple, and said to him, «If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for scripture says, ‘God has given orders to his angels about you. Their hands will hold you up lest you hurt your foot against a stone’». Jesus answered, «But scripture also says: ‘You shall not put to the test the Lord your God’».

Then the devil took Jesus to a very high mountain and showed him all the nations of the world in all their greatness and splendor. And he said, «All this I will give you, if you kneel and worship me». Then Jesus answered, «Be off, Satan! Scripture says: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve him alone’». Then the devil left him, and angels came to serve him.

«The Spirit led Jesus into the desert that He be put to the test by the devil»

Fr. Antoni BALLESTER i Díaz
(Camarasa, Lleida, Spain)

Today, we celebrate the first Sunday of Lent, and this “strong” liturgic time is a spiritual path leading us to participate in the great mystery of the death and resurrection of Christ. John Paul II says «Each year, the Lenten Season is set before us as a good opportunity for the intensification of prayer and penance, opening hearts to the docile welcoming of the divine will. During Lent, a spiritual journey is outlined for us that prepares us to relive the Great Mystery of the Death and Resurrection of Christ. This is done primarily by listening to the Word of God more devoutly and by practicing mortification more generously, thanks to which it is possible to render greater assistance to those in need».

Lent and today's Gospel teach us that life is a path leading us to Heaven. But, to deserve it, we must first overcome our temptations. «Then the Spirit led Jesus into the desert that He be put to the test by the devil» (Mt 4:1). By allowing him to be tempted, Jesus wanted to show us how we can fight and overcome our temptations: with our trust in God and in prayer, through grace and fortitude.

Temptations may be described as the “enemies of the soul”. In fact, they can be summarized and determined by three aspects. In the first place, “the world”: «order these stones to turn into bread» (Mt 4:3). It implies living to possess material things only.

Secondly, “the devil”: «if you kneel and worship me» (Mt 4:9). It conveys the greed for power.

And, last but not least, “the flesh”: «throw yourself down» (Mt 4:6), which means placing our confidence only in our body. St. Thomas Aquinas explains it better when saying that «the cause of temptations are the causes of concupiscence: the pleasures of the flesh, a drive for glory and the lust for power».