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Gospel reflection

February 26, 2023: First Sunday in Lent

Gospel: Matthew 4:1-11

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 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.


After spending forty days and forty nights fasting and praying in the desert, Matthew tells us that Jesus is hungry. Probably very tired as well. In this weakened human condition, Jesus is confronted and tempted by the devil.

The devil doesn’t tempt Jesus with anything that is in itself sinful. Rather, Jesus is tempted to act as a god for his own gratification.

We’ve all been tempted. Tempted to over indulge, push limits, or try to be the center of attention. Things that might gratify us. Of course, the devil didn’t suddenly appear before us in a red cape or with horns on his head so there was no mistaking the source of the temptation. But we knew what was happening.

Lent with its sacrificial practices and positive intentional actions helps us move closer to God. Only by being close to God do we have the strength to resist the temptations that fracture or break our relationship with God and with others.


Scripture reading and study is a good practice to help us move closer to God. If daily scripture reading is not part of your regular spiritual practice, Lent is a good time to begin. The daily readings can be found at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops website.

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Lorraine Kirker

Lorraine Kirker

Lorraine Kirker was taught by the Sisters of Providence at St. Polycarp School in Somerville, MA. A Providence Associate since 2010, Lorraine has served on the Congregation Peace with Justice Committee (currently Justice Coordinating Commission). A retired Naval Officer, Lorraine lives on Whidbey Island in Washington state where she is active in her parish, St. Hubert Catholic Church in Langley, and in the local fiber art community.

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