Noticias de la Diócesis de Allentown

Gospel Reflection | First Sunday of Lent

Gospel Reading

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 of 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.
Mt 4:1-11

Gospel Reflection

Praised be Jesus Christ!

Throughout the Lenten Season, we will be reflecting not only on the Scriptures the Church sets before us in the Liturgy but also a key person in Christ's walk to Calvary. Today, we will begin our reflection on the Good Thief from St. Luke's Gospel.

According to St. Luke, Christ was crucified between two criminals. One, who tradition calls the bad thief, asks the Lord to save all three of the men (Lk 23: 39). The other, the Good Thief, rebukes his companion but turns towards Christ and says "Lord, remember me when you come into your kingdom" (Lk 23: 42). Christ responds that today the Good Thief will be with Him in paradise.

Also, the Church in her liturgy today calls us to reflect upon the Temptations of Christ in the Gospel of St. Matthew. Both the Good Thief and Christ give us an example of how to live our Lenten Season.

Jesus gives us an example of what to do when we are faced with evil, faced with temptation. We are called to reject it and turn away from it. Then, like the Good Thief, we are called to entrust ourselves and our eternal salvation to the Lord Jesus, seeking His mercy.

Sunday afternoon, I will be with the Elect of our Diocese at the Cathedral of St. Catharine of Siena for the Rite of Election. The Elect are those who are to come into the Church at the Easter Vigil. They will perform the ancient custom of writing their names in the Book of the Elect. In the Rite, I will proclaim "God is always faithful to those He calls: now it is your [the Elect] duty, as is ours, both to be faithful to Him in return and to strive courageously to reach the fullness of truth." This is a reminder for all of us that it is our duty to turn away from temptation and to turn our spiritual gaze toward Christ on the Cross.

I invite you to pray for the Elect in these intense days of preparation. Let us also use this Season to return to a fervent and holy reception of the Sacraments so that we can be able to recognize temptation and sin and turn away from it as well as recognize Christ in each person we meet.

As always, know of my prayers before Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament.

+Bishop Schlert

Click here to download the prayer and daily intentions for the First Week of Lent.