Friday, July 19, 2019

Catholic Readings for March 10 2019 – First Sunday of Lent – Year C

Catholic Readings for March 10 2019 – First Sunday of Lent

Today’s Audio Mass Readings – Lectionary: 24

1st Reading – DT 26:4-10

Moses spoke to the people, saying:
“The priest shall receive the basket from you
and shall set it in front of the altar of the LORD, your God.
Then you shall declare before the Lord, your God,
‘My father was a wandering Aramean
who went down to Egypt with a small household
and lived there as an alien.
But there he became a nation
great, strong, and numerous.
When the Egyptians maltreated and oppressed us,
imposing hard labor upon us,
we cried to the LORD, the God of our fathers,
and he heard our cry
and saw our affliction, our toil, and our oppression.
He brought us out of Egypt
with his strong hand and outstretched arm,
with terrifying power, with signs and wonders;
and bringing us into this country,
he gave us this land flowing with milk and honey.
Therefore, I have now brought you the firstfruits
of the products of the soil
which you, O LORD, have given me.’
And having set them before the Lord, your God,
you shall bow down in his presence.”

Responsorial Psalm – PS 91:1-2, 10-11, 12-13, 14-15.

R. (cf. 15b) Be with me, Lord, when I am in trouble.
You who dwell in the shelter of the Most High,
who abide in the shadow of the Almighty,
say to the LORD, “My refuge and fortress,
my God in whom I trust.”
R. Be with me, Lord, when I am in trouble.
No evil shall befall you,
nor shall affliction come near your tent,
For to his angels he has given command about you,
that they guard you in all your ways.
R. Be with me, Lord, when I am in trouble.
Upon their hands they shall bear you up,
lest you dash your foot against a stone.
You shall tread upon the asp and the viper;
you shall trample down the lion and the dragon.
R. Be with me, Lord, when I am in trouble.
Because he clings to me, I will deliver him;
I will set him on high because he acknowledges my name.
He shall call upon me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in distress;
I will deliver him and glorify him.
R. Be with me, Lord, when I am in trouble.

2nd Reading – ROM 10:8-13

Brothers and sisters:
What does Scripture say?
The word is near you,
in your mouth and in your heart
—that is, the word of faith that we preach—,
for, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord
and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead,
you will be saved.
For one believes with the heart and so is justified,
and one confesses with the mouth and so is saved.
For the Scripture says,
No one who believes in him will be put to shame.
For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek;
the same Lord is Lord of all,
enriching all who call upon him.
For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

Verse Before The Gospel – MT 4:4B

One does not live on bread alone,
but on every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.

Gospel – LK 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, 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.

Catholic Daily Reflections

Catholic Audio Gospel Reflections

Temptation is Real and Painful

Saint for Today

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. Luke 4:1-2

What a painful experience for Jesus. If you really think about this, it can be difficult to understand…at least at first.

Jesus, the Son of God, the Messiah, the Creator of the Universe, the great I AM, the second Person of the Most Holy Trinity, is in the desert, suffering for forty days while He is tempted by the devil and living among the wild beasts. Why in the world would He do this and why would God the Father allow it to happen? And what’s more, it says that it was actually the Holy Spirit who drove Jesus into the desert to experience this painful 40 days!

Perhaps we rarely reflect upon all that Jesus endured and all that He suffered in His human life. Sure, we think about the Crucifixion at times but even that is often overshadowed by our knowledge that He rose. It’s easy to miss the suffering He went through throughout His life. And it’s easy to miss the reason He went through all that He did go through in His humanity.

So what’s it all about? It’s about love for us all. It’s about God loving us so much that He was willing to endure every form of hardship and human suffering that enters into our lives. It’s about God being able to look us square in the face and say, “Yes, I do understand what you’re going through…I really do.” This is love. It’s a love so deep that God Himself was willing to experience our weaknesses and pain so that He would be able to meet us there, console us in the midst of whatever we are going through, and gently lift us out of it to the new life He has in store for us. Again, this is Love!

The Spirit “led” (Matthew’s version) and even “drove” (Mark’s version) Jesus out into the desert. This was a way of telling us that this experience was the plan and will of God. It wasn’t something imposed upon Jesus by some strange happenstance. It wasn’t bad luck or an unfortunate and meaningless human suffering. No, it was suffering for a purpose. Suffering with an intention. And the intention was, in part, to experience and embrace all that we experience and must embrace.

Temptation in life is real. It’s the result of our fallen human nature. It comes from our weakness but also from the evil one. Temptation can be a heavy burden and cause heavy emotional and psychological pain. And when the temptation is given in to, it causes an even deeper spiritual pain. Jesus never gave in to the temptations in the desert, nor did He give in to temptations at any other time in His life. But He endured them and suffered them.

This tells us that He can be our strength and inspiration in the midst of whatever we are tempted with each and every day. Some days we may feel the loneliness and isolation of one who is driven into the desert of our sins. We may feel as though the wild beasts of our disordered passions are getting the best of us. We may feel as though the evil one is having his way with us. Well, Jesus felt this way, also. And He freely allowed Himself to experience this in His humanity. It was the will of the Father and the working of the Holy Spirit that drove Him to this experience.

For these reasons, it is Jesus Himself who is able to meet you in this desert within. He is there, waiting for you, looking for you, calling to you. He is there in the midst of anything and everything you may be going through. And it is He, the One who defeated this desert temptation, who will gently guide you out. He went to the desert to meet you and to bring you back. And just as the angels ministered to Jesus in this desert, so also does He send those angels to minister to you.

So whether your “desert” is only a slight agitation in life right now, or if it’s a struggle against complete despair, Jesus wants to meet you and bring you out. He conquered the desert once and for all and He is able to conquer any desert in your life, also.

Lord, I acknowledge Your perfect love for me. I believe that You love me enough to endure all suffering, to understand all suffering, and to bring me out of my own interior dryness and pain. May I let you be driven into the desert of my own soul and there, as I encounter You, may I allow You to lead me to the cool and refreshing waters. Jesus, I trust in You.

Our Audio Catholic Daily Readings are sourced from USCCB 

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About Laban Thua 1020 Articles
I am a Commissioned Liturgy Minister and also a Lector at Assumption of Mary Catholic Church. Am also a Commissioned Catholic Men Association (CMA), Member and a Lover of the Catholic Church and its teachings. My passion is disseminating the Catholic Daily Readings and Reflections, Bible Verse of the Day, Catholic Quote of the Day and Catholic Saint of the Day Information every day to all Catholic Faithfuls throughout the world.