First Sunday of Lent
Deuteronomy 26:4-10 Romans 10:8-13 Luke 4:1-13
Each of the Scriptures for the First Sunday of Lent contains some sort of confessional statement. As we enter into the season of Lent, these texts focus our attention on our own choice to place our trust in God. They help the Elect prepare to profess their faith in Jesus Christ and be baptized at the Easter Vigil. They remind the rest of us of the faith we once professed in baptism and invite us to choose wholeheartedly to renew those baptismal promises at the Masses of Easter.
The first reading is considered one of the most important professions of faith in the Hebrew Bible. By ritually reciting their history, the Jewish people expressed their faith in one God who oversees all of human history and who will continue to gather, save, and sustain every new generation of the Chosen People. The reading from Paul’s letter to the Romans shows that the heart of the Christian profession of faith is trust in the Lordship of the risen Christ, source of all salvation. The Gospel contains the familiar story of the temptation of Jesus by the devil, the setting for Jesus’ threefold profession of faith and trust in God.
Throughout Lent, at Easter and every day of our lives we are to profess and live our faith that “Jesus is Lord” (Romans 10:9). Both Moses and Jesus tell us that we are to serve God alone. God chooses us as adopted children in Baptism. Day by day, we must choose to trust God to save us, as Jesus did in the desert. During Lent, God asks us to scrutinize every choice we make, so that at Easter we can truthfully “confess with [our] mouth that Jesus is Lord” (Romans 10:9). With those who have chosen to be baptized this Easter, we must choose to put our faith in God rather than material goods, power, or any other devilish temptation.