FIRST SUNDAY OF LENT:
ST JOHN OGILVIE (1579 – 1615)
Entrance Antiphon: Cf. Ps 90: 15-16
When he calls on me, I will answer him; I will deliver him and give him glory, I will grant him length of days.
Grant, almighty God, through the yearly observances of holy Lent, that we may grow in understanding of the riches hidden in Christ and by worthy conduct pursue their effects. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
First reading: Deuteronomy 26:4-10
Moses said to the people: ‘The priest shall take the pannier from your hand and lay it before the altar of the Lord your God. Then, in the sight of the Lord your God, you must make this pronouncement: ‘“My father was a wandering Aramaean. He went down into Egypt to find refuge there, few in numbers; but there he became a nation, great, mighty, and strong. The Egyptians ill-treated us, they gave us no peace and inflicted harsh slavery on us. But we called on the Lord, the God of our fathers. The Lord heard our voice and saw our misery, our toil and our oppression; and the Lord brought us out of Egypt with mighty hand and outstretched arm, with great terror, and with signs and wonders. He brought us here and gave us this land, a land where milk and honey flow. Here then I bring the first-fruits of the produce of the soil that you, the Lord, have given me.” ‘You must then lay them before the Lord your God, and bow down in the sight of the Lord your God.’
R/ Be with me, O Lord, in my distress.
1)He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High and abides in the shade of the Almighty says to the Lord: ‘My refuge, my stronghold, my God in whom I trust!’
2) Upon you no evil shall fall, no plague approach where you dwell. For you has he commanded his angels, to keep you in all your ways.
3) They shall bear you upon their hands lest you strike your foot against a stone. On the lion and the viper you will tread and trample the young lion and the dragon.
4) His love he set on me, so I will rescue him; protect him for he knows my name. When he calls I shall answer: ‘I am with you,’ I will save him in distress and give him glory.
Second reading: Romans 10:8-13
Scripture says: The word (that is the faith we proclaim) is very near to you, it is on your lips and in your heart. If your lips confess that Jesus is Lord and if you believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, then you will be saved. By believing from the heart you are made righteous; by confessing with your lips you are saved. When scripture says: those who believe in him will have no cause for shame, it makes no distinction between Jew and Greek: all belong to the same Lord who is rich enough, however many ask his help, for everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.
Gospel: Acclamation: Mt. 4:4
Praise to you, O Christ, king of eternal glory! Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God. Praise to you, O Christ, king of eternal glory!
Gospel: Luke 4:1-13
Filled with the Holy Spirit, Jesus left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit through the wilderness, being tempted there by the devil for forty days. During that time he ate nothing and at the end he was hungry. Then the devil said to him, ‘If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to turn into a loaf.’ But Jesus replied, ‘Scripture says: Man does not live on bread alone.’ Then leading him to a height, the devil showed him in a moment of time all the kingdoms of the world and said to him, ‘I will give you all this power and the glory of these kingdoms, for it has been committed to me and I give it to anyone I choose. Worship me, then, and it shall all be yours.’ But Jesus answered him, ‘Scripture says: You must worship the Lord your God, and serve him alone.’ Then he led him to Jerusalem and made him stand on the parapet of the Temple. ‘If you are the Son of God,’ he said to him ‘throw yourself down from here, for scripture says: He will put his angels in charge of you to guard you, and again: They will hold you up on their hands in case you hurt your foot against a stone.’ But Jesus answered him, ‘It has been said: You must not put the Lord your God to the test.’ Having exhausted all these ways of tempting him, the devil left him, to return at the appointed time.
Prayer over the Offerings
Give us the right dispositions, O Lord, we pray, to make these offerings, for with them we celebrate the beginning of this venerable and sacred time. Through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon: Mt. 4: 4
One does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.
Prayer after Communion
Renewed now with heavenly bread, by which faith is nourished, hope increased, and charity strengthened, we pray, O Lord, that we may learn to hunger for Christ, the true and living Bread, and strive to live by every word which proceeds from your mouth. Through Christ our Lord.
Prayer over the People
May bountiful blessing, O Lord, we pray, come down upon your people, that hope may grow in tribulation, virtue be strengthened in temptation, and eternal redemption be assured. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Paul in the second reading elevates faith above racial and ethnic spheres when he says that it makes no distinction between Jew and Greek. In our contemporary world of many different races and ethnic groups, this reading tells us that even though we are different, we share one precious treasure which makes us all one and same, and that is faith in Jesus Christ. There is no space for shame, but harmony and peace should reign because we belong to the same Lord. The Gospel shows how Jesus triumphed over temptation and how he remained truly the Son of God. Jesus won his victory by relying on the Holy Spirit and Holy Scripture. This is a lesson to all Christians: the Holy Spirit and Scripture are indeed the best weapons against the different temptations they encounter in daily life. We are told, for example, in Acts 4:8 how apostle Peter, “filled with the Holy Spirit” stood his ground boldly when faced with persecution. This shows the role of the Holy Spirit in different situations, not only in temptations but also in persecutions and many other miserable situations.