Saturday, February 20, 2010

The First Sunday of Lent

FIRST READING (Deuteronomy 26:4-10)
Moses said to the people, "The priest shall take the basket [of first fruits] from your hand, and set it down before the altar of the Lord your God. And you shall make response before the Lord your God, 'A wandering Aramean was my father; and he went down into Egypt and sojourned there, few in number; and there he became a nation, great, mighty, and populous. And the Egyptians treated us harshly, and afflicted us, and laid upon us hard bondage. Then we cried to the Lord the God of our fathers, and the Lord heard our voice, and saw our affliction, our toil, and our oppression; and the Lord brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, with great terror, with signs and wonders; and he brought us into this place and gave us this land, a land flowing with milk and honey. And behold, now I bring the first of the fruit of the ground, which you, O Lord, have given me.' And you shall set it down before the Lord your God, and worship before the Lord your God."

SECOND READING (Romans 10:8-13)
Brethren: What does the Scripture say? The word is near you, on your lips and in your heart (that is, the word of faith which we preach); because, if you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

For man believes with his heart and so is justified, and he confesses with his lips and so is saved. 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 and bestows his riches upon all who call upon him. For, "every one who calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved."

GOSPEL (Luke 4:1-13)
At that time: Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan, and was led by the Spirit for forty days in the wilderness, tempted by the devil. And he ate nothing in those days; and when they were ended, he was hungry.

The devil said to him, "If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread."

And Jesus answered him, "It is written, 'Man shall not live by bread alone.'"

And the devil took him up, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time, and said to him, "To you I will give all this authority and their glory; for it has been delivered to me, and I give it to whom I will. If you, then, will worship me, it shall all be yours."

And Jesus answered him, "It is written, 'You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve.'"

And he took him to Jerusalem, and set him on the pinnacle 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 give his angels charge of you, to guard you,' and 'On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.'"

And Jesus answered him, "It is said, 'You shall not tempt the Lord your God.'"

And when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from him until an opportune time."

Satan Would Have Done Anything to Prevent Jesus from Suffering
(John Piper)

Why did Jesus go to the desert?
(Word of Life Community)

Our fasting should be focused on the Lord
(An Orthodox blog from Tennesee)

Though knowest, O Lord, my passions hidden in darkness, the sores of my soul are known to thee. Heal me, O Lord, and I will be healed. If thou wilt not build the house of my soul, I labour in vain trying to build it myself.

It is true that sometimes I prepare myself to do battle with the passions when they war against me, but the evil wiles of the serpent paralyze the efforts of my soul with sensuality and I yield to them. Though no one visibly ties my hands, the invisible passions drag me away like a captive.

O Lord, enlighten the eyes of my heart, that I might rightly recognize the deceit and the malice of the passions. May thy grace shield me, that I might be able to stand firm and resist, having girded my loins with courage.

Once thou, O Lord, didst provide safe passage through the impassable sea for thy people. Thou gavest thy people who thirsted water out of a hard rock. Thou alone, according to thy grace, didst save the one who fell in with thieves. Have mercy upon me as well, for I have also fallen into the hands of thieves and, like a captive, I am bound by wicked thoughts.

No one is strong enough to heal the passionate temperament of my soul except thou, O Lord, who knowest the depths of my soul. Condescend and save me by thy kindness.
- St Ephrem the Syrian (ca. 306 - 373)

O Lord,
who for our sake didst fast forty days and forty nights:
give us grace to use such abstinence;
that, our flesh being subdued to the Spirit,
we may ever obey thy godly motions
in righteousness, and true holiness,
to thy honour and glory:
Through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who liveth and reigneth with thee
in the unity of the Holy Ghost,
ever one God, world without end.


Post a Comment