Bishop Barron's Sunday Sermon – First Sunday of Lent
Bishop Robert Barron
February 26, 2023
First Sunday of Lent
Time to Get Back to Basics - Bishop Barron's Sunday Sermon
Friends, we come now to the holy season of Lent, our preparation for Easter. I've often said that Lent is a time to get back to basics. It’s like when you're starting the football season and have to get back to fundamentals of the game, or when you're getting back to playing golf after a long winter away and have to remember the fundamentals of the swing. So in the spiritual order there are certain fundamental truths, and the readings for this first Sunday of Lent are especially good at getting us in touch with them.
Gospel: Mt 4:1-11
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.
*United States Conference of Catholic
Bishop Robert Barron
Friends, today’s Gospel tells of the Lord’s temptation in the desert. After forty days of fasting in the desert (evocative of Israel’s forty years of wandering in the desert), Jesus meets the devil, who proceeds to lure the Messiah onto the path of sin. Jesus’ sacrifice will entail his coming to battle sin at close quarters, his willingness, therefore, to be drawn by its power, to come under itssway.
Satan first tempts him with sensual pleasure: "If you are the Son of God, command that these stones become loaves of bread." One of the most elemental forms of spiritual dysfunction is to make the satisfaction of sensual desire the center of one’s life. Jesus responds: "One does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes forth from the mouth of God."
Jesus enters, through psychological and spiritual identification, into the condition of the person lured by this sin, but then he manages to withstand the temptation and in fact to twist this perversion back to rectitude.