4 Then the priest shall take the basket from your hand, and set it down before the altar of the LORD your God.
5 “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.
6 And the Egyptians treated us harshly, and afflicted us, and laid upon us hard bondage.
7 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; 8 and the LORD brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, with great terror, with signs and wonders; 9 and he brought us into this place and gave us this land, a land flowing with milk and honey.
10 And behold, now I bring the first of the fruit of the ground, which thou, O LORD, hast given me.’ And you shall set it down before the LORD your God, and worship before the LORD your God;
8 But what does it say? The word is near you, on your lips and in your heart (that is, the word of faith which we preach);
9 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.
10 For man believes with his heart and so is justified, and he confesses with his lips and so is saved.11 The scripture says, “No one who believes in him will be put to shame.”
12 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.13 For, “every one who calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved.”
1 And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan, and was led by the Spirit 2 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.3 The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.”
4 And Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone.'”
5 And the devil took him up, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time, 6 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.
7 If you, then, will worship me, it shall all be yours.” 8 And Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve.'”
9 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;
10 for it is written, ‘He will give his angels charge of you, to guard you,’ 11 and ‘On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.'” 12 And Jesus answered him, “It is said, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God.'”
13 And when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from him until an opportune time.
THE FIRST READING: Moses recall the occassion when he presented God with an offering at the altar of sacrifice (Exo 3:18) and indulged Yahweh to set the people free from the oppression, pain and suffering they endured under the dictates of Pharoah. God heard their supplications and with great “signs and wonder” opened the waters of the Red Sea wherethrough they escaped and was saved.
This Exodus account typologically points to baptism and the Sacrifice of the Holy Eucharist, Sacraments that save us from death and sustains us during our journey of faith with the Lord.
THE SECOND READING: The Hebrew converts have not yet been enlightened that their works based OT purification laws were no longer of any value. Paul remind them of the occasion when they verbally assented to the proclamation of the word of God that His apostles presented to them (at their baptism and confirmation),whereby they were saved by and through Christs death and ressurection! This momentous event leveled the playing fields, meaning that there is no longer any distinction between the Hebrew and gentile belivers.
THE GOSPEL READING traverse the occasion when our Lord filled with the Spirit after His baptism, seperated Himself from the crowd to be in union with the Father in order to prepare Himself for His ‘Via Dolorosa‘ as He begun His ministry of salvation of the people. Satan the deceiver tried to distract and twart Christ, by presenting Him with temporal propositions such as; food, power and ultimately he tempted Christ to commit suicide, with the false promise that the angels will step into the breach to save Him!
Satan could not care less if we have been baptised and filled with the Spirit or whether we spend quiet secluded time in prayer in our room or at our place of worship—he will surely present himself— disturb our state of mind and lure us to consider desires of the; flesh, materialism, distructive intentions and suicidal propositions that is intended to seperate us from God and thwart our salvation! Let this lenten period be for us a nessesary time to unite ourselves with Christ; meditating on His Five Holy Wounds—transformative sacrificial injuries that convey mercy and grace.We must learn to say ‘NO!’ with conviction of the Holy Spirit, to any machination and temptations of Satan, by placing our hope and complete trust in Christ Jesus alone! Moreover let us present and place ourselves before the blessed sacrament wherein Christ reside in the Tabernacle of deliverance.
LET US PRAY: Psalms 91:1-2,10-15
1 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High, who abides in the shadow of the Almighty, 2 will say to the LORD, “My refuge and my fortress; my God, in whom I trust.” 10 no evil shall befall you, no scourge come near your tent.11 For he will give his angels charge of you to guard you in all your ways.
12 On their hands they will bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone.
13 You will tread on the lion and the adder, the young lion and the serpent you will trample under foot.
14 Because he cleaves to me in love, I will deliver him; I will protect him, because he knows my name.15 When he calls to me, I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will rescue him and honor him.
Commentary. Henry R SYLVESTER Note: The daily scripture readings are taken from the Roman Missal which the Catholic Church use in the daily Celebration of the Holy Eucharist throughout the world.Some weekly readings may differ because of the celebration of local feast days.
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