Extracted from the book of 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.’
Here are the relevant records on the following:
- How our faithful Yahweh God led the Israelites out of Egypt with many signs and wonders – Encouragements- 6 &
- How our loving Yahweh God fed the Israelites when they were travelling in the wilderness for 40 years – Encouragements-7.
Extracted from the letter of Saint Paul to the 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.
Extracted from the holy Gospel according to 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,
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.
It was the 1st Sunday of Lent on 17 February 2013, here are the Readings in Holy Mass that had been read in the Universal Church around the world on the same day:
1st Reading: Deuteronomy 26:4-10 (see above);
Responsorial: Psalm 91:1-2, 10-15 (see Encouragements-78);
2nd Reading: Romans 10:8-13 (see above) &
Gospel Reading: Luke 4:1-13 (see above).
We have extracted the words of Pope Benedict XVI based on the aforesaid Readings to share with you so that you could similarly be encouraged:
St Peter's Square
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Last Wednesday, with the penitential Rite of Ashes we began Lent, a Season of spiritual renewal in preparation for the annual celebration of Easter. But what does it mean to begin the Lenten journey? The Gospel for this First Sunday of Lent illustrates it for us with the account of the temptations of Jesus in the desert. The Evangelist St Luke recounts that after receiving Baptism from John, "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" (Luke 4: 1). There is a clear insistence on the fact that the temptations were not just an incident on the way but rather the consequence of Jesus' decision to carry out the mission entrusted to him by the Father to live to the very end his reality as the beloved Son who trusts totally in him. Christ came into the world to set us free from sin and from the ambiguous fascination of planning our life leaving God out. He did not do so with loud proclamations but rather by fighting the Tempter himself, until the Cross. This example applies to everyone: the world is improved by starting with oneself, changing, with God's grace, everything in one's life that is not going well.
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Acknowledgment: We thank the Vatican Publisher for allowing us to publish the words of Pope Benedict XVI, so that it could be accessed by more people all over the world; as a source of God’s encouragements to all of us.