Christ the Lord was tempted and suffered for us. Come, let us adore him.
Or: O that today you would listen to his voice: harden not your hearts.
Year: C(I). Psalm week: 1. Liturgical Colour: Violet.
|Other saints: St John Ogilvie (1579 - 1615)|
John Ogilvie was born of noble Calvinist parents in 1579 at Drum-na-Keith in Banffshire, Scotland. As a boy he was sent to the continent to further his education. With the help of Father Cornelius van den Steen (‘Cornelius a Lapide’) he was received into the Catholic Church. He entered the Society of Jesus on the 5th November 1599, and was ordained priest at Paris in 1610. He returned to his native country, but his ministry was cut short by his betrayal and capture in Glasgow. After extreme suffering he was hanged on the 10th of March 1615. The principal cause of his martyrdom was his insistence on the primacy of the Pope in spiritual matters, a primacy he affirmed with great constancy to the very end. His last words were “If there be here any hidden Catholics, let them pray for me but the prayers of heretics I will not have.” After he was pushed from the ladder, he threw his hidden Rosary beads out into the crowd. One of his enemies caught them, and he became a devout Catholic for the rest of his life. See the article in Wikipedia
About the author of the Second Reading in today's Office of Readings:
|Second Reading: St Augustine of Hippo (354 - 430)|
Augustine was born in Thagaste in Africa of a Berber family. He was brought up a Christian but left the Church early and spent a great deal of time seriously seeking the truth, first in the Manichaean heresy, which he abandoned on seeing how nonsensical it was, and then in Neoplatonism, until at length, through the prayers of his mother and the teaching of St Ambrose of Milan, he was converted back to Christianity and baptized in 387, shortly before his mother’s death.
Augustine had a brilliant legal and academic career, but after his conversion he returned home to Africa and led an ascetic life. He was elected Bishop of Hippo and spent 34 years looking after his flock, teaching them, strengthening them in the faith and protecting them strenuously against the errors of the time. He wrote an enormous amount and left a permanent mark on both philosophy and theology. His Confessions, as dazzling in style as they are deep in content, are a landmark of world literature. The Second Readings in the Office of Readings contain extracts from many of his sermons and commentaries and also from the Confessions.
|40 Days and 40 Ways: First Sunday of Lent|
...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, Lord, have given me. (Dt 26:8-10)
The Sunday first readings during Lent each year are wonderfully arranged to lead us from the very beginnings to the immediate preparation for Christ, each Sunday working further forward in the history of God’s promises to his People. This year begins with the profession of faith about God’s care of his People, which Israelite priests had to make when presenting their offering. Surprisingly it begins not with the promises to Abraham but with the wanderings of the nomadic tribes down to Egypt. It was first in Egypt that God made them his People, rescuing them from slavery. In this version of the history of Israel the decisive moment was not the call of Abraham but the Exodus from Egypt. But in the next Sundays we will work forward through the call of Abraham, the call of Moses, the first Passover in Canaan and the promise of a new covenant at the return from the Babylonian Exile. It is a record of God’s constant care as he prepares the People for the coming of his Son at the incarnation, and the full revelation at the cross and the Resurrection of Easter. In what sense are Christians still a Pilgrim People?
In the Letter to the Romans Paul is struggling with the problem of the salvation of the Jews: how is it that the People so carefully nurtured for so long should refuse to acknowledge that Jesus is the fulfilment of God’s plan of salvation? To Paul, himself a fervent Jew, it was agonising that so many of his own people should refuse to acknowledge Jesus. But he saw that their refusal opened the door to the gentiles. The Christian community at Rome was composed of both Jews and gentiles. It was important for Paul to show that even Scripture proclaims that the door is open to all who profess their faith in Christ, not one party to the exclusion of the other: so, no distinction between Jew and Greek. This is, however, a very different profession of faith from the profession in the first reading: that was a belief in a Lord God who rescued from Egypt. This is a belief that the Lord God raised Jesus from the dead, and raised him to the status of Lord. Paul never uses the word ‘God’ of Jesus, but does call him by the special personal name that is so sacred that it is never pronounced in Hebrew. The word used then and now is ‘Lord’. Is there any special reason why Christians should be concerned about the salvation of the Jews?
To remind us that Lent is a time when we are tested out the Gospel reading of the First Sunday of Lent is always about the testing of Jesus. By our fasting, or whatever the extra little offering we make to the Lord during Lent may be, we enter into solidarity with the hardship undergone by Jesus in his Passion. Of course Lent is not a matter of testing out how far we can push ourselves (a sort of macho self-torture). Rather it is a period of preparation for the Passion and Resurrection, like the forty years of Israel in the desert, preparing for the Promised Land, or the prophet Elijah’s forty-day preparation, or the forty days during which Christ prepared the apostles between Easter and the Ascension. The point of Jesus’s forty-day fast is to give some force to the devil’s first taunt. To each of the devil’s taunts Jesus replies with a word of Scripture: if you rely on God’s word you are unshakably safe, for God has created and arranged everything.
Matthew and Luke have a different order for second and third temptations: Matthew climaxes with Jesus as the Second Moses, like Moses seeing all the territories from a high mountain. Luke ends the scene as he begins and ends his Gospel, at Jerusalem, the turning point of the Gospel.
1. If the devil came to distract you from your Christian vocation, what would he dangle before you?
2. In the solitude of the desert Jesus prayed to his Father. Do you find solitude helpful in prayer?
Sunday is a family day. Do something which will bring joy to the youngest member of your family.
This passage is an extract from the booklet “40 Days and 40 Ways” by Dom Henry Wansbrough OSB, published by the Catholic Truth Society and used by permission. “40 Days and 40 Ways” has meditations for each day in Lent. To find out more about the booklet, or to buy it, please visit the CTS web site.
The Universalis Readings at Mass page shows the readings for today’s Mass.
|Liturgical colour: violet|
Violet is a dark colour, ‘the gloomy cast of the mortified, denoting affliction and melancholy’. Liturgically, it is the colour of Advent and Lent, the seasons of penance and preparation.
|Mid-morning reading (Terce)||1 Thessalonians 4:1,7 ©|
My brethren, we urge you and appeal to you in the Lord Jesus to make more and more progress in the kind of life that you are meant to live: the life that God wants, as you learnt from us, and as you are already living it. We have been called by God to be holy, not to be immoral.
|Noon reading (Sext)||Isaiah 30:15,18 ©|
For thus says the Lord, the Holy One of Israel: ‘Your salvation lies in conversion and tranquillity, your strength will come from complete trust.’ The Lord is waiting to be gracious to you, to rise and take pity on you, for the Lord is a just God. Happy are all who hope in him.
|Afternoon reading (None)||Deuteronomy 4:29-31 ©|
You will seek the Lord your God, and if you seek him with all your heart and with all your soul, you shall find him. In your distress, all that I have said will overtake you, but at the end of days you will return to the Lord your God and listen to his voice. For the Lord your God is a merciful God and will not desert or destroy you or forget the covenant he made on oath with your fathers.