First Sunday of Lent Gospel Reflection

Matthew 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.

The Gospel of the Lord

First Sunday of Lent Gospel Reflection

Sunday, March 1, 2020

by Edithann Kane, SNDdeN

Here it is – March 1st – the First Sunday of Lent!

We think about the usual practices of Lent: prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. St. Julie was ahead of the times when she encouraged the Sisters who were heavily engaged in school and care of the children not to fast. She wrote to them: “There is another kind of fasting we are strictly bound and obliged to keep. It is the fast of the heart, the senses, and the tongue.”

In the gospel for this First Sunday, we hear that, having been led into the desert Jesus “…fasted for forty days and forty nights, and afterwards he was hungry.” (Matt 4:2). He was hungry, not for bread but for the Word of God. He would not be tempted to perform a miracle for himself. The beatitude – “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for justice” comes to mind. I wonder: for what do I/we hunger? From what do we need to fast?

Jesus was tempted to test the Word of God, to throw himself off the top of the temple and let the angels of God support him. “You shall not put the Lord, your God, to the test.” I wonder: for what do I/we ask from God while neglecting to do our part?

Finally, he is shown all the kingdoms of the world which will be his if he only heeds Satan’s words: “…prostrate yourself and worship me.” What are my/our “kingdoms” – the places where we want to be in control, have the final word, determine the rules?

I’m reminded of some simple words about fasting that seem to mirror Julie’s words. (source unknown)

Lent is a time to Fast and to Feast

Fast from judging others, Feast on the Christ within them.
Fast from emphasis on differences. Feast on the unity of all life.
Fast from words that pollute, Feast on phrases that purify.
Fast from discontent. Feast on gratitude.
Fast from anger. Feast on patience.
Fast from pessimism. Feast on optimism.
Fast from worry. Feast on Divine Order.
Fast from lethargy. Feast on enthusiasm.

And from Julie we hear: “The holiest fast I ask is charity, the practice of charity towards one another.”

Let’s pray for one another this Lent, that we may each recognize where we need to fast and to feast, and have the grace to persevere in that fasting and feasting, perhaps for the rest of our lives.

Meet Edithann Kane, SNDdeN

by Edithann Kane, SNDdeN

Born in Brooklyn, New York, Edithann met the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur in Washington, DC when her father was stationed there. From 5th to 12th grade, the SNDdeN’s were the primary influence (after her family) on her life. Edithann entered the community at Ilchester, Maryland on September 2, 1962 and made her final vows on November 6, 1971.

Her first assignment took her to Huntingdon Valley, PA where she taught junior high students for five years. In 1972, Edithann was asked to intern with the Province Secretary and assumed that position the following year until 1978. After a short time at NETWORK, a Catholic Social Justice Lobby founded by Sisters, and a year of study in Adult Education, Edithann spent the next six years in community administration, primarily as Director of Formation.

She then took a position with the Archdiocese of Baltimore as Administrative Assistant in the Office of Planning and Council Services. In 1999, she was offered a position as Assistant to the Eastern Vicar, an Auxiliary Bishop in the Archdiocese, which she filled until she was elected to leadership in the Chesapeake Province in 2002. Following two four-year terms, she enjoyed a very restful sabbatical, during which she began preliminary work on a history of the Notre Dame Mission Volunteer/AmeriCorps Program. After two years at Notre Dame Mission Volunteers and a year as General Chapter Coordinator, Edithann now enjoys part-time service in the Tri-Province Development Office located in Stevenson, Maryland.

Edithann is blessed with two younger sisters. Thanks to them, there are also six nieces and nephews as well as six great nieces and nephews! She currently lives in Baltimore with two other Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur.

Our thanks to the Congregational Mission Office of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, which publishes Gospel Reflections for Sundays and Feast Days.