1st Sunday of Lent Year A - 1/3/2020 - Gospel: Mt 4: 1-11
Events happen daily. Simple and ordinary events, we deal with without much difficulty because we get used to them. For complicated and extraordinary events, we need time to learn about them. It is a great help when we know about a complex event in advance, otherwise it is a great challenge in life.  Preparations for a complex event are time consuming, and it may hardly be enough. However, more preparation will lessen the anxiety a person may have.

In the scriptures, 'wilderness experience' is a time of preparation for a specific mission. It is a time to look deep within oneself examining love, and the relationship that person has with God. It is a time to make a move from the desert of the wilderness into the desert of one's heart. It is a time of listening not to voices of the outside world, but rather of discerning the inner voices, deep within one's heart. It is a time for choosing God's voice and rejecting the devil's voice. It is a time of letting go of our own will and adopting God's will.  It is a time of waiting for God's guidance and direction. Ultimately it is the time for restoring the image of one's true self, that has been damaged by sins.
To save his people, God asked Moses to spend time in the wilderness- Mount Sinai- before giving him the rescue mission (Ex.3f). The Israelites wandered in the wilderness before entering the Promised Land (Ex.16f). John the Baptist gained wisdom from the wilderness experience. In that spirit, Lent is not a time of despair, but of hope. We hope to prepare ourselves for our conversion of the heart. We hope to understand more deeply the mystery of life with its daily struggles, failures and sickness. We hope to learn from Jesus about resisting temptations with the assistance of God's power.

Jesus spent time in the wilderness, and after that the devil tempted him three times. The first temptation involved food, the second temptation related to worldly power, and the third temptation was about worldly glory. Our physical body needs food and water as nutrition for survival. Jesus told the devil, that bread alone won't give life, but the word of God does. We are given authority and responsibility to fulfil our mission. Doing God's work means to serve with love and humility, and not to show off with pride, as the devil advocated. We all need food, power and glory, but they are not for selfish purposes. We need to do the right thing, that means, food must be shared when we can; power is for maintaining peace and justice, and glory is to make God's Name known to others. The final temptation confirmed the devil is the father of lies. He can't give what he doesn't have. God, not the devil, created the world. Jesus told the devil 'You must worship the Lord your God, and serve him alone'. Mt 4,10 The devil went too far in his temptation. Jesus told him, that God, he must worship, not the other way round. Second, God alone is worthy of all praise and glory, and there are no other gods beside Him. Serving God means to obey God with love from one's heart. The devil left Jesus when he told them: 'Be off'. Doing things without love is the work of the devil.