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First Sunday in Lent: Daily Meditations

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“Seek first the kingdom of God.” Words of wisdom, indeed, from the lips of the Gentle Master, yet how few of earth’s eager treasure seekers heed them! The Kingdom of God, my eternal destiny, the term of the journey upon which God set me forth when He gave me being; the goal whose reaching means success, indescribably glorious, whose missing is failure disastrous beyond all words to tell.

The Kingdom of God, whose attaining is the only thing that really matters in all of life’s endeavors, and yet the last thought in the mind of the masses! How diligently men strive and toil that they may gain a petty pittance of earth’s toys and trinkets, and yet how utterly indifferent in their attitude toward the treasures of the Kingdom that shall know no ending! Strange, foolish world, is it not?

And what of myself in the matter? In theory, no doubt, I strongly defend the wisdom of the Master’s teaching. But in practice? If really keenly interested in God’s kingdom, then how explain the sluggishness too often manifested in my use of the necessary means to make secure its ultimate possession?

Oh, no, indeed, if my interest in God’s kingdom were of the healthy, hearty kind the Gentle Master would have it be, there would be more of the saint about me and less of the worldling. There would be more of prayer in my life, there would be a greater love of solitude and less of vain indulgence in earth’s silly amusements that dull all taste for godly things and wed man’s heart to dangerous earthly vanities.

Yes, if I were truly “seeking first the kingdom of God” my life would be far more pleasing to God and far more worth while to myself.

Jesus, Gentle Master, have mercy on us.

TODAY’S EPISTLE AND GOSPEL: Taken from the Angelus Press 1962 Roman Catholic Daily Missal

EPISTLE: II Cor. 6:1-10

Lent, with its fastdays and prayers, is the acceptable time, the time of salvation. St. Paul exhorts us that we receive not the grace of God in vain.

Brethren: We exhort you that you receive not the grace of God in vain. For He saith: In an accepted time have I heard thee, and in the day of salvation have I helped thee. Behold, now is the acceptable time, behold now is the day of salvation.
Giving no offense to any man, that our ministry be not blamed: but in all things let us exhibit ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in tribulation, in necessities, in distresses, in stripes, in prisons, in seditions, in labors, in watchings, in fastings, in chastity, in knowledge, in long suffering, in sweetness, in the Holy Ghost, in charity unfeigned, in the word of truth, in the power of God: by the armor of justice on the right hand and on the left: by honor and dishonor, by evil report and good report: as deceivers and yet true, as unknown and yet known: as dying, and behold we live: as chastised and not killed: as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing: as needy, yet enriching many: as having nothing and possessing all things.

GOSPEL: Mt. 4:1-11

It was in the desert that Satan, wishing to know if the Son of Mary was really the Son of God, tempted our Lord. The devil seeks to tempt us by the lustful desire of the flesh, by the pride of life, and by the lustful desire of the eyes, or avarice.

At that time Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert, to be tempted by the devil.
And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterwards He was hungry. And the tempter coming said to Him: If Thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.
Who answered and said: It is written: Not in bread alone doth man live, but in every word that proceedeth from the mouth of God.
Then the devil took Him up into the holy city and set Him upon the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him: If Thou be the Son of God, cast Thyself down. For it is written: That He hath given His Angels charge over Thee, and in their hands shall they bear Thee up, lest perhaps Thou dash Thy foot against a stone.
Jesus said to him: It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.
Again the devil took Him up into a very high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and the glory of them, and said to Him: All these will I give Thee, if falling down Thou wilt adore me.
Then Jesus saith to him: Begone, Satan! for it is written: The Lord Thy God shalt thou adore, and Him only shalt thou serve. Then the devil left Him. And behold Angels came, and ministered to Him.


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