Gospel Reflection – Mar 10 + Operation Rice Bowl Week 1

Gospel Reflection
March 10, 2019

Sunday, March 10

First Sunday of Lent

Luke 4: 1 – 13

Gospel:
Filled with the Holy Spirit, Jesus returned from the Jordan
and was led by the Spirit into the desert for forty days,
to be tempted by the devil.
He ate nothing during those days,
and when they were over he was hungry.
The devil said to him,
“If you are the Son of God,
command this stone to become bread.”
Jesus answered him,
“It is written, One does not live on bread alone.”
Then he took him up and showed him
all the kingdoms of the world in a single instant.
The devil said to him,
“I shall give to you all this power and glory;
for it has been handed over to me,
and I may give it to whomever I wish.
All this will be yours, if you worship me.”
Jesus said to him in reply,
“It is written:
You shall worship the Lord, your God,
and him alone shall you serve.”
Then he led him to Jerusalem,
made him stand on the parapet of the temple, and said to him,
“If you are the Son of God,
throw yourself down from here, for it is written:
He will command his angels concerning you, to guard you,
and:
With their hands they will support you,
lest you dash your foot against a stone.”
Jesus said to him in reply,
“It also says,
You shall not put the Lord, your God, to the test.”
When the devil had finished every temptation,
he departed from him for a time.

Reflection:
I heard it said once that in this age of an over abundance of knowledge, we lack wisdom. Perhaps the same could be said about faith. With the age of fact checking, instant google searches and absolute verification, we have stunted or even incapacitated our ability to have faith not just in God but in people. Our fact obsessed minds reduce the truth about the people we know based on just that, cold hard facts and evidence, leaving no room for a genuine faith in our neighbor. In this Sunday’s gospel we hear it said three times to Our Lord “If you are…then do.” How many times have these very words been uttered by you and I to Christ himself, unaware that we are echoing the demands of the devil. So many times we demand God to prove himself to us, to do x, y or z to see if he really is who he says he is. And in doing so we implicitly ask God to prove himself to be God. But this compromises faith. If anyone of our friends kept demanding us to prove ourselves, we would become incredibly frustrated by the lack of faith they have in us. Thankfully God is more patient and truly desires for our faith to grow, because he knows that a greater faith in him will give us a firmer ground to stand on than what momentary manifestations of proof can provide. In turn, this faith has the capacity to assure us that while everything will prove to suggest otherwise, that God is very much who he says he is, he is very much present, very much kind and very much loving.

Deacon Alfonso Gamez

 

 

OPERATION RICE BOWL STORIES OF HOPE: WEEK 1

Life and Dignity of the Human Person
Catholic social teaching inspires and guides how we are to live and work in the world. In this principle, Life and Dignity of the Human Person, Jesus reminds us that we are all made in God’s image and likeness. That means that every human being has a special value and a purpose. We need to care for each other so we can be the people God calls us to be.

Encounter Norma
For young families living in the mountains of Guatemala, raising a baby can be hard. Most families grow corn and beans for a living, but a long-standing drought has caused harvests to shrink. There are few job opportunities, which means putting food on the table is a daily challenge. That’s why when Norma discovered she was pregnant, she wondered how she would manage. “When I was young, my mom and dad didn’t have money to buy much food,” she says. “My mom would split one egg among four children.” Norma wanted more for her son, Victor.

But at age 20, she didn’t have much experience beyond helping her mother around the house. So, she looked for help. She found it in a CRS-sponsored program that teaches young mothers how to raise healthy children, grow nutritious food in small gardens and manage a healthy diet. Plus, CRS provided Norma with food throughout her pregnancy and monthly medical check-ups during Victor’s first two years of life.

“I learned a lot of beautiful things,” Norma says. “I learned how to take care of my boy and what foods to feed him so that he can grow healthy and strong.”

Now, Norma is sharing what she learned with others as a “mother monitor.” “It makes me proud to share the experience I had and the lessons I learned with other women,” she says. It makes Norma proud — and makes her community a better place to raise a family.

To watch a video on Norma’s story, click here:¬†https://www.crsricebowl.org/stories-of-hope/week-1