Vatican City, 10 March 2014 (VIS) – At midday today, the first Sunday of Lent, the Holy Father appeared at the window of his study to pray the Angelus with the faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square. The Bishop of Rome commented that every year the Gospel of the first Sunday of Lent presents Jesus' temptations, and he mentioned that the tempter seeks to divert the Lord from His Father's plan, or rather the way of sacrifice that involves offering Himself in atonement and with love, and attempts to make Him choose the easy path of success and power.
“Indeed, the devil, to divert Jesus from the way of the cross, presents Him with false messianic hopes: economic well-being, as indicated by the possibility of turning stones into bread; a miraculous and spectacular style as seen in the idea of throwing Himself off the highest point of the temple of Jerusalem, to be saved by angels, and finally a shortcut to power and domination, in exchange for His open worship of Satan".
Jesus, the Pope explained, "firmly rejects all these temptations and reiterates His determination to follow the path set out by the Father, without compromising with sin and with the logic of the world. … This is why Jesus, instead of entering into a dialogue like Eve, chooses to take refuge in God's Word and responds with the power of this Word. We should remember this when we are tempted ourselves: do not argue with Satan, always defend ourselves with the Word of God. And this will save us".
“In his response to Satan, the Lord reminds us, first, that 'man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God', and this gives us strength, supporting us in our battle against the worldly mentality that reduces man to the level of his most basic needs and causing him to lose his hunger for what is true, good and beautiful, the hunger for God and His love. Remember too that it is also written: 'Do not test the Lord your God', because the road of faith also passes through darkness and doubt, and is nourished by patience and perseverance. Finally, remember that it is written: 'The Lord, your God, shall you worship and Him alone shall you serve', that is, we have rid ourselves of idols, of vain things, and build our lives on the essentials”.
“Lent is a fitting occasion for all of us to undertake a journey of conversion, giving sincere consideration to this Gospel passage”, concluded Pope Francis. “Let us renew the promises of our Baptism: renouncing Satan and all his works and seduction, to walk the path of God to reach Easter in the joy of the Spirit".