What Matters Most

March 5, 2017
First Sunday of Lent
The Gospel Today
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.

REFLECTION (Sem. Lloyd Anthony G. Pagulayan)

Allow me to borrow a few lines from the song, What Matters Most, “It’s not how far we’ve traveled on our way, but what we found to stay, what matters most is that we loved at all.

In closely examining its lyrics, the message being exuded in the paradox presented therein is the essence of genuine living and unconditional loving. The Gospel today reminds each one of us to take-in and consume only the sustenance coming from Him. “One does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.” Jesus’ teachings are the fundamental source of our inner strength. His commands are imperative decrees that men should religiously follow.

He further admonishes us by saying, “The Lord God, you shall worship and Him alone shall you serve!” As we begin the season of Lent, let us reflect on the many false gods which we chose to serve and have succumed into. The earthly pleasure which He himself blessed us with should ultimately be offered back to Him and it should be our prayer that we make use of these in glorifying Him and not ourselves.

As an expatriate for more than a decade, I begun to realise that neither obsession with material possessions nor indulgence with worldly pleasures could and would lead me to the inner joy I was searching for. I discovered that the interior happiness I was looking for can only be found in Jesus and in Him alone.
In all these, may God be praised.

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