Commentary on the Gospel of

Scott McClure - Creighton University's Magis Catholic Teacher Corps

First Sunday of Lent

Today marking the first Sunday of Lent, we hear in Matthew of Jesus’ forty days in the desert. Hearing of Jesus’ time being tested by Satan prompts us, perhaps somewhat naturally, to ponder the ways we are tested in our lives. No one of us is without weakness.

A recent favorite book of my children is Saint George and the Dragon, the 1985 Caldecott Medal winner. It recounts the ancient tale of Saint George battling a dragon plaguing an English city. (Spoiler alert: he defeats the dragon.) While he is the prototypical knight on a white horse, what struck me as I read this book for the first time was the suffering the brave knight endures. He is cut, beaten and bruised in his battle with the dragon. His clothes are torn and his shield battered. No shining armor is to be seen – at least on the outside.

What does shine is the knight’s bravery amidst his fear and knowledge of his weakness against the dragon. This and his virtue gleam far brighter than a sword could in the sunlight. It is the same with Jesus as he is tempted by Satan. I imagine Jesus tired and hungry on the outside, suffering while imagining having the authority and respect he knew was his due. However, Jesus’ faith in the Father shines forth and is what enables him to defeat the dragon before him.

Now in the midst of our forty days of Lent, let us place similar trust in God. Though knowing our weakness, let us also realize the strength and grace that God bestows so we, like Jesus and the brave Saint George, may overcome the dragon before us.


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