FIRST SUNDAY OF LENT YEAR C – 5th / 6th March, 2022

The account of Jesus’ temptations in the wilderness connects Jesus with ancient Israel. The wilderness had been the place of Israel’s testing (cf. Deut 8:2). This account shows that unlike that ancient people, Jesus did not fail his test. The length of Jesus’ fasting also has ancient Israelite significance. The two men who represented Israel’s law and prophets, Moses and Elijah respectively, fasted for forty days and forty nights. Moses fasted as he wrote the ten commandments on tablets of stone (cf. Exod 34:28). Elijah fasted as he walked to Horeb (cf. 1 Kgs 19:8). The temptations themselves occurred in three different places: the wilderness, on a high mountain; on the parapet of the temple in Jerusalem. In each instance, Jesus is challenged to prove that he is the Son of God. Jesus never directly addresses the question of his divine sonship, but he always shows himself to be faithful as Israel was not.