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Gospel for Sunday, March 6 Luke 4: 1-13

I Sunday of Lent C

1Jesus, filled with the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the desert 2where, for forty days, he was tempted by the devil. He didn’t eat anything in those days; but when they were finished he was hungry. 3Then the devil said to him: “If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.” 4Jesus answered him: “It is written: Man shall not live by bread alone.” 5The devil took him up and, showing him in an instant all the kingdoms of the earth, said to him: 6“I will give you all this power and the glory of these kingdoms, because it has been placed in my hands and I give it to whom I want. 7If you prostrate yourself before me everything will be yours.” 8Jesus answered him: “It is written: Only to the Lord your God shall you bow down, and him alone shall you worship”. 9He took him to Jerusalem, placed him on the pinnacle of the temple and said to him: «If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down; 10for it is written: He will give his angels charge over you, that they may guard you; 11and also: they will support you with their hands, so that your foot does not stumble on a stone.” 12Jesus answered him: “It has been said, You shall not put the Lord your God to the test”. 13After exhausting every kind of temptation, the devil left him to return at the appointed time

Luke 4: 1-13

Dear Sisters and Brothers of the Misericordie, I am Carlo Miglietta, doctor, biblical scholar, layman, husband, father and grandfather (

Also today I share with you a short meditation thought on the Gospel, with special reference to the theme of mercy.


Today we begin Lent in time of Synod: Synod, from the Greek syn odòs, means “walking together”. The first path that is asked of us as individuals and as a Church is to go to the depths of ourselves, to the essential, to the Absolute, to Love. It is an invitation to each of us and to the Church as a whole to free ourselves from what Monsignor Tonino Bello defined as “the temptations of the three “P”s: profit, prodigy, power. Which means: exploiting things, God, man. «Let stones become bread»: reducing everything to economy, to belly. Convert even dreams into cashier’s checks… Profit only. Indeed, profit maximization… Production. Ideology of production. But beyond the exploitation of things there is also that of God. “Throw yourself from above: He will save you.” Here is the temptation of the prodigy… A useful God. Which is used… How convenient is a God who ratifies my disengagement and replaces me in decisive choices! «I will give into your hand all the kingdoms of the world». Here is the temptation of power. Grow by climbing on each other’s shoulders. Throwing the others back so that they depend on me”.

We are called to walk in the footsteps of Jesus, who rejects the mentality of this world by contrasting it with the strength of the Word of God: “Man does not live by bread alone” (Dt 8.3); “Only to the Lord your God shall you bow down, him alone shall you worship” (Dt 6,13); “You shall not put the Lord your God to the test” (Dt 6:16).

Jesus responds with complete trust in the Father to the point of not expecting any sign from him; he reiterates the absolute primacy of God; but above all he chooses God’s style, which is not an attitude of power, but of love. The God who, in order to create man, agreed to become “Other” to him, the God who leaves man free even to make mistakes, the God “who makes his sun rise on the wicked and the good, and makes it rain above the just and the unjust” (Mt 5.45), he is not the God of dominion, but of service.

Jesus’ style will be precisely this: becoming a servant, humbling himself (Phil 2.7), to the point of washing the feet of his disciples, doing the act of a slave for them (Jn 13), without demanding anything, but only giving, to the point of sacrifice his life for his friends (Jn 15.13), to the scandal of dying crucified (1 Cor 1.18; Gal 5.11). The icon of this dimension is his entry into Jerusalem on a humble donkey, fulfilling Zechariah’s oracle: “Tell the daughter of Zion: «Behold, your king comes to you gentle, sitting on a donkey, with a colt of a beast of burden”” (Mt 21.5; cf. Zech 9.9).

The example of Jesus therefore undermines every ideology, even in the Church, of relying on economic goods, even for good purposes; to accept compromises or agreements with the various potentates, even if for noble purposes; to seek out the public square, the grandiose demonstrations, the tests of strength, the instruments of power of every kind, even if only to announce the Kingdom. The poverty of Jesus is a sign of divine power, and that salvation comes from God and not from human means; furthermore it is an announcement to the poor that God understands their condition, because in the Son he experienced it, shared it, took it upon himself.


“Temptation” is certainly a constant theme in the Bible: since love is a free act, it is “wanting” good, you can always say no to the alliance proposed by God, you can always refuse his offer. The possibility of saying no to God, of seeking elsewhere than in him what is good and happiness for man, has been present since the experience of Adam and Eve (Gen 3), of Abraham (Gen 22,1-19 ), of Job (Job 1.9-12; 2.4-6), of all Israel (Deut 8.2-5). Temptation is part of our being free (Jdt 8.25-27): it is the consequence of our being “in the image and likeness” of God (Gen 1.26), capable of love and therefore of voluntary acts. In this sense, God “sends” temptation to us: that is, he has given us the possibility of relating to him or not in a free choice. Even Jesus, a true man, had this possibility: for this reason it is said that “he was led by the Spirit (editor’s note:!!!) into the desert to be tempted by the devil” (Mt 4.1).

But if the temptation is real, what does it mean to ask God not to “lead” us into it, as the old translation of the Our Father said (Mt 6:13)? Translating the Greek term eisenègkes with just one word is difficult: it means “do not allow us to enter into” (see Mt 26.41: “Watch and pray, so that you do not fall into temptation”), “do not allow us to succumb to temptation”.

“God cannot be tempted by evil and does not tempt anyone to evil” (Jas 1:13); on the contrary, he wants to free us from it. We ask him not to let us take the path that leads to sin. We are engaged in the struggle “between the flesh and the Spirit”. This request implores the Spirit of discernment and fortitude” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 2846). That is, we ask God for that Spirit which he never denies, and which enables us to say “Abba, Father!” (Gal 4.6) and “Jesus is Lord” (1 Cor 12.3), to therefore adhere with faith to his plan of love. The request made to God is an affirmation of our willingness to open our hearts to him.

But above all we ask him to “not let us succumb to temptation”, and therefore to “not abandon ourselves to temptation”, or better yet “in temptation”, as we should have had the courage to translate. The “God with us” (Mt 1.23) remains at our side always, with all his Glory and Power. He always gives us the strength to respond to his most tender: “I love you” with our free: “I love you”.

Happy Mercy to all!

Anyone who would like to read a more complete exegesis of the text, or some insights, please ask me at


Spazio Spadoni

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