First Sunday of Lent

February 14, 2016 / By: Fr. Jan Michael Joncas

Deuteronomy 26:4-10; Romans 10:8-13; and Luke 4:1-13

In my continuing project to provide a hymn of the day for every Sunday and Solemnity of the 3-year lectionary cycle, I would like to share the text I've written for the First Sunday of Lent, Year C.  It is based on the readings for the day.  I suggest singing it to the hymn tune PICARDY, but it should fit with any hymn using an 87.87.87 metrical scheme.

Spirit-driven from the Jordan
to the desert Jesus came,
making his his people's passage
signed by pillared cloud and flame.
Forty days and nights he fasted,
Abba's will his single aim.

In the desert lurks the Tempter.
"If you are God's Son," he said,
"claim your pow'r, assuage your hunger,
change this stone to loaf of bread."
"No on bread alone," cries Jesus,
"on God's Word our hearts are fed."

Mountain-high, the Tempter shows him
all earth's beauty, wealth and store.
"All this I bestow upon you,
if you claim me as your Lord."
"Silence! Leave this place, Deceiver!
God alone must we adore."

Through God's city struts the Tempter.
"If you are God's Son," he pressed,
"claim your pow'r, let angels bear you
high about the Temple's crest."
"Scripture teaches," answers Jesus
"do not put God to the test."

Christ, who triumphed in the desert,
help us face the Tempter's lies.
Keep us fasting, though we hunger.
Keep us praying, when hope flies.
Make us stewards of your bounty
as love's logic makes us wise.

Fr. Jan Michael Joncas
Artist in Residence and Research Fellow in Catholic Studies