1st Sunday of Lent Year A (2023)

Mass Readings for the 1st Sunday of Lent Year A

  • First Reading: Genesis 2:7-9; 3:1-7: “But the serpent said to the woman: “You certainly will not die! No, God knows well that the moment you eat of it your eyes will be opened and you will be like gods who know what is good and what is evil.””
  • Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 51: “Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.”
  • Second Reading: Romans 5:12-19: “For if by the transgression of the one, the many died, how much more did the grace of God and the gracious gift of the one man Jesus Christ overflow for the many.”
  • Gospel: 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.”

Themes for the 1st Sunday of Lent Year A

The readings for the 1st Sunday of Lent Year A get us thinking about sin and temptation.

The first reading recounts the story of how Adam and Eve turned away from God. The psalm is a repentant appeal to the goodness of God. The second reading reminds us that even though we are sinners, we are saved through the obedience of Jesus Christ. And the gospel tells us how Jesus went to the desert to fast and pray for 40 days and resisted the temptations of Satan.

  • Our Lenten plans
  • Prayer, fasting, and almsgiving
  • Temptations
  • The misuse of power

See the Homilies and Reflections section and the More Thoughts section for further expansion on these readings and some reflection questions for the1st Sunday of Lent Year A.

Resources, Prayers, Games, and Lesson Plans for the 1st Sunday of Lent Year A

In the Desert – A Lesson Plan on Prayer, Fasting, and Almsgiving

This In the Desert lesson plan on prayer, fasting, and almsgiving will help youth understand the connection between the temptation of Jesus in the desert and Lenten focus on spirituality, sacrifice, and service. Youth will come to understand why we give things up for Lent. This focuses on the gospel for the 1st Sunday of Lent Year C.

Fasting and Feasting Prayer

This fasting and feasting prayer can be found in many variations. It suggests something to fast from and then an alternative to feast upon. We don’t give something up to make ourselves suffer. We give things up for Lent to make room for something better.

Could You Give It Up Game

Could You Give It Up is a Lenten variation of the Ten Fingers game. Youth must try to outwit each other by guessing what they would give up for Lent which the others would not.

Lenten Ideas for the 1st Sunday of Lent Year A

Fast on a Day Other Than Ash Wednesday or Good Friday

Catholics are required to fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. Adding another day of fasting is a way of practicing an additional sacrifice during Lent. You can decide to fast one day per week. (Friday would be a traditional choice for this.) Or you can just fast a single day or a few days of your choosing.

Make an Offering Box

Lent is a beautiful opportunity to offer ourselves to our Lord.  An offering box is a tangible way to make our offerings. It can be used for many different types of offerings

Make a Gratitude List Every Day and Pray with It

Gratitude can be one of the most fruitful forms of prayer. When we specifically notice things to be grateful for, we become aware of and acknowledge God’s constant presence in our lives. Practicing gratitude daily is a practice which can change your whole attitude and it doesn’t

Abstain from Meat on a Day in Addition to Friday

Fasting is one of the traditional Catholic Lenten practices. All Catholics abstain from meat on Fridays during Lent as a form of fasting. For personal fasting, you can choose to voluntarily abstain from meat one more day during the week.

See More Lenten Ideas

See specific ideas for practicing prayer, fasting, and almsgiving during the Lenten season.

Homilies and Reflections for the 1st Sunday of Lent Year A

Tale of Two Adams

From Scott Hahn. In the Liturgy for the 1st Sunday of Lent Year A, the destiny of the human race is told as the tale of two “types” of men—the first man, Adam, and the new Adam, Jesus.

Temptations Are Attractions to Partial Goods

From Fr. Richard Rohr. They are all temptations to the misuse of power for purposes less than God’s purpose. They are sequentially the misuse of practical everyday power, the misuse of religious power, and the misuse of political power.

The Disobedience of Adam and Eve

From Bishop Robert Barron. Our Lenten journey begins by going back to the basics. All the way back to the beginning in fact. This is not a far off story, but a tale which has significance in our own lives right now.

Doing Lent Right

Fr. Mark-Mary shares some insights into some ways to make your Lenten observance really make a difference in developing a deeper relationship with God.

More Thoughts for the 1st Sunday of Lent Year A

The temptations in the desert can be considered in different ways. Some have offered that they represent the temptations of thinking that we will never want (bread) , we will never suffer (the angels will rescue you), and we will control our destiny (we can gain what we desire).

The remedy is prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. Almsgiving frees us to give away our goods, trusting that God will provide for our needs. Fasting unites our suffering with the suffering of others. And prayer helps us place our destiny in God’s hands.

The 1st Sunday of Lent Year A is also a good time to remember that we have some superheroes called saints on our side. We can ask them to pray for us when we feel like giving into temptation.

Reflection Questions for the 1st Sunday of Lent Year A

  • How am I going to try to grow this Lent?
  • How will I use this time to resist the temptations in my life?
  • Is there a saintly superhero I can call on who is a good example for me?

Quotes and Social Media Graphics for the 1st Sunday of Lent Year A

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.

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