Lent 2017: Reflections from Current & Former Volunteers Lent 2017 - Page 4

Matthew 4:1-11
March 5 , 2017

First Sunday of Lent

Matthew 4:1-11

“ One does not live on bread alone , but on every word that comes forth from the mouth of God .”
Reflection by Adanna Adaka , currently serving with the St . Joseph Worker Program in Orange
Being raised in a Catholic household , I grew up hearing these Bible verses over and over again – at Sunday school , in religion classes , at prayer times , and even around the dinner table . However , no matter how many times I ’ d heard them or how well I could recite them , I could never stop thinking about how physically weak Jesus must have been . Think about going for forty days and forty nights without any food or water ! He must have been so exhausted . Yet , when Jesus is presented with three different scenarios to demonstrate to the devil and to the world how powerful He is , Jesus humbles Himself and makes a conscious decision instead to glorify God through His words and actions . And He invites us to do the same .
Matthew ’ s Gospel reminds us that temptation is part of our humanity . What matters is how we respond to these temptations . Jesus ’ experience in the wilderness shows us that we can overcome them because we are children of God equipped with Scripture , with faith , and with the love of God . But that ’ s not all ! The Bible goes on to tell us that after Jesus ’ ordeal , “… behold , angels came and ministered unto Him .” This closing line serves to reassure us that there will always be a silver lining for whatever clouds we encounter . And that if we can fight on through our temptations , they ’ ll eventually come to an end and He will be right there to congratulate our triumph over the devil . How beautifully encouraging !

Prayer :

Dear Lord , Thank You for showing me that I can be strong especially in moments when I feel so weak . Please teach me to always put my faith in You Lord , because You will always be at my side . Please grant me the courage to stand up for what is right and for what I believe in . Teach me to make decisions that glorify God for it is only through Him that I can gain everlasting life . I humbly ask all this through Christ our Lord . Amen .

Focus on : Social Justice : In our world today , we have witnessed several cases where our leaders , political or otherwise , have faced the choice of using their newly acquired power to promote selfish interests or to work for the good of the community . How often do I find myself in similar positions ? How do I respond ? Do I contribute to the injustices I see around me instead of standing against them ? We have been equipped with what we need to fight the good fight , so let us reevaluate our faith , offer up a prayer , or sing a song in tribute to those who have been victimized by such prejudices .

Service Inspiration : I met Gena Gadient on my second day in California . She had served as one of the pioneer St . Joseph Workers in Orange the year before , and returned to work as a Program Assistant for incoming volunteers . In other words , she was going to be our mentor extraordinaire . I have known GG for approximately six months now and in this short time , she has quickly become a role model in my life . GG is a woman whom I have come to genuinely admire . Her love for / of others , her constant joy in service , her selflessness , and her constant willingness to connect people and lend a helping hand encourages me each day to be the best woman I can be at my placement site and to all whom I encounter . I am truly thankful for Gena and to God for placing her in my life .
Adanna Adaka was born and raised in Nigeria . Upon her graduation from Canisius College in 2016 , she began a year of service with the St . Joseph Worker Program of Orange . She works in Mission Hospital devoting her time to serving the underserved population and advocating for social change . In her spare time she loves to read romance novels , watch movies , and play soccer !