First Sunday of Lent, Year A: Confident in God’s Protection and Faithfulness

Ivan Kramskoi - "Christ in the Desert"

What’s your security blanket? For young children, security blankets and other such comfort objects are healthy things. They are “transitional objects” to ease the trauma of separating from their mothers. However, we all must eventually cut the apron strings and leave our security blankets behind. Unfortunately, we tend to replace our plush toys with more sophisticated security blankets, not to ease the anxiety of our separation from our mothers, but to ease what we sense as our separation from God. We fill the void with other possessions—our adult security blankets—not realizing that God is nearer to us than we are to ourselves. These possessions provide us with a sense of control—something that will give us the illusion of security and, at least for a while, mask the fear and want that haunt us deep within.

In this Sunday’s Gospel (Matthew 4:1–11), Jesus is tempted to be in control as he faces the uncertainty that lies ahead in his ministry. In the end, however, Jesus places his full confidence in God’s protection and faithfulness. As we begin this season of Lent, we are invited to examine the ways that we are tempted to seize control of our lives instead of placing our full confidence in God’s protection and faithfulness.

  • What are examples of “security blankets” we continue to cling to no matter our age? In other words, how do we sometimes try to give ourselves a sense of control in life?
  • When was a time that you felt completely confident in God’s protection and faithfulness?

Here is a link to an activity on the theme of temptations from my 40 Ideas for 40 Days of Lent. For complete materials on reflecting on the Lenten Scriptures, download free discussion materials for Lent.

About Joe Paprocki 2742 Articles
Joe Paprocki, DMin, is National Consultant for Faith Formation at Loyola Press, where, in addition to his traveling/speaking responsibilities, he works on the development team for faith formation curriculum resources including Finding God: Our Response to God’s Gifts and God’s Gift: Reconciliation and Eucharist. Joe has more than 35 years of experience in ministry and has presented keynotes, presentations, and workshops in more than 100 dioceses in North America. Joe is a frequent presenter at national conferences including the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress, the Mid-Atlantic Congress, and the National Conference for Catechetical Leadership. He is the author of numerous books, including the best seller The Catechist’s Toolbox, A Church on the Move, Under the Influence of Jesus, and Called to Be Catholic—a bilingual, foundational supplemental program that helps young people know their faith and grow in their relationship with God. Joe is also the series editor for the Effective Catechetical Leader and blogs about his experiences in faith formation at

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