Saturday, March 8, 2014

03-09-2014 -- 1st Sunday of Lent, Year A

March 09, 2014 - 1st Sunday of Lent, Year A
Saint Martin de Tours Catholic Church

(Read in a slightly satanic voice)

Look at him sitting there under the burning sun.
How long’s he been there? Must be days.
We think he must be hungry. Let’s offer him something to eat.

Jesus, we can see that you are hungry. We think you should turn these stones into bread and eat. Can’t you taste that soft bread.
It melts in your mouth.

We know you’d like that. After all you’ve been through,
you deserve it. You’re worth it. And you can make it happen.

Notice please, that it is the devil who initiates the contact and suggests a plan.

The serpent creeps in to tempt with something that seems to be a good. Go on, do this and you will be satisfied.

But it’s not true. If Jesus had turned the stones into bread,
he would have been satisfied for a moment.

Then it would be easy for him to do it again and again. And suddenly,
he wouldn’t doing the will of God the Father in heaven.
He’d be selfishly serving his own needs.

(Read in a slightly satanic voice)

Look at him sitting there all alone. He must be lonely. We pity him, don’t we? Let’s bring him some comfort, some attention.

Jesus, we can see that you are all alone. You look so lonely.
Come with us now.

This is a nice place here on this tall tower. But don’t you feel abandoned? Make your Father prove his love for you.

Certainly if you throw yourself down from here, he will send his angels to catch you.

The devil wants Jesus to assume his privileged status as the divine Son of God by toying with danger to see if his Father will come to his rescue.

We think that Jesus will be safe because he is the Son of God.
But, Jesus would be hurt. He would fall to his death.

Remember what happened when Jesus was nailed to the cross.
It was there that he breathed his last.

(Read in a slightly satanic voice)

Look at him, a man like him would make a fine ruler. The very best.

Jesus, you would make a fine ruler. The world is so big and you would have dominion over so many people.

You would be powerful. All we ask is that you be our friend, our real friend, our best friend, our only friend.

Oh, how we’d like that. We’d give you control over all these kingdoms.

The third temptation assumes that the kingdoms of the world belong to the devil. While he may have dominion, they do not belong to him.

The world and all its wonders, all these things belong to the Lord God who created heaven and earth.

Jesus’ 40 days of fasting and prayer bring him face to face with the devil.

If we are taking these 40 days of fasting and prayer and almsgiving seriously, in an attempt to draw closer to the Lord, then we will most certainly come face to face with the devil too.

But we should not fear. Jesus’ responses help us to face our own temptations.

Fasting: We do not live on bread alone. We are spiritual beings called to live a spiritual life.

Almsgiving: We are not to tempt God. We are to take responsibility for the way we conduct ourselves. And we must move from selfishness to self-giving.

Prayer: We are called to worship God alone, not to sell out to the devil for some fleeting instant gratification.

How are we going to spend our 40 day retreat?

We can stay right where we are, complacent and apathetic.
And the devil will leave us alone because that’s just where he wants us.

But if we set out to change our ways, to truly repent and give ourselves over to fasting, prayer and almsgiving, then the devil will get involved to try to trip us up.

The spiritual fruits we receive from God through our good works this Lent will give us the strength to push back and say, “Get away Satan. We worship and serve the Lord God alone.”

When we say this, the devil will leave us and the angels will come and minister to us.

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