Mar. 05, 2017 - 1st Sunday of Lent, Year A
Saint Martin de Tours Catholic Church
Adam is disobedient. He and his wife Eve commit a transgression. Their transgression is an act of disobedience that leads them into a world of sin. And sin leads to death.
The Serpent tempts and temptation touches us. So now the beauty of God’s creation is marred by sin and death. The Serpent is cunning. And we are easily tricked.
Jesus faces this same temptation as well. But unlike Adam, Jesus is not disobedient. Jesus is obedient. When temptation touches him he acts with righteousness.
This righteous act leads to forgiveness for our sins. The loving and righteous act of obedience restores creation.
Jesus brings us God’s life. Jesus offers us God’s love. Jesus restores God’s creation. This is a tremendous gift, but sin is still a real problem.
People give in to temptation all the time. People sin. And all of our sins combined make the world a mess. Sin makes people miserable. Sin mars God’s creation.
When temptation touches our lives, how do we respond? After we’ve given into temptation, we have a tendency to mope around feeling sorry for ourselves. I am nobody. I can’t do anything right. I’m so stupid. I mess up everything
Of course, doing this is not helpful. So let us look to Jesus for another way. Jesus encourages us to push forward rather than to continue wallowing in our past sins.
How does Jesus respond to temptation?
To the first temptation of hunger and want and desire, Jesus responds with the Word of God.
The Word of God is found most clearly in our Scriptures. Reading the Bible helps us grow in our knowledge and wisdom of the Lord. When we read the Bible, God’s words sink into our hearts.
To the second temptation of a lack of trust or of blaming God because we ate the forbidden fruit, Jesus responds by saying you shall not test the God. You shall trust God.
Trusting God begins by accepting that we are God’s children, God created us and cares deeply about what happens to us. When we trust God, we come to believe that God has a plan for us that is beyond anything we could imagine.
To the third temptation of to have power and control and attention. Jesus responds with worship. You shall worship and serve God alone.
Sunday Mass is our primary way to worship God. Is it the most important thing we do it week? It should be. When we worship God alone, the mass becomes an expression of joy, an expression of love.
Adam and Eve forget that God’s fingerprints are all over them. God fashioned them and filled their nostrils with breath.
But they give in to the tempter. We do too. But not Jesus. Jesus, by acting in a righteous way, is rewriting our story.
Jesus calls us to be faithful to God’s word. Jesus invites us to begin to trust in God again. And Jesus asks us to worship God alone.
And with that the devil departs from us and the angels come to minister to us.