Sunday, February 14, 2016

“Man is born broken. He lives by mending. The grace of God is glue.”

Gospel Text: (LK 4:1-13)
Filled with the Holy Spirit, Jesus returned from the Jordan
and was led by the Spirit into the desert for forty days,
to be tempted by the devil.
He ate nothing during those days,
and when they were over he was hungry.
The devil said to him,
“If you are the Son of God,
command this stone to become bread.”
Jesus answered him,
“It is written, One does not live on bread alone.
Then he took him up and showed him
all the kingdoms of the world in a single instant.
The devil said to him,
“I shall give to you all this power and glory;
for it has been handed over to me,
and I may give it to whomever I wish.
All this will be yours, if you worship me.”
Jesus said to him in reply,
“It is written:
You shall worship the Lord, your God,
and him alone shall you serve.
Then he led him to Jerusalem,
made him stand on the parapet of the temple, and said to him,
“If you are the Son of God,
throw yourself down from here, for it is written:
He will command his angels concerning you, to guard you,
With their hands they will support you,
lest you dash your foot against a stone.
Jesus said to him in reply,
“It also says,
You shall not put the Lord, your God, to the test.
When the devil had finished every temptation,
he departed from him for a time.

Today in the Gospel, we hear that Jesus was “filled with the Spirit” as He was lead into the desert to confront the devil.  Just a few weeks ago we read that Jesus, returning to His home town to preach as He began His ministry, was filled with the Spirit.  If Our Lord needed the Holy Spirit as He started His ministry or as He was lead to the desert to be tempted, how much more do I.  How much do we all need those confirmation gifts of the Holy Spirit to help us navigate the challenges in life, and to be led by His will. 

“When the devil had exhausted every way of tempting Jesus he left him, to return another time."  The battle and encounter with the devil were not over at these temptations in the desert; Jesus would be tempted to give up his mission at his agony in the garden, "Father, if it is your will, remove this cup from me; still not my will but yours be done." (Lk 22: 42) For us too, the battle against temptations and evil never stops.  Temptations remain real with sexual matters, lies, backbiting and forms of injustice against others. There will always be temptations related to more wealth, higher status and power.  There will be temptations to be greedy and angry, jealous and resentful of others. There will always be temptations to have rather than to share, to control and rule rather than to serve and give.

Lent is a grace-filled occasion to be more aware of our sinful inclinations and to be more jealous for true repentance and conversion.  Let us not be discouraged by the presence of temptations; let us beg the Lord's help and grace.   

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