Sunday, March 10, 2019

“Did perpetual happiness in the Garden of Eden maybe get so boring that eating the apple was rationalized to be justified?”

“Whatever their bodies do affects their souls. It is funny how mortals always picture us as putting things into their minds: in reality our best work is done by keeping things out...” ― C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters

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.

Sadly, as human beings, we become comfortable with sin and the falsehoods it offers.

Sin sinks roots into our lives. We begin to accept sin as so ordinary a part of our lives that we don’t see it as sin anymore. Not many plants can live in the desert, but those that do have great staying power, and sin is like one of those plants. Once sins take deep root in our lives, it’s easy to believe that those sins are part of us, and that we can’t live without them: that there’s no use in trying to root them out of our lives.

It’s much harder to face the truth that Jesus is calling each of us into this driest and hottest part of the desert. He is calling each of us to radical holiness. He is calling each of us to conform our lives to His Cross: the Cross that the Church will reverence—bow before, kneel before, and kiss—on Good Friday.


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