FIRST SUNDAY OF LENT, YEAR A
THEME: “THE BATTLE WITH TEMPTATION”
((Readings: 1st: Gen 2:7-9: 3:1-7; Ps:51; 2nd: Rom 5:12-19; Gos: Mt 4:1-11))
A story is told about a man who traveled with his camel on a winter day. When the night came the man pitched his tent and slept inside. At midnight the camel called out asking the man to allow it to just put its nose in the tent because it was freezing outside. The man allowed the camel to put only its nose in the tent. After some time the camel asked to just put its head in the tent and promised not to bother the man again. The man allowed it. After an hour the camel asked to put just the neck and was allowed. After some time, the front legs, and then the stomach…In the end, the camel fully entered the tent. And just before dawn, the camel told the man that the tent was too small for both of them and it kicked the man out of the tent.
Today being the first Sunday of Lent, we see how the first Adam battled with Sin. Just as the camel slowly entered the tent, Adam and Eve were tempted and allowed sin to take control of their life. The consequence was that man was kicked out of the Garden of Eden; he became a slave of Satan. This Garden had have nobody to take care and it turned into a desert. In the Gospel we see a second Adam coming back to the Garden of Eden which has now become a desert. Filled with the Holy Spirit, the second Adam (Jesus) comes back to this Garden to redeem the fallen humanity. After praying and fasting for 40 days and nights, he is tempted three times by Satan as follows.
- THE TEMPTATION TO CHANGE STONES INTO BREAD- “Command this stone to become bread” (vs 3-4): This was a temptation to use Gods given power, talents, and gifts for our selfish interests in order to overcome a difficult situation. Usually, Satan will take advantage of moments when you are weak, sick, stressed, or in a difficult situation to tempt you. In such a situation, he will propose an alternative easy means to overcome your problems. Many Christians have become victims and they become wanderers from one church to another looking for miracles and breakthroughs, and from one witch doctor to another trying to change a stone into bread. In response, Jesus says that man does not live on bread alone. Jesus means that we should not always yearn for material things because they do not give us true happiness. True happiness is found in God alone. “I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever.” (Jn 6:51).
- IDOL WORSHIP: “I will give you all this power and glory, if you fall at my feet and worship me” (Vs 5-8). The devil knows that we like power, glory, riches, success, and authority. Therefore, he easily makes us his slave promising to give us the power and glory we seek. How many of us are slaves in our business, work, studies, and ambitions? People work day and night just to become successful in life, which have become their idols. The media, phones, and television have become idols for many people. These have replaced God in our life that we have no time for God anymore.
In response, Jesus says “You must worship the Lord your God and serve him alone”. Nothing should take the place of God in our life. Lent is the time to get rid of all that separates us from God.
(3) TEMPTING GOD´S FAITHFULNESS. Finally, Satan order Jesus if He is the son of God to throw Himself down from the Parapet of the Temple of Jerusalem, for scripture say: “He will put his angels in charge of you to guard and protect you. They will hold you up on their hands to keep you in case you hurt your foot against a stone” (Ps 91:11-12). This is the test of love and faithfulness of God, to see if we can trust him or not. However, Jesus did not need proof to believe in the love of his Father.
How many times have tested God´s love and faithfulness in our prayers? If you answer my prayer…then… If I pass this exam…then I will…etc. My friend you cannot give God conditions or limit him to you time. God is love and faithfulness.
In brief dear friend, our Christian Journey is full of temptations and trials. These are not meant to weaken but to strengthen us in this life. Jesus has shown us the correct weapons that we need to fight against Satan. Never give Satan a chance to negotiate with you because he will enter into your tent and kick you out. We need to rely on the grace of God to win the battle against sin. May the word of God, prayer, Holy Spirit, and Eucharist be our weapon to fight against temptation. (Read Psalm 90 & 119)
PRAYER: “Be with me. O Lord, in my distress.” (Ps 90:15)
BLESSED LENTEN SEASON!! ((Contact our vocation office on +255629269140 or +254792299140))
“May the darkness of sin and the night of unbelief vanish before the light of the word and the spirit of Grace; and may the heart of Jesus live in the heart of all the people. Amen” SVD Prayer
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