Date: March 4, 2007
Readings: Dueteronomy 25:4-10 Psalm 91: 1-2,10-15
Romans 10:8-13 Luke 4: 1-13
Filled with the Holy Spirit, Jesus was led to the desert to fast for forty days and be tempted by the Devil.
In Biblical parlance, forty is a symbolic number meaning 'a long time'. The point is He was hungry and vulnerable. However, unlike Esau, who gave up his birthright for a dish of savory porridge, Jesus was able to forestall temptation as it was contrary to His Father's will.
Surely, Jesus' humanity was tempted. All the Kingdoms of the earth could have been His. All He had to do was bow down before Satan and it was to be His. In His divine essence, however, why would He give up the rule over the Universe for earthly treasure?
We should be asking ourselves the same question! What on earth are we doing?; submitting to earthly temptation for a fleeting moment of pleasure or self gratification. We are destined for the eternal life available to those who do God's will.
When the Scripture says the devil departed 'for a time' it was not for a specific time when he might catch Jesus off guard. As we read the Gospels, there are many occurrences where diabolic presence is noted.
Jesus was known by them and they were aware of His Godly nature.When we accept the fact of His divine nature, we are two thirds toward our goal of eternal life. He will provide the faith necessary to bring us home if we open our eyes and ears to the Church, thereby, having full knowledge of God's will for us.
The reading from the first testament relates the story of the Israelites after they had been saved from slavery in Egypt. They had been wanderers and now they were being led to a land filled with all they needed to exist. Moses instructed them what they should do to praise and thank God for all He did for them. He protected them while they escaped their slave drivers, fed and watered them in a place where food and water were scarce. All they needed was there for them.
Our praise and thanksgiving are in the Eucharist under the appearances of bread and wine. He is our salvation and none other satisfies.
Many of the words of Psalm 91 are incorporated in the Hymn "Eagles Wings". However, the words of our response "be with me Lord when I am in trouble" are not part of the Psalm even though their essence is there.
Paul's words to the Romans must have been encouraging to them. They didn't know him. However, here he was concerned for their welfare. In writing to them, he made it clear what was necessary to receive the saving grace of God; FAITH in Him, Who was sent. It made no difference whether they were Jews or Greeks, their belief and proclamation of their belief was sufficient. Our claim to a place in the sun is just as simple. "Believe in the Lord Jesus"!
All else is FruFru.