for Sunday, February 17, 2013
Christ is tempted in the desert. The account of Saint Luke gives us an
understanding of the types of temptations which Jesus experienced. They
are the same temptations that you and I experience from time to time. When
someone offers us an easy way to have food to eat, rather than using our
own energies to obtain our daily bread, it is tempting. So many people
today get addicted to gambling in some form or another, always hoping to
win and no longer have to work.
Other people want to be well known and admired by others. All we have to
do is look at the cult of popularity in much of modern culture. Sometimes
the popular people really don't do much, but they gain a following and
young people want to be like them. This also can be a temptation. Is it
wrong? Not necessarily. It depends on what the person does with such
popularity. Few seem to follow any moral values.
The last temptation is the strongest. It invites Jesus to show others that
He is God. This is not the way of the Lord. Today we find a similar kind
of temptation in looking for miracles. All of us want miracles. When we
see someone we love suffering, we would like to have a miracle. When we
ourselves need something, we would like to have a miracle. When we don't
get a miracle, sometimes we no longer believe in God or we think that God
does not love us.
Our faith is not about having enough food, about having the admiration of
others or about receiving miracles. Our faith is about believing in a God
who loves us, the God revealed to us in Jesus Christ our Lord.
The first reading today is from the Book of Deuteronomy. It speaks to us
about the purpose of Lent: giving praise to God for all His creation and
for all that He has done in our lives. In Lent we must take the time to
understand all that He has done for us. As we begin to understand His love
for us and His saving acts in our personal lives, we will worship Him with
joy and gladness.
The Letter to the Romans gives us a deeply important teaching today:
everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. So often we get
concerned about our unworthiness, our sinfulness, our lack of faithfulness
to God. These are indeed good concerns. At the heart of our faith is
believing in God and asking Him to change us. We are so often completely
powerless in our own lives because of habits that we have acquired over the
years and because of situations in which we find ourselves and don't know
how to get out of them. We can call on the Lord and He will save usóbut
always in His time frame.
The Gospel returns us to the temptations of Christ. Jesus was truly
tempted because He is truly human like us in all things except sin. Thus
we can have confidence that He understands us.
May this Lent bring us deeper into the mysteries of Jesus Christ our Lord
and help us deepen our faith also in His holy Church. May we know the
presence of Christ in our personal lives and call upon Him with confidence.
Readings of the day:
First Reading: Deuteronomy 26.4-10
Second Reading: Romans 10.8-13
Gospel: Luke 4.1-13
Reflections are available for the following Sundays: