16th century master illuminator Simon Bening's depiction of the devil approaching Jesus with a stone to be turned into bread [Photo from wikipedia]
Reflection by Dr. herbert r.
Tomorrow is the first Sunday in Lent. Lent is one of the holiest season of the liturgical year. It reminds us of one of the most important aspect of salvation history and our redemption. It reminds us of the fall of our first parents and to the woes by which the human race was subjected as a result of the fall. The "original sin" as termed by the Theologians, is evident in our way of thinking and attitude. Our enmity with God as expressed for our disdain for the good and our weakness to follow holy and good inspirations. this truth is poignantly expressed by St. Paul in the following words: "Ever since the creation of the world his eternal power and divine nature, invisible though they are, have been understood and seen through the things he has made. So they are without excuse; for though they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their senseless minds were darkened." [Romans 1:20-21 NRSV] But Christ's ministry demonstrated to us that by faith in his redeeming work we can overcome our weakness and obtain light. St. John the Baptist said, "For the Law came through Moses but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ." The temptation in the desert demonstrated to us that we as Humans with the help of Christ can overcome the greatest temptations that leads to perdition. we can overcome our bodily desires, our desire for power and ambition and outr power to always presume and abuse the mercy of God. St. Paul said, "I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me..."
The graduale for tommorrow says thus: "Angelis suis Deus mandavit de te, ut custodiant te in omnibus viis tuis. In manibus portabunt te ne umquam offendas ad lapidem pedem tuum." Yes, as we walk in this dark word. With manifold temptations and problems, God is ready to send His angels to protect his people from falling. "For god knows how to take care of his own," says the apostle. So how do we respond to this? What is required of us is to believe, to trust and to obey. Obedience is such a painful word these days and many people cant bear the thoughts of obedience. But true faith obeys and follows the will of God.
Lord you are our habitation as in ages past. We thank you for giving us your Son to be our example. By his works of fortitude and love has shown us that we can overcome the world, the devil and the self. Lord please help our unbelief. Thank you for your mercy and love. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.