viernes, 14 de marzo de 2014

Fr. Gérard’s Corner

The Tempter does not blatantly invite Adam and Eve, Jesus, or us, to do evil but, more innocently, to bypass elusive intangibles—sacrifice, trust, God—for readily perceptible and immediately real alternatives—food, security, power.

First temptation: Jesus’ obedience consists in refusing to provide bread for himself alone. Later, Jesus feeds the multitudes and offers himself as living bread to all, bidding us who eat it to feed the hungry.

But “not on bread alone.” How unhelpful, ultimately, are material and technical aid unaccompanied by spiritual values. Second temptation: The devil’s “If you are God’s Son” on the temple parapet is repeated by passersby as Jesus hangs on the cross. But Jesus neither leaps from the parapet nor comes down from the cross, descending instead into death’s abyss, trusting, not testing the Father and inviting us to do likewise. Third temptation: Jesus is offered “all the kingdoms of the world” in exchange for worshipful prostration before the devil. Instead, Jesus prostrates in Gethsemane before his Father’s will, as the disciples will prostrate before the Risen Jesus when not only worldly kingdoms but “all power in heaven and on earth” are given him.

Thus, in stark contrast to Adam and Eve, Jesus is obedient. Paul contrasts Adam’s bequest—transgression, condemnation, death—with Jesus’ superabundant gift—righteousness, acquittal, life. But though Jesus banishes the devil today, “Get away, Satan,” we need Lent’s ministering angels to keep us faithful to Jesus’ path of obedient trust in God’s providential care, Jesus’ sacrificial service of others.

Father Gérard, CJM

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