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Three kinds of temptation (1LentC)

Jerusalem-Notre Dame, 25th February 2007

 

Dear Brothers and Sisters!
The temptation of Christ is so rich and deep in meaning, that it’s impossible to present even the half of its treasure during one homily. So let me focus only on three different kinds of temptation.

1.The first temptation is “to have what we really need at any price.”
Jesus needed bread. He was hungry. And the problem wasn’t in the stone, because for this stone was indifferent if it would become bred or remain stone. If Jesus could change water in wine, why not stone in bread? If he said: “God can raise up children to Abraham from these stones”, so he could do this miracles.
The problem didn’t lie in the aim, but in means.
We have in our life a wide range of the basic needs: to eat, to drink, to breath, to have money, maybe to have sex...
The problem is not that we want it, but how we want it? What kind of price can we pay and which means we choose to gain what we need?
Jesus is saying today: Never by means of Devil.

2. The second temptation is: “to have power at any price”.
Jesus came to this world to become Lord. We read in the book of Psalms:
I will proclaim the decree of the LORD, who said to me, "You are my son; today I am your father. Only ask it of me, and I will make your inheritance the nations, your possession the ends of the earth.
Or in the gospel of John:
Nor does the Father judge anyone, but he has given all judgment to his Son…And he gave him power to exercise judgment, because he is the Son of Man.
Or in the letter of saint Paul:
God greatly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth.
Again the problem didn’t lie in the aim, but in means.
Also we, we are created to have power on the earth. The Psalm number eight says:
What are humans that you are mindful of them, mere mortals that you care for them?
Yet you have made them little less than a god, crowned them with glory and honor.
You have given them rule over the works of your hands, put all things at their feet:
All sheep and oxen, even the beasts of the field,
The birds of the air, the fish of the sea, and whatever swims the paths of the seas.
This is no problem if we want to have power, the problem is how we want it?
Jesus is saying today: Never by means of Devil.

3. The third temptation is: “to live at any price”.
Jesus is Lord of the death and the life. He came to this world to win the death. And he lives for ever and ever. He could say: “OK, Devil. I will show you, I am the Lord of the death. If will show that even after throwing myself from the temple I will survive.”
Jesus could, but Jesus didn’t. He knew, the life is not the greatest gift and grace. The greatest grace is to be obedient to heavenly Father.
Once more again: the problem didn’t lie in the aim, but in means.
We want to live: it’s normal. We want to survive: it’s normal. The question is always: What kind of price can we pay to keep us alive? Killing of others because we need some organ to survive? To let die hundred of poor people, because we need money to extend our life by 1 year more?
The problem is not what we want, but how we want.
Jesus is saying today: Never by means of Devil

Dear Brothers and Sisters.
We live in a specific generation.
When a child is asking: “Mum, Dad, buy me this toy! I want it!”, usually parents buy it, because they can afford it and because their child wants it.
The problem of all temptation is not if we want it or if we can do it.
The problem is much greater: is it Jesus or is it devil who is saying in our heart “I WANT IT”?

Let us pay attention...
Any mistake will cost too much...

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