“BE GONE SATAN!” (Matt 4:10)
Gen 2:7-9, 3:1-7; Psalm 51:3-4, 5-6ab, 12-13, 14 and 17 (R.v.3a); Rom 5:12-19; Matt 4:1-11
No one is above temptation. If Satan summoned the courage to tempt Jesus, who is God, there is nobody who can avoid his pranks. With that in mind, the liturgy of this First Sunday of Lent presents the temptation of Jesus as a warning and guide to us.
Compare that temptation of Jesus in the Gospel and that of Eve in the First Reading. While Eve was busy in dialogue with Satan, Jesus resisted him with the word of God. In our world today, we have chosen to follow the way of Eve rather than the way of Jesus. That is why we now think that our reasoning is superior to God’s commands. Hence, abortion is no longer murder, homosexuality and lesbianism are no longer abomination as the word of God says (Lev 18:22). All these are because we are comfortably in dialogue with the devil in the name of freedom of choice.
My dear, “resist the devil and he will flee from you” (Jas 4:7). This season of Lent would not be fruitfully spent if we do not learn to make responsible choices. We have to choose between obeying the word of God and disobeying it. But we must not forget that it is through disobedience to that word of God that Adam and Eve lost the paradise. Through obedience, Jesus reclaimed it back for us.
That is the good news which celebrate at this period of grace – that through his obedience unto death, Jesus regained our lost paradise for us. He invites us to shun our evil inclinations and join him in that regained paradise. However, we are not going to be forced to part of it. It is still going to be a matter of choice.
Indeed, it would not be easy to choose the options against Satan; it was not easier to Jesus since he is fully human. However, with a powerful weapon of the word of God, he triumphed. That word of God took flesh in the person of Jesus. Hence, with Jesus in us, we shall always be triumphant over the Satan.
Lord, lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from all evil. Amen.
Have a grace-filled Sunday. Peace be with you.