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1st Sunday Lent :: 2007 c

1st Sunday Lent :: 2007 c

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Published by: SaintJoseph on Jul 13, 2008
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1st Sunday of Lent (C) 02-25-07Scripture ReadingsFirst
Deuteronomy 26:4-10
Second
Romans 10:8-13
Gospel
Luke 4:1-13Prepared by: Rev. Peter John Cameron, O.P.1.
Subject Matter
 • Why was Jesus Christ tempted? What do his temptations signify? What purpose do theyserve?• At the core of every temptation is the evil of
doubt 
; Lent is a time to recover the virtue of
certainty 
so evident in the disciples after the resurrection in the Acts of the Apostles.• What is the significance of our experience of temptations? What is the appropriate way to dealwith temptations?2.
Exegetical Notes
 • Notice what immediately precedes today’s Gospel: Luke’s rendition of the genealogy that istraced from Jesus to Adam. Is Christ the New Adam acting to overcome Adam’s originaltemptation?• The verb
peirzein 
meaning “to put to the test” with a sinister intention: “The nuance is not thatof testing Jesus’ faith as much as an attempt to frustrate the divine plan of salvation” (J.Fitzmyer).• The devil promises to give Jesus
exousia 
, “authority.” The significance of authority in Luke:• 4:32 – Jesus’ teaching impresses hearers because he speaks with authority• 4:36 – Jesus gives orders to unclean spirits with authority• 5:24 – Jesus has authority to forgive sins• 9:1 – Jesus gives authority to the Twelve• 10:19 – Jesus gives authority to the seventy-two
 
Thus, the authority that Jesus enjoys because of his fidelity to his Father cannot compare towhat the Evil One promises.3.
References to the Catechism of the Catholic Church
 • CCC 215: “The beginning of sin and of man’s fall was due to a lie of the tempter who induceddoubt of God’s word, kindness and faithfulness.”• CCC 538: “The Gospels speak of a time of solitude for Jesus in the desert….At the end of thistime Satan tempts him three times, seeking to compromise his filial attitude toward God.”• CCC 539: “The salvific meaning of this mysterious event: Jesus is the new Adam whoremained faithful just where the first Adam had given in to temptation. Jesus fulfills Israel’svocation perfectly…totally obedient to the divine will…. Jesus’ victory over the tempter in thedesert anticipates victory at the Passion, the supreme act of obedience of his filial love for theFather.”• CCC 540: “Jesus’ temptation reveals the way in which the Son of God is Messiah, contrary tothe way Satan proposes to him and the way men wish to attribute to him. This is why Christvanquished the Tempter for us.”• CCC 2119: “Tempting God consists in putting his goodness and almighty power to the test byword or deed…. The challenge contained in such tempting of God wounds the respect and trustwe owe our Creator and Lord. It always harbors doubt about his love, his providence, and hispower.”• CCC 2732: “The most common yet most hidden temptation is our lack of faith. It expressesitself less by declared incredulity than by our actual preferences.”4.
Patristic Commentary and Other Authorities
 • St. Basil: “The devil delights in the wilderness; he is not wont to go into the cities because theharmony of the citizens troubles him.”• St. Ambrose: “Jesus was led into the wilderness to deliver that Adam from exile who was castout of Paradise into the wilderness.”• St. John Chrysostom: “All that Jesus did and suffered was for our instruction. He consented tobe led into the desert and to do battle with the devil so that when the baptized were assailed bygreater temptations after baptism than before, they would not be troubled as though this weresomething unexpected, but would remain steadfast, bearing them all nobly.”• St. John Chrysostom: “The reasons God does not prevent the onslaught of temptations arethese: (1) so that you may learn that you have now become much stronger; (2) so that you mayremain modest, for you will not be puffed up by the greatness of your gifts if temptations can
 
humble you; (3) because the wicked demon may doubt at first whether you have reallyrenounced him and the test of temptation will convince him of your total desertion; (4) to confirmyou, who are now stronger and steadier than iron; (5) to give you clear evidence of the treasurecommitted to you. The devil would not have attacked you if he had not seen that you have beenraised to a position of great honor.”• St. Cyril of Alexandria: “Christ, knowing Satan’s plan, neither made the change [of the stones]nor said that he was either unable or unwilling to make it. Rather, the Lord shakes him off asannoying and meddlesome.”• St. Hilary: “The temptations of the devil assail those principally who are sanctified, for hedesires above all to overcome the holy.”• St. Thomas Aquinas: “Christ willed to be tempted: (1) that he might strengthen us againsttemptations; (2) so that we might be warned that none, however holy, may think himself safe orfree from temptation; (3) to give us an example so that he might teach us how to overcome thetemptations of the devil; (4) in order to fill us with confidence in his mercy.”• “The word is near you” Origen: “By this Paul indicates that Christ is in the heart of all people byvirtue of his being the Word of reason [logos] embedded in all things by sharing in which all menare rational.”• “If you confess…that Jesus is Lord” St. Augustine: “The creed builds up in you what you oughtto believe and confess in order to be saved.”5.
Examples from the Saints and Other Exemplars
 • Mother Teresa: “Hidden from all eyes, hidden even from those closest to her, was her interiorlife marked by an experience of a deep, painful and abiding feeling of being separated from God,even rejected by Him, along with an ever-increasing longing for his love. She called her innerexperience, ‘the darkness.’ The ‘painful night’ of her soul, which began around the time shestarted her work for the poor and continued to the end of her life, led Mother Teresa to an evermore profound union with God. Through the darkness she mystically participated in the thirst ofJesus, in his painful and burning longing for love, and she shared in the interior desolation of thepoor.” (from the Vatican biography)• St. Therese of Lisieux: “I believe the demon has asked God permission to tempt me with anextreme suffering, to make me fail in patience and faith…. If I had not had faith, I would havecommitted suicide without an instant’s hesitation.” (from
Her Last Conversations 
)• St. John of the Cross - who was held prisoner in a stifling cell by his own community for ninemonths: “The reason trials are necessary in order to reach an advanced state is that highestunion cannot be wrought in a soul that is not fortified by trials and temptations and purified bytribulations, darknesses, and distress, just as a superior quality liqueur is poured only into asturdy flask which is prepared and purified. God allows souls to be tempted in order to elevatethem as high as possible, that is, to union with the divine wisdom…The combat of trials, distress,

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