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To: All

From: Romans 10:8-13

Israel’s Infidelity (Continuation)


[8] But what does it [Moses’ writing] say? The word is near you, on your lips
and in your heart (that is, the word of faith which we preach); [9] because, If
you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that
God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. [10] For man believes with
his heart and so is justified, and he confesses with his lips and so is saved.
[11] The scripture says, “No one who believes in him will be put to shame.”
[12] For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; the same Lord is
Lord of all and bestows his riches upon all who call upon him. [13] For, “eve-
ry one who calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved.”

******************************************************************************************
Commentary:

6-8. St Paul here quotes and applies some words from Deuteronomy: “This
commandment,” Moses tells the people of Israel, “which I command you this
day is not too hard for you, neither is it far off. It is not in heaven, that you
should say, ‘Who will go up for us to heaven, and bring it to us, that we may
hear it and do it? [...] Who will go over the sea for us, and bring it to us, that
we may hear it and do it?’ But the word is very near you; it is in your mouth
and in your heart, so that you can do it” (Deut 30:11-14). The law which God
handed to Moses, then, clearly revealed his will and made it much easier to
fulfill. By the Incarnation, the Word of God became flesh and dwelt among us
and showed us the way to God. For the Christian the life and teaching of the
Word made flesh are divine precepts and commandments. Through his Incar-
nation Jesus Christ brought us grace and truth; by rising from the dead he
conquered death; and by ascending into heaven and, with the Father, sen-
ding the Holy Spirit, he perfected his work of redemption.

9. At least from the third century B.C. we have documentary evidence that,
out of respect, the Jews did not utter the name “Yahweh” but generally re-
ferred to God instead as “Lord”. The first Christians, by giving Christ the title
of “Lord”, were making a profession of faith in the divinity of Jesus.

10. To make the act of faith, human free will must necessarily be involved as
St Thomas explains when commenting on this passage: “He very rightly says
that man believes with his heart. Because everything else to do with external
worship of God, man can do it against his will, but he cannot believe if he
does not want to believe. So, the mind of a believer is not obliged to adhere
to the truth by rational necessity, as is the case with human knowledge: it
is moved by the will” (”Commentary on Rom, ad loc.”)

However, in order to live by faith, in addition to internal assent external pro-
fession of faith is required; man is made up of body and soul and therefore
he tends by nature to express his inner convictions externally; when the ho-
nor of God or the good of one’s neighbor requires it, one even has an obliga-
tion to profess one’s faith externally. For example, in the case of persecution
we are obliged to profess our faith, even at the risk of life, if, on being interro-
gated about our beliefs, our silence would lead people to suppose that we
did not believe or that we did not hold our faith to be the true faith and our bad
example would cause others to fall away from the faith. However, external pro-
fession is an obligation not only in extreme situations of that kind. In all situa-
tions — be they ordinary or exceptional — God will always help us to confess
our faith boldly (cf. Mt 10:32-33; Lk 12:8).

******************************************************************************************
Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.


4 posted on 02/16/2013 9:44:36 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: Luke 4:1-13

Jesus Fasts and Is Tempted in the Wilderness


[1] And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by
the Spirit [2] for forty days in the wilderness, tempted by the devil. And He ate
nothing in those days; and when they were ended, He was hungry. [3] The devil
said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.”
[4] And Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone.’”
[5] And the devil took Him up, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in
a moment of time, [6] and said to Him, “To You I will give all this authority and
glory; for it has been delivered to me, and I give it to whom I will. [7] If you, then,
will worship me, it shall all be yours.” [8] And Jesus answered, “It is written,
‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only shall you serve.’”

[9] And he took Him to Jerusalem, and set Him on the pinnacle of the temple,
and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down from here;
[10] for it is written, ‘He will give His angels charge of you, to guard you,’ [11]
and ‘On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a
stone.’”

[12] And Jesus answered him, “It is said, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your
God.’” [13] And when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from
Him until an opportune time.

*********************************************************************************************
Commentary:

1-13. Here we see the devil interfere with Jesus’ life for the first time. He does
so very brazenly. Our Lord is about to begin His public ministry, so it is a parti-
cularly important point in His work of salvation.

“The whole episode is a mystery which man cannot hope to understand — God
submitting to temptation, letting the Evil One have his way. But we can meditate
upon it, asking our Lord to help us understand the teaching it contains” (St. J.
Escriva, “Christ Is Passing By”, 61).

Christ, true God and true man, made Himself like us in everything except sin (cf.
Philippians 2:7; Hebrews 2:7; 4:15) and voluntarily underwent temptation. “How
fortunate we are,” exclaims the Cure of Ars, “how lucky to have a God as a mo-
del. Are we poor? We have a God who is born in a stable, who lies in a manger.
Are we despised? We have a God who led the way, who was crowned with
thorns, dressed in a filthy red cloak and treated as a madman. Are we tormen-
ted by pain and suffering? Before our eyes we have a God covered with wounds,
dying in unimaginable pain. Are we being persecuted? How can we dare com-
plain when we have a God who is being put to death by executioners? Finally,
are we being tempted by the demon? We have our lovable Redeemer; He was
also tempted by the demon and was twice taken up by that hellish spirit: there-
fore, no matter what sufferings, pains or temptations we are experiencing, we
always have, everywhere, our God leading the way for us and assuring us of vic-
tory as long as we genuinely desire it” (”Selected Sermons”, First Sunday of
Lent).

Jesus teaches us therefore that no one should regard himself as incorruptible
and proof against temptation; He shows us how we should deal with temptation
and exhorts us to have confidence in His mercy, since He Himself experienced
temptation (cf. Hebrews 2:18).

For further explanation of this passage, see the notes on Matthew 4:3-11.

13. Our Lord’s temptations sum up every kind of temptation man can experience:
“Scripture would not have said”, St. Thomas comments, “that once all the temp-
tation ended the devil departed from Him, unless the matter of all sins were inclu-
ded in the three temptations already related. For the causes of temptation are
the causes of desires — namely, lust of the flesh, desire for glory, eagerness for
power” (”Summa Theologiae”, III, q. 41, a. 4 ad 4).

By conquering every kind of temptation, Jesus shows us how to deal with the
snares of the devil. It was as a man that He was tempted and as a man that He
resisted: “He did not act as God, bringing His power into play; if He had done
so, how could we have availed of His example? Rather, as a man He made use
of the resources which He has in common with us” (St. Ambrose, “Expositio
Evangelii Sec. Lucam, in loc.”).

He wanted to show us the methods to use to defeat the devil — prayer, fasting,
watchfulness, not dialoguing with temptation, having the words of God’s Scrip-
ture on our lips and putting our trust in the Lord.

“Until an opportune time”, that is, until it is time for Jesus to undergo His pas-
sion. The devil often appears in the course of our Lord’s public life (cf., for exam-
ple, Mark 12:28), but it will be at the Passion—”this is your hour, and the power
of darkness” (Luke 22:53)—that he will be most clearly seen in his role as temp-
ter. Jesus will forewarn His disciples about this and once more assure them of
victory (cf. John 12:31; 14:30). Through the passion, death and resurrection of
Christ, the devil will be overpowered once and for all. And by virtue of Christ’s
victory we are enabled to overcome all temptations.

*********************************************************************************************
Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.


5 posted on 02/16/2013 9:45:39 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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