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Catholic Caucus: Daily Mass Readings, 03-09-14, First Sunday of Lent
USCCB.org/RNAB ^ | 03-09-14 | Revised New American Bible

Posted on 03/08/2014 9:29:23 PM PST by Salvation

March 9, 2014

First Sunday of Lent

 

Reading 1 Gn 2:7-9; 3:1-7

The LORD God formed man out of the clay of the ground
and blew into his nostrils the breath of life,
and so man became a living being.

Then the LORD God planted a garden in Eden, in the east,
and placed there the man whom he had formed.
Out of the ground the LORD God made various trees grow
that were delightful to look at and good for food,
with the tree of life in the middle of the garden
and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Now the serpent was the most cunning of all the animals
that the LORD God had made.
The serpent asked the woman,
“Did God really tell you not to eat
from any of the trees in the garden?”
The woman answered the serpent:
“We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden;
it is only about the fruit of the tree
in the middle of the garden that God said,
‘You shall not eat it or even touch it, lest you die.’”
But the serpent said to the woman:
“You certainly will not die!
No, God knows well that the moment you eat of it
your eyes will be opened and you will be like gods
who know what is good and what is evil.”
The woman saw that the tree was good for food,
pleasing to the eyes, and desirable for gaining wisdom.
So she took some of its fruit and ate it;
and she also gave some to her husband, who was with her,
and he ate it.
Then the eyes of both of them were opened,
and they realized that they were naked;
so they sewed fig leaves together
and made loincloths for themselves.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 51:3-4, 5-6, 12-13, 17

R/ (cf. 3a) Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.
Have mercy on me, O God, in your goodness;
in the greatness of your compassion wipe out my offense.
Thoroughly wash me from my guilt
and of my sin cleanse me.
R/ Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.
For I acknowledge my offense,
and my sin is before me always:
“Against you only have I sinned,
and done what is evil in your sight.”
R/ Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.
A clean heart create for me, O God,
and a steadfast spirit renew within me.
Cast me not out from your presence,
and your Holy Spirit take not from me.
R/ Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.
Give me back the joy of your salvation,
and a willing spirit sustain in me.
O Lord, open my lips,
and my mouth shall proclaim your praise.
R/ Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.

reading 2 Rom 5:12-19

Brothers and sisters:
Through one man sin entered the world,
and through sin, death,
and thus death came to all men, inasmuch as all sinned—
for up to the time of the law, sin was in the world,
though sin is not accounted when there is no law.
But death reigned from Adam to Moses,
even over those who did not sin
after the pattern of the trespass of Adam,
who is the type of the one who was to come.
But the gift is not like the transgression.
For if by the transgression of the one, the many died,
how much more did the grace of God
and the gracious gift of the one man Jesus Christ
overflow for the many.
And the gift is not like the result of the one who sinned.
For after one sin there was the judgment that brought condemnation;
but the gift, after many transgressions, brought acquittal.
For if, by the transgression of the one,
death came to reign through that one,
how much more will those who receive the abundance of grace
and of the gift of justification
come to reign in life through the one Jesus Christ.
In conclusion, just as through one transgression
condemnation came upon all,
so, through one righteous act,
acquittal and life came to all.
For just as through the disobedience of the one man
the many were made sinners,
so, through the obedience of the one,
the many will be made righteous.

or Rom 5:12, 17-19

Brothers and sisters:
Through one man sin entered the world,
and through sin, death,
and thus death came to all men, inasmuch as all sinned.

For if, by the transgression of the one,
death came to reign through that one,
how much more will those who receive the abundance of grace
and of the gift of justification
come to reign in life through the one Jesus Christ.
In conclusion, just as through one transgression
condemnation came upon all,
so, through one righteous act,
acquittal and life came to all.
For just as through the disobedience of the one man
the many were made sinners,
so, through the obedience of the one,
the many will be made righteous.

Gospel Mt 4:1-11

At that time Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert
to be tempted by the devil.
He fasted for forty days and forty nights,
and afterwards he was hungry.
The tempter approached and said to him,
“If you are the Son of God,
command that these stones become loaves of bread.”
He said in reply,
“It is written:
One does not live on bread alone,
but on every word that comes forth
from the mouth of God
.”

Then the devil took him to the holy city,
and made him stand on the parapet of the temple,
and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down.
For it is written:
He will command his angels concerning you
and with their hands they will support you,
lest you dash your foot against a stone
.”
Jesus answered him,
“Again it is written,
You shall not put the Lord, your God, to the test.”
Then the devil took him up to a very high mountain,
and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in their magnificence,
and he said to him, "All these I shall give to you,
if you will prostrate yourself and worship me.”
At this, Jesus said to him,
“Get away, Satan!
It is written:
The Lord, your God, shall you worship
and him alone shall you serve
.”

Then the devil left him and, behold,
angels came and ministered to him.



TOPICS: Catholic; General Discusssion; Prayer; Worship
KEYWORDS: catholic; lent; prayer
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1 posted on 03/08/2014 9:29:23 PM PST by Salvation
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To: nickcarraway; NYer; ELS; Pyro7480; livius; ArrogantBustard; Catholicguy; RobbyS; marshmallow; ...
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2 posted on 03/08/2014 9:30:12 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: Genesis 2:7-9; 3:1-7

The Creation of Adam


[7] Then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into
his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.

Man in Paradise


[8] And the LORD God planted a garden in Eden, in the east; and there he put
the man whom he had formed. [9] And out of the ground the LORD God made
to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food, the tree of life
also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Temptation and the First Sin


[1] The serpent was more subtle than any other wild creature that the Lord God
had made. He said to the woman, “Did God say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree
of the garden’?” [2] And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit
of the trees of the garden; [3] but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the
tree which is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.”’
[4] But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not die. [5] For God knows that
when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing
good and evil.” [6] So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and
that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make
one wise, she took of its fruit and ate; and she also gave some to her husband,
and he ate. [7] Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they
were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves aprons.

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

2:7. As far as his body is concerned, man belongs to the earth. To affirm this,
the sacred writer must have been always conscious of the fact that when a
person dies, his/her body will turn into dust, as Genesis 3:19 will in due course
tell us. Or it may be that this sort of account (a special one like the literary
genre of an these chapters) is based on the similarity between the word “adam”,
which means man in general, and “adamah”, which means “reddish soil”; and
given that the words look alike, the sacred writer may have drawn the conclusion
that there is in fact a connection between the two very things (unsophisticated
etymology goes in for this sort of thing). But the fact that man belongs to the
earth is not his most characteristic feature: as the author sees it, animals too
are made up of the stuff of the earth. What makes man different is the fact that
he receives his life from God. Life is depicted here in terms of breathing, because
only living animals breathe. The fact that God infuses life into man in this way
means that although man on account of his corporeal nature is material, his
existence as a living being comes directly from God, that is, it is animated by
a vital principle—the soul or the spirit—which does not derive from the earth. This
principle of life received from God also endows man’s body with its own dignity
and puts it on a higher level than that of animals.

God is portrayed as a potter who models man’s body in clay; this means that
man is supposed to live in accordance with a source of life that is higher than
that deriving from matter. The image of God as a potter shows that man (all of
him) is in God’s hands just like clay in a potter’s hands; he should not resist or
oppose God’s will (cf. Is 29: 16; Jer 18:6; Rom 9:20-21).

2:8-15. Here we have a scenario in which God and man are friends; there is no
such thing as evil or death. The garden is described as being a leafy oasis, with
the special feature of having two trees in the center, the tree of life and the tree
of the knowledge of good and evil—symbolizing the power to give life, and the
ultimate reference-point for man’s moral behavior. Out of the garden flow the four
rivers the author is most familiar with; these water the entire earth and make it
fertile. What the Bible is teaching here is that man was created to be happy, to
enjoy the life and goodness which flow from God. “The Church, interpreting the
symbolism of biblical language in an authentic way, in the light of the New
Testament and Tradition, teaches that our first parents, Adam and Eve, were
constituted in an original ‘state of holiness and justice’ (Council of Trent, “De
Peccato Originali”). This grace of original holiness was ‘to share in...divine life’
(”Lumen Gentium”, 2)” (”Catechism of the Catholic Church”, 375).

>From the outset, man is charged with cultivating the garden—working it, protec-
ting it and making it bear fruit. Here again we can see that work is a commission
that God gives man from the start. “From the beginning of creation man has had
to work,” Bl. J. Escriva said. “This is not something that I have invented. It is
enough to turn to the opening pages of the Bible. There you can read that, before
sin entered the world, and in its wake death, punishment and misery (cf. Rom
5:12). God made Adam from the clay of the earth, and created for him and his
descendants this beautiful world we live in, “ut operaretur et custodiret ilium”
(Gen 2:15), so that we might cultivate it and “look after it” (”Friends of God”,
57). But man needs to recognize God’s mastery over creation and over himself
by obeying the commandment God gives him as a kind of covenant, telling him
not to eat the forbidden fruit. If man lost the original happiness he was created
to enjoy (the writer will later explain), it was because he broke that covenant.

3:1-24. “The account of the fall in Genesis 3 uses figurative language, but affirms
a primeval event, a deed that took place at the beginning of the history of man.
Revelation gives us the certainty of faith that the whole of human history is
marked by the original fault freely committed by our first parents” (”Catechism of
the Catholic Church”, 390). The Bible is teaching us here about the origin of evil—
of all the evils mankind experiences, and particularly the evil of death. Evil does
not come from God (he created man to live a happy life and to be his friend); it
comes from sin, that is, from the fact that man broke the divine commandment,
thereby destroying the happiness he was created for, and his harmony with God,
with himself, and with creation in general. “Man, tempted by the devil, let his trust
in his Creator die in his heart and, abusing his freedom, disobeyed God’s com-
mand. This is what man’s first sin consisted of. All subsequent sin would be
disobedience toward God and lack of trust in his goodness” (”Catechism of the
Catholic Church”, 397).

In his description of that original sin and its consequences, the sacred writer
uses symbolic language (garden, tree, serpent) in order to convey an important
historical and religious truth—that no sooner did he walk the earth than man dis-
obeyed God, and therein lies the cause of evil. We can also see here how every
sin happens and what results from it: “The eyes of our soul grow dull. Reason
proclaims itself sufficient to understand everything, without the aid of God. This
is a subtle temptation, which hides behind the power of our intellect, given by
our Father God to man so that he might know and love him freely. Seduced by
this temptation, the human mind appoints itself the center of the universe, being
thrilled with the prospect that ‘you shall be like gods’ (Gen 3:15). So filled with
love for itself, it turns its back on the love of God” (BI. J. Escriva, “Christ Is
Passing By”, 6).

3:1. The serpent symbolizes the devil, a personal being who tries to frustrate
God’s plans and draw man to perdition. “Behind the disobedient choice of our
first parents lurks a seductive voice, opposed to God, which makes them fall
into death out of envy (Wis 2:24). Scripture and the Church ‘s Tradition see in
this being a fallen angel, called ‘Satan’ or the ‘devil’. The Church teaches what
Satan was at first a good angel, made by God: ‘The devil and the other demons
were indeed created naturally good by God, but they became evil by their own
doing’ (Fourth Vatican Council)” (”Catechism of the Catholic Church”, 391).

3:2-5. The devil’s temptation strategy is very realistically described here: he
falsifies what God has said, raises suspicions about God’s plans and intentions,
and, finally, portrays God as man’s enemy. ‘The analysis of sin in its original
dimension indicates that, through the influence of the ‘father of lies’, throughout
the history of humanity there will be a constant pressure on man to reject God,
even to the point of hating him: ‘ Love of self to the point of contempt for God,’ as
St Augustine puts it (cf. “De Civitate Dei”, 14, 28). Man will be inclined to see in
God primarily a limitation of himself, and not the source of his own freedom and
the fullness of good. We see this confirmed in the modem age, when the atheis-
tic ideologies seek to root out religion on the grounds that religion causes the
radical ‘alienation’ of man, as if man were dispossessed of his own humanity
when, accepting the idea of God, he attributes to God what belongs to man,
and exclusively to man! Hence a process of thought and historico-sociological
practice in which the rejection of God has reached the point of declaring his
‘death’. An absurdity, both in concept and expression!” (John Paul II, “Dominum
et Vivificantem”, 38).

3:6 And so both of them, the man and the woman, disobeyed God’s command-
ment. Genesis refers not to an apple but to a mysterious fruit: eating it symboli-
zes Adam and Eve’s sin—one of disobedience.

The sacred writer leads us to the denouement by giving a masterly psychological
description of temptation, dialogue with the tempter, doubt about God’s truthful-
ness, and then yielding to one’s sensual appetites. This sin, Pope John Paul also
commented, “constitutes ‘the principle and root of all the others’”. We find our-
selves faced with the original reality of sin in human history and at the same time
in the whole of the economy of salvation. [...] This original disobedience presup-
poses a ‘rejection’, or at least ‘a turning away from the truth contained in the Word
of God’, who creates the world. [...] ‘Disobedience’ means precisely going beyond
that limit, which remains impassable to the will and the freedom of man as a
created being. For God the Creator is the one definitive source of the moral order
in the world created by him. Man cannot decide by himself what is good and what
is evil—cannot ‘know good and evil, like God’. In the created world ‘God’ indeed
remains the first and sovereign source ‘for deciding about good and evil’, through
the intimate truth of being, which is the reflection ‘of the Word’, the eternal son,
consubstantial with the Father. To man, created to the image of God, the Holy
Spirit gives the gift of ‘conscience’, so that in this conscience the image may
faithfully reflect its model, which is both Wisdom and eternal Law, the source of
the moral order in man and in the world. ‘Disobedience’, as the original dimension
of sin, means the ‘rejection of this source’ , through man’s claim to become an
independent and exclusive source for deciding about good and evil” (”Dominum
et Vivificantem”, 33-36).

3:7-13. This passage begins the description of the effects of the original sin. Man
and woman have come to know evil, and it shows, initially, in a most direct way—
in their own bodies. The inner harmony described in Genesis 2:25 is broken, and
concupiscence rears its head. Their friendship with God is also broken, and they
flee from his presence, to avoid their nakedness being seen. As if his Creator
could not see them! The harmony between man and woman is also fractured:
he puts the blame on her, and she puts it on the serpent. But all three share in
the responsibility, and therefore all three are going to pay the penalty.

“The harmony in which they found themselves, thanks to original justice, is now
destroyed: the control of the soul’s spiritual faculties over the body is shattered;
the union of man and woman becomes subject to tensions (cf. Gen 3:7-16), their
relations henceforth marked by lust and domination. Harmony with creation is
broken: visible creation has become alien and hostile to man (cf. Gen 3:17,19).
Because of man, creation is now subject ‘to its bondage to decay’ (Rom 8:21).
Finally, the consequence explicitly foretold for this disobedience will come true:
man will ‘return to the ground’ (Gen 3: 19), for out of it he was taken. “Death
makes its entrance into human history” (cf. Rom 5:12)” (”Catechism of the
Catholic Church”, 400).

*********************************************************************************************
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.


3 posted on 03/08/2014 9:33:18 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: Romans 5:12-19

Adam’s Original Sin


[12] Therefore as sin came into the world through one man and death through sin,
and so death spread to all men because all men sinned — [13] sinned indeed was
in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law.
[14] Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sins were
not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one to come.

[15] But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man’s
trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift in the grace of that
one man Jesus Christ abounded for many. [17] If, because of one man’s trespass,
death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abun-
dance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man
Jesus Christ.

[18] Then as one man’s trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one man’s
act of righteousness leads to acquittal and life for all men. [19] For as by one
man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by One Man’s obedience many
will be made righteous. [20] Law came in, to increase the trespass; but where
sin increased, grace abounded all the more, [21] so that, as sin reigned in death,
grace also might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ
our Lord.

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

12-21. Four important teachings are discernible in this passage: 1) Adam’s sin
and its consequences, which include, particular death (verses 12-14); 2) the con-
trast between the effects of Original Sin and those of the Redemption wrought by
Christ (verses 15-19); 3) the role of the Law of Moses in relation to sin (especial-
ly verses 13, 20), anticipating what is explained more elaborately in Chapter 7;
4) the final victory of the reign of grace (verses 20-21). These teachings are clo-
sely connected by one single idea: only Jesus Christ can justify us and bring us
to salvation. The Apostle refers to Adam as a “type of the One who was to come”,
that is, Jesus, the Messiah, who is the true head of the human race; and he also
stresses that Christ, by His obedience and submission to the Father’s will, coun-
ters the disobedience and rebellion of Adam, restoring to us — superabundantly —
the happiness and eternal life which we lost through the sin of our First Parents.

Here we can see the clash of the two kingdoms — the kingdom of sin and death
and the kingdom of righteousness and grace. These two kingdoms were estab-
lished, the first by Adam and the second by Christ, and spread to all mankind.

Because the superabundance of Christ’s grace is the more important factor,
Adam’s sin is referred to in no great detail. St. Paul takes it as something every-
one is familiar with. All Christians have read about or been told about the account
of the Fall in Genesis (Genesis 3) and they are familiar with many passages in
Sacred Scripture which confirm and explain something which is self-evident —
that all men are mortal and that the human race is subject to a whole series of
afflictions (cf. Sirach 25:33; Wisdom 2:23-24; Psalm 51:7; Job 14:4; Genesis
8:21; etc.).

12-14. This passage can be elaborated on as follows: just as sin entered the
world through the action of a single individual man, so righteousness is attained
for us by one man — Jesus Christ. Adam, the first man, is a type of the “new A-
dam”: Adam contained within himself all mankind, his offspring; the “new Adam”
is “the first-born of all creation” and “the head of the body, the Church” (Colos-
sians 1:15, 18) because He is the redeeming Word Incarnate. To Adam we are
linked by flesh and blood, to Christ by faith and the Sacraments.

When, in His infinite goodness, He raised Adam to share in the divine life, God
also decreed that our First Parent would pass on to us his human nature and
with it all the various gifts that perfected it and the grace that sanctified it. But
Adam committed a sin by breaking God’s commandment and as a result he im-
mediately lost the holiness and righteousness in which he had been installed,
and because of this disloyalty he incurred God’s wrath and indignation and, as
consequence, death — as God had warned him. By becoming mortal and falling
under the power of the devil, Adam “was changed for the worse”, in both body
and soul (cf. Council of Trent, “De Peccato Originali”, Canon 1). From then on
Adam and his descendants pass on a human nature deprived of supernatural
gifts, and men are in a state of enmity with God, which means that they cannot
attain eternal beatitude.

The fact of Original Sin is a truth of faith. This has been stated once again solemn-
ly by Paul VI: “We believe that in Adam all have sinned. From this it follows that,
on account of the original offense committed by him, human nature, which is com-
mon to all men, is reduced to that condition in which it must suffer the consequen-
ces of that Fall [...]. Consequently, fallen human nature is deprived of the econo-
my of grace which it formerly enjoyed. It is wounded in its natural powers and sub-
jected to the dominion of death which is transmitted to all men. It is in this sense
that every man is born in sin. We hold, therefore, in accordance with the Council
of Trent, that Original Sin is transmitted along with human nature, “not by imita-
tion but by propagation”, and is, therefore, incurred by each person individually”
(”Creed of the People of God”, 16).

Our own experience bears out what divine Revelation tells us: when we examine
our conscience we realize that we have this inclination towards evil and we are
conscious of being enmeshed in evils which cannot have their source in our holy
Creator (cf. Vatican II, “Gaudium Et Spes”, 13). The obvious presence of evil in
the world and in ourselves convince us of the profound truth contained in Reve-
lation and moves us to fight against sin.

“So much wretchedness! So many offenses! Mine, yours, those of all mankind....

“Et in peccatis concepit me mater mea!” In sin did my mother conceive me!

(Psalm 51:5). I, like all men, came into the world stained with the guilt of our First
Parents. And then...my own sins: rebellions, thought about, desired, committed....

“To purify us of this rottenness, Jesus chose to humble Himself and take on the
form of a slave (cf. Philippians 2:7), becoming incarnate in the spotless womb of
our Lady, His Mother, who is also your Mother and mine. He spent thirty years
in obscurity, working like everyone else, at Joseph’s side. He preached. He
worked miracles.... And we repaid Him with a cross.

“Do you need more motives for contrition?” (St. J. Escriva, “The Way of the
Cross, IV, 2).

13-14. Both the commandment imposed by God on Adam, and the Mosaic Law,
threatened the transgressor with death; but the same cannot be said of the pe-
riod between Adam and Moses. In that period also people did sin against the na-
tural law written on every person’s heart (cf. 2:12ff). However, their sins “were not
like the transgression of Adam”, because the natural law did not explicitly bind
under pain of death. If, nevertheless, they in fact had to die, this proves, the Apo-
stle concludes, that death is due not to personal sins but to original sin. It is al-
so proved, the Fathers of the Church usually add, by the fact that some people
die before reaching the use of reason, that is, before they are capable of sinning.

Death is a consequence of original sin, because that sin brought with it the loss
of the “preternatural” gift of immortality (cf. Gen 2:17; 3:19). Adam incurred this
loss when, through a personal act of his, he broke an explicit, specific command
of God. Later, under the Mosaic Law, there were also certain precepts which in-
volved the death penalty if broken (cf., for example, Exod 21:12ff; Lev 24:16). In
the period from Adam to Moses there was no law which stated: If you sin, you
shall die. However, people in that period were all subject to death, even those
who committed no sin “like the transgression of Adam”, that is, what is termed
“actual sin”.

Therefore, death is due to a sin — original sin — which attaches to each man, wo-
man and child, yet which is not an “actual sin”. This original sin is the cause of
death, and the fact that everyone dies is the proof that everyone is affected by
original sin. The Second Vatican Council sums up this teaching as follows: “The
Church, taught by divine Revelation, declares that God has created man in view
of a blessed destiny that lies beyond the limits of his sad state on earth. More-
over, the Christian faith teaches that bodily death, from which man would have
been immune had he not sinned (cf. Wis 1:13; 2:23-24; Rom 5:21; 6:23; Jas 1:
15), will be overcome when that wholeness which he lost through his own fault
will be given once again to him by the almighty and merciful Savior. For God has
called man, and still calls him, to cleave with all his being to him in sharing for
ever a life that is divine and free from all decay” (”Gaudium Et Spes”, 18).

*********************************************************************************************
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 03/08/2014 9:33:56 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: Matthew 4:1-11

Jesus Fasts and is Tempted


[1] Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the
devil. [2] And he fasted forty days and forty nights, and afterward he was hungry.
[3] And the tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command
these stones to become loaves of bread.” [4] But he answered, “It is written ‘Man
shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of
God.’”

[5] Then the devil took him to the holy city, and set him on the pinnacle of the
temple, [6] and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down; for
it is written, ‘He will give his angels charge of you,’ and ‘On their hands they will
bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.”’

[7] Jesus said to him, “Again it is written, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your
God.”’ [8] Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain, and showed him
all the kingdoms of the world and the glory of them; [9] and he said to him, “All
these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.” [10] Then Jesus said
to him, “Begone, Satan! for it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God
and him only shall you serve.”’ [11] Then the devil left him, and behold, angels
came and ministered to him.

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

1. Jesus, our Savior, allowed himself to be tempted because he so chose; and
he did so out of love for us and to instruct us. However, since he was perfect,
he could only be tempted externally. Catholic teaching tells us that there are
three levels of temptation: 1) suggestion, that is, external temptation, which we
can undergo without committing any sin; 2) temptation, in which we take a cer-
tain delight, whether prolonged or not, even though we do not give clear consent;
this level of temptation has now become internal and there is some sinfulness in
it; 3) temptation to which we consent; this is always sinful, and, since it affects
the deepest part of the soul, it is definitely internal. By allowing himself to be
tempted, Jesus wanted to teach us how to fight and conquer our temptations.
We will do this by having trust in God and prayer, with the help of God’s grace
and by having fortitude.

Jesus’ temptations in the desert have a deep significance in salvation history.
All the most important people throughout sacred history were tempted—Adam
and Eve, Abraham, Moses, and the chosen people themselves. Similarly with
Jesus. By rejecting the temptations of the devil, our Lord atones for the falls of
those who went before him and those who come after him. He is an example
for us in all the temptations we were subsequently to have, and also for the bat-
tles between the Church and the power of the devil. Later Jesus teaches us in
the Our Father to ask God to help us with his grace not to fall at the time of
temptation.

2. Before beginning his work as Messiah, that is, before promulgating the New
Law or New Testament, Jesus prepares himself by prayer and fasting in the de-
sert. Moses acted in the same way before proclaiming, in God’s name, the Old
Law on Mount Sinai (Ex 34:28). Elijah, too, journeyed for forty days in the desert
to fulfill the Law (1 Kings 19:5-8).

The Church follows Jesus’ footsteps by prescribing the yearly Lenten fast. We
should practise Lent each year with this spirit of piety. “It can be said that
Christ introduced the tradition of forty days fast into the Church’s liturgical year,
because he himself ‘fasted forty days and forty nights’ before beginning to teach.
By this Lenten fast the Church is in a certain sense called every year to follow
her Master and Lord if she wishes to preach his Gospel effectively” (John Paul
II, “General Audience”, 28 February 1979). In the same way, Jesus’ withdrawal
into the desert invites us to prepare ourselves by prayer and penance before
any important decision or action.

3. Jesus has fasted for forty days and forty nights. Naturally he is very hungry
and the devil makes use of this opportunity to tempt him. Our Lord rejects the
temptation and in doing so he uses a phrase from Deuteronomy (8:3). Although
he could do this miracle, he prefers to continue to trust his Father since perfor-
ming the miracle is not part of his plan of salvation. In return for this trust, angels
come and minister to him (Mt 4:11).

Miracles in the Bible are extraordinary and wonderful deeds done by God to
make his words or actions understood. They do not occur as isolated outpour-
rings of God’s power but rather as part of the work of Redemption. What the devil
proposes in this temptation would be for Jesus’ benefit only and therefore could
not form part of the plan for Redemption. This suggests that the devil, in tempting
him in this way, wanted to check if Jesus is the “Son of God”. For, although he
seems to know about the voice from heaven at Jesus’ baptism, he cannot see
how the Son of God could be hungry. By the way he deals with the temptation,
Jesus teaches us that when we ask God for things we should not ask in the first
place for what we can obtain by our own efforts. Neither should we ask for what
is exclusively for our own convenience, but rather for what will help towards our
holiness or that of others.

4. Jesus’ reply is an act of trust in God’s fatherly providence. God led him into
the desert to prepare him for his messianic work, and now he will see to it that
Jesus does not die. This point is underlined by the fact that Jesus’ reply evokes
Deuteronomy 8:3, where the sons of Israel are reminded how Yahweh fed them
miraculously with manna in the desert. Therefore, in contrast to the Israelites
who were impatient when faced with hunger in the desert, Jesus trustingly leaves
his well-being to his Father’s providence. The words of Deuteronomy 8:3, repea-
ted here by Jesus, associate “bread” and “word” as having both come from the
mouth of God: God speaks and gives his Law; God speaks and makes manna
appear as food.

Also, manna is commonly used in the New Testament (see, for example, Jn 6:
32-58) and throughout Tradition as a symbol of the Eucharist.

The Second Vatican Council points out another interesting aspect of Jesus’
words when it proposes guidelines for international cooperation in economic mat-
ters: “In many instances there exists a pressing need to reassess economic and
social structures, but caution must be exercised with regard to proposed solutions
which may be untimely, especially those which offer material advantage while mili-
tating against man’s spiritual nature and advancement. For ‘man shall not live by
bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God”’ (”Gaudium
Et Spes”, 86).

5. Tradition suggests that this temptation occurred at the extreme southeast cor-
ner of the temple wall. At this point, the wall was at its highest, since the ground
beneath sloped away steeply to the Cedron river. Looking down from this point
one could easily get a feeling of vertigo.

St Gregory the Great (”In Evangelia Homiliae”, 16) says that if we consider how
our Lord allowed himself to be treated during his passion, it is not surprising that
he allowed the devil also to treat him as he did.

6. “Holy Scripture is good, but heresies arise through its not being understood
properly”(St Augustine, “In loann. Evang.”, 18, 1). Catholics should be on their
guard against arguments which, though they claim to be founded on Scripture,
are nevertheless untrue. As we can see in this passage of the Gospel, the devil
can also set himself up at times as an interpreter of Scripture, quoting it to suit
himself. Therefore, any interpretation which is not in line with the teaching
contained in the Tradition of the Church should be rejected.

The error proposed by a heresy normally consists in stressing certain passages
to the exclusion of others, interpreting them at will, losing sight of the unity that
exists in Scripture and the fact that the faith is all of a piece.

7. Jesus rejects the second temptation as he did the first; to do otherwise would
have been to tempt God. In rejecting it, he uses a phrase from Deuteronomy (6:
16): “You shall not put the Lord your God to the test”. In this way he alludes also
to the passage in Exodus where the Israelites demand a miracle of Moses. The
latter replies, “Why do you put the Lord to the proof?” (Ex 17:2).

To tempt God is the complete opposite of having trust in him. It means presump-
tuously putting ourselves in the way of an unnecessary danger, expecting God
to help us by an exceptional use of his power. We would also tempt him if, by
our unbelief and arrogance, we were to ask him for signs or proof. The very first
lesson from this passage of the Gospel is that if ever a person were to ask or
demand extraordinary proofs or signs from God, he would clearly be tempting
him.

8-10. The third temptation is the most pseudo-messianic of the three: Jesus is
urged to appropriate to himself the role of an earthly messianic king of the type
so widely expected at the time. Our Lord’s vigorous reply, “Begone, Satan!” is
an uncompromising rejection of an earthly messianism—an attempt to reduce
his transcendent, God-given mission to a purely human and political use. By
his attitude, Jesus, as it were, rectifies and makes amends for the worldly views
of the people of Israel. And, for the same reason, it is a warning to the Church,
God’s true Israel, to remain faithful to its God-given mission of salvation in the
world. The Church’s pastors should be on the alert and not allow themselves to
be deceived by this temptation of the devil.

“We should learn from Jesus ‘ attitude in these trials. During his life on earth he
did not even want the glory that belonged to him. Though he had the right to be
treated as God, he took the form of a servant, a slave (cf. Phil 2:6-7). And so
the Christian knows that all glory is due to God and that he must not make use
of the sublimity and greatness of the Gospel to further his own interests or
human ambitions.

“We should learn from Jesus. His attitude in rejecting all human glory is in per-
fect balance with the greatness of his unique mission as the beloved Son of God
who takes flesh to save men [...]. And the Christian, who, following Christ, has
this attitude of complete adoration of the Father, also experiences our Lord’s lo-
ving care: ‘because he cleaves to me in love, I will deliver him; I will protect him,
because he knows my name’ (Ps 90:14)” (St. J. Escriva, “Christ Is Passing By”,
62).

11. If we struggle constantly, we will attain victory. And nobody is crowned with-
out having first conquered: “Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown
of life” (Rev 2:10). By coming to minister to Jesus after he rejects the temptations,
the angels teach us the interior joy given by God to the person who fights energe-
tically against the temptation of the devil. God has given us also powerful defen-
ders against such temptations—our guardian angels, on whose aid we should call.

*********************************************************************************************
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 03/08/2014 9:34:45 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Scripture readings taken from the Jerusalem Bible, published and copyright © 1966, 1967 and 1968 by Darton, Longman & Todd

Readings at Mass


First reading

Genesis 2:7-9,3:1-7 ©

The Lord God fashioned man of dust from the soil. Then he breathed into his nostrils a breath of life, and thus man became a living being.

  The Lord God planted a garden in Eden which is in the east, and there he put the man he had fashioned. The Lord God caused to spring up from the soil every kind of tree, enticing to look at and good to eat, with the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the middle of the garden.

  Now the serpent was the most subtle of all the wild beasts that the Lord God had made. It asked the woman, ‘Did God really say you were not to eat from any of the trees in the garden?’ The woman answered the serpent, ‘We may eat the fruit of the trees in the garden. But of the fruit of the tree in the middle of the garden God said, “You must not eat it, nor touch it, under pain of death.” ‘ Then the serpent said to the woman, ‘No! You will not die! God knows in fact that on the day you eat it your eyes will be opened and you will be like gods, knowing good and evil.’ The woman saw that the tree was good to eat and pleasing to the eye, and that it was desirable for the knowledge that it could give. So she took some of its fruit and ate it. She gave some also to her husband who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened and they realised that they were naked. So they sewed fig-leaves together to make themselves loin-cloths.


Psalm

Psalm 50:3-6,12-14,17 ©

Have mercy on us, O Lord, for we have sinned.

Have mercy on me, God, in your kindness.

  In your compassion blot out my offence.

O wash me more and more from my guilt

  and cleanse me from my sin.

Have mercy on us, O Lord, for we have sinned.

My offences truly I know them;

  my sin is always before me

Against you, you alone, have I sinned;

  what is evil in your sight I have done.

Have mercy on us, O Lord, for we have sinned.

A pure heart create for me, O God,

  put a steadfast spirit within me.

Do not cast me away from your presence,

  nor deprive me of your holy spirit.

Have mercy on us, O Lord, for we have sinned.

Give me again the joy of your help;

  with a spirit of fervour sustain me,

O Lord, open my lips

  and my mouth shall declare your praise.

Have mercy on us, O Lord, for we have sinned.

EITHER:

Second reading

Romans 5:12-19 ©

Sin entered the world through one man, and through sin death, and thus death has spread through the whole human race because everyone has sinned. Sin existed in the world long before the Law was given. There was no law and so no one could be accused of the sin of ‘law-breaking’, yet death reigned over all from Adam to Moses, even though their sin, unlike that of Adam, was not a matter of breaking a law.

  Adam prefigured the One to come, but the gift itself considerably outweighed the fall. If it is certain that through one man’s fall so many died, it is even more certain that divine grace, coming through the one man, Jesus Christ, came to so many as an abundant free gift. The results of the gift also outweigh the results of one man’s sin: for after one single fall came judgement with a verdict of condemnation, now after many falls comes grace with its verdict of acquittal. If it is certain that death reigned over everyone as the consequence of one man’s fall, it is even more certain that one man, Jesus Christ, will cause everyone to reign in life who receives the free gift that he does not deserve, of being made righteous. Again, as one man’s fall brought condemnation on everyone, so the good act of one man brings everyone life and makes them justified. As by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by one man’s obedience many will be made righteous.

OR:

Alternative Second reading

Romans 5:12,17-19 ©

Sin entered the world through one man, and through sin death, and thus death has spread through the whole human race because everyone has sinned. If it is certain that death reigned over everyone as the consequence of one man’s fall, it is even more certain that one man, Jesus Christ, will cause everyone to reign in life who receives the free gift that he does not deserve, of being made righteous. Again, as one man’s fall brought condemnation on everyone, so the good act of one man brings everyone life and makes them justified. As by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by one man’s obedience many will be made righteous.


Gospel Acclamation

Mt4:4

Praise to you, O Christ, king of eternal glory!

Man does not live on bread alone,

but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.

Praise to you, O Christ, king of eternal glory!


Gospel

Matthew 4:1-11 ©

Jesus was led by the Spirit out into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. He fasted for forty days and forty nights, after which he was very hungry, and the tempter came and said to him, ‘If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to turn into loaves.’ But he replied, ‘Scripture says:

Man does not live on bread alone

but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’

The devil then took him to the holy city and made him stand on the parapet of the Temple. ‘If you are the Son of God’ he said ‘throw yourself down; for scripture says:

He will put you in his angels’ charge,

and they will support you on their hands

in case you hurt your foot against a stone.’

Jesus said to him, ‘Scripture also says:

You must not put the Lord your God to the test.’

Next, taking him to a very high mountain, the devil showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendour. ‘I will give you all these’ he said, ‘if you fall at my feet and worship me.’ Then Jesus replied, ‘Be off, Satan! For scripture says:

You must worship the Lord your God,

and serve him alone.’

Then the devil left him, and angels appeared and looked after him.


6 posted on 03/08/2014 9:36:38 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Ten Tips for the Best Lent [Catholic Caucus]
Lenten Station Churches of Rome - Ash Wednesday - Santa Sabina (LIVE coverage 10:30 am)

EWTN adds Lenten scripture challenge to app
Make Your Lent Beautiful with Lent at Ephesus
Ancient Lenten pilgrimage comes to life through new book
Detox Your Soul This Lent
Lent is coming: Time to prepare Printable Lent Worksheet
Cdl. Bergoglio's Lenten Letter, 2013
Your Guide To A Catholic Lent
Following the Truth: Lent: Becoming Uncomfortable About Being Comfortable [Catholic and Open]
Following the Truth: Spiritual Exercises – Week One [of Lent] In Review
Clerical Narcissism and Lent
Content of Pope's Lenten spiritual exercises revealed
How Lent Can Make a Difference in Your Relationship with God (Ecumenical Thread)
A Call from the FSSP French District: offer up your Lent for Catholic Unity [Catholic Caucus]
A Call from the FSSP French District: offer up your Lent for Catholic Unity [Catholic Caucus]
On the 40 Days of Lent
Christians Tailor Lent Outside Catholic Traditions
Christians Tailor Lent Outside Catholic Traditions
Lent, A Time to Shoulder Our Christian Responsibilities
Consecrate this Lent to Jesus through Mary, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity [Catholic Caucus]
Opinion: Lent for Redacted [Ekoomenikal]

Ash (or Clean) Monday - Lent Begins (for some Catholics) - February 20, 2012
[Why I Am Catholic]: Lent And Holy Week (A Primer) [Catholic Caucus]
Lent, A Time to Give from the Heart [Catholic caucus}
Learning the beatitudes during Lent -- use your Rosary to learn the Beatitutdes [Catholic Caucus]
Lenten Ember Days: March 16th, 18th, and 19th, 2011 (Catholic/Orthodox Caucus)
St. Vincent Ferrer - Sermon for the First Sunday of Lent [Ecumenical]
Pope describes ‘Lenten road’ that leads to renewal
St. Andrew of Crete, Great Canon of Repentance - Tuesday's portion (Orthodox/Latin Caucus)
The Great Canon of St. Andrew of Crete (Monday's portion) [Orth/Cath Caucus]
Penance and Reparation: A Lenten Meditation(Catholic/Orthodox Caucus)
For Lent - Top 10 Bible Verses on Penance
Cana Sunday: Entrance into Great Lent
2011 Catechetical Homily on the opening of Holy and Great Lent
8 Ways to Pray During Lent [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
Baptists, Lent, and the Rummage Sale
So What Shall We Do during These Forty Days of Lent? [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
Lenten Traditions (Catholic Caucus)
Are You Scrupulous? A Lenten Homily by John Cardinal O’Connor
Blow the Trumpet! Call the Assembly! The Blessings of Fasting
Lenten Challenges

Lent and the Catholic Business Professional (Interview)
Temptations Correspond to Our Vulnerabilities: Biblical Reflection for 1st Sunday of Lent
A Lenten “Weight” Loss Program
On the Lenten Season
Lent 2010: Pierce Thou My Heart, Love Crucified [Catholic Caucus]
US seminarians begin Lenten pilgrimage to Rome's ancient churches
Conversion "is going against the current" of an "illusory way of life"[Pope Benedict XVI for Lent]
vanity] Hope you all make a good Lent [Catholic Caucus]
Lent -- Easter 2010, Reflections, Prayer, Actions Day by Day
Stational Churches (Virtually visit one each day and pray)
40 Ways to Get the Most Out of Lent!
What to Give Up (for Lent)? The List
On the Spiritual Advantages of Fasting [Pope Clement XIII]
Christ's temptation and ours (Reflection for the First Sunday of Lent)
Pope Benedict XVI Message for Lent 2010 (Feb 15 = Ash Monday & Feb 17 = Ash Wednesday)
Whatever happened to (Lenten) obligations? [Prayer, Fasting, Almsgiving]Archbishop John Vlazny
Vatican Presents Lenten Website: LENT 2009
A Scriptural Way of the Cross with Meditations by Saint Alphonsus Liguori (Lenten Prayer/Devotional)
Prayer, Fasting and Mercy by St. Peter Chrysologus, Early Church Father [Catholic Caucus]
History of Lent (Did the Church always have this time before Easter?)

Beginning of Lent
Lent (Catholic Encyclopedia - Caucus Thread)
At Lent, let us pray for the Pope (converts ask us to pray for the pope)
Daily Lenten Reflections 2009
LENTEN STATIONS [Stational Churches for Lent] (Catholic Caucus)
40 Days for Life campaign is now under way (February 25 - April 5]
This Lent, live as if Jesus Christ is indeed Lord of your life
Reconciliation, forgiveness, hope – and Lent
Intro to Fast and Abstinence 101
Lent: Why the Christian Must Deny Himself (with Scriptural references)
40 Ways to Improve Your Lent
Everything Lent (Lots of links)
The Best Kind of Fasting
Getting Serious About Lent
Lent Overview
Meditations on the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ [Devotional]
On Lent... and Lourdes (Benedict XVI's Angelus address)
Lent for Newbies
Lent -- 2008 -- Come and Pray Each Day
Lent: Why the Christian Must Deny Himself

Lenten Workshop [lots of ideas for all]
Lent and Reality
Forty Days (of Lent) [Devotional/Reflections]
Pope Benedict takes his own advice, plans to go on retreat for Lent
GUIDE FOR LENT - What the Catholic Church Says
Message of His Holiness Benedict XVI for Lent 2008
40 Days for Life: 2008 Campaigns [Lent Registration this week]
Vatican Web Site Focuses on Lent
Almsgiving [Lent]
Conversion Through Prayer, Fasting and Almsgiving [Lent]
Lenten Stations -- Stational Churches - visit each with us during Lent {Catholic Caucus}
Something New for Lent: Part I -- Holy Souls Saturdays
Reflections for Lent (February, March and April, 2007)
Lent 2007: The Love Letter Written by Pope Benedict
Pre-Lent through Easter Prayer and Reflections -- 2007
Stations of the Cross [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
For study and reflection during Lent - Mind, Heart, Soul [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
Ash Wednesday and the Lenten Fast-Family observance Lenten season [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
Pre-Lenten Days -- Family activities-Shrove Tuesday (Mardi Gras)[Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
40 Ways to Get the Most Out of Lent! [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]

Lenten Fasting or Feasting? [Catholic Caucus]
Pope's Message for Lent-2007
THE TRUE NATURE OF FASTING (Catholic/Orthodox Caucus)
The Triduum and 40 Days
The Three Practices of Lent: Praying, Fasting. Almsgiving
Why We Need Lent
MESSAGE OF HIS HOLINESS BENEDICT XVI FOR LENT 2006
Lent a Time for Renewal, Says Benedict XVI
Why You Should Celebrate Lent
Getting the Most Out of Lent
Lent: A Time to Fast >From Media and Criticism Says President of Pontifical Liturgical Institute
Give it up (making a Lenten sacrifice)
The History of Lent
The Holy Season of Lent -- Fast and Abstinence
The Holy Season of Lent -- The Stations of the Cross
Lent and Fasting
Mardi Gras' Catholic Roots [Shrove Tuesday]
Kids and Holiness: Making Lent Meaningful to Children
Ash Wednesday
All About Lent

7 posted on 03/08/2014 9:40:53 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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40 Days for Life -- March 3 through April 13 -- Pray to End Abortion
8 posted on 03/08/2014 9:41:59 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Perpetual Novena for the Nation (Ecumenical)
9 posted on 03/08/2014 9:42:25 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Prayers for The Religion Forum (Ecumenical)
10 posted on 03/08/2014 9:43:06 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

 
Jesus, High Priest
 

We thank you, God our Father, for those who have responded to your call to priestly ministry.

Accept this prayer we offer on their behalf: Fill your priests with the sure knowledge of your love.

Open their hearts to the power and consolation of the Holy Spirit.

Lead them to new depths of union with your Son.

Increase in them profound faith in the Sacraments they celebrate as they nourish, strengthen and heal us.

Lord Jesus Christ, grant that these, your priests, may inspire us to strive for holiness by the power of their example, as men of prayer who ponder your word and follow your will.

O Mary, Mother of Christ and our mother, guard with your maternal care these chosen ones, so dear to the Heart of your Son.

Intercede for our priests, that offering the Sacrifice of your Son, they may be conformed more each day to the image of your Son, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Saint John Vianney, universal patron of priests, pray for us and our priests

This icon shows Jesus Christ, our eternal high priest.

The gold pelican over His heart represents self-sacrifice.

The border contains an altar and grapevines, representing the Mass, and icons of Melchizedek and St. Jean-Baptiste Vianney.

Melchizedek: king of righteousness (left icon) was priest and king of Jerusalem.  He blessed Abraham and has been considered an ideal priest-king.

St. Jean-Baptiste Vianney is the patron saint of parish priests.

11 posted on 03/08/2014 9:44:25 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Pray a Rosary each day for our nation.

Pray the Rosary

1.  Sign of the Cross:  In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

2.  The Apostles Creed:  II BELIEVE in God, the Father almighty, Creator of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell; on the third day he rose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty; from there He shall come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

3.  The Lord's Prayer:  OUR Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.

4. (3) Hail Mary:  HAIL Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now, and in the hour of our death. Amen. (Three times)

5. Glory Be:  GLORY be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Fatima Prayer: Oh, my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, lead all souls to heaven, especially those in most need of your mercy.

Announce each mystery, then say 1 Our Father, 10 Hail Marys, 1 Glory Be and 1 Fatima prayer.  Repeat the process with each mystery.

End with the Hail Holy Queen:

Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, our life, our sweetness and our hope! To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve! To thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this vale of tears! Turn then, most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy towards us; and after this, our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus!

O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary! Pray for us, O holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Final step -- The Sign of the Cross

 

The Mysteries of the Rosary

By tradition, Catholics meditate on these Mysteries during prayers of the Rosary.
The biblical references follow each of the Mysteries below.


The Sorrowful Mysteries
(Tuesdays and Fridays)
1. The Agony in the Garden (Matthew 26:36-46, Luke 22:39-46) [Spiritual fruit - God's will be done]
2. The Scourging at the Pillar (Matthew 27:26, Mark 15:15, John 19:1) [Spiritual fruit - Mortification of the senses]
3. The Crowning with Thorns (Matthew 27:27-30, Mark 15:16-20, John 19:2) [Spiritual fruit - Reign of Christ in our heart]
4. The Carrying of the Cross (Matthew 27:31-32, Mark 15:21, Luke 23:26-32, John 19:17) [Spiritual fruit - Patient bearing of trials]
5. The Crucifixion (Matthew 27:33-56, Mark 15:22-39, Luke 23:33-49, John 19:17-37) [Spiritual fruit - Pardoning of Injuries]

12 posted on 03/08/2014 9:44:49 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation

Before we started the Rosary last night, we checked the 1961 Missal. It says to use the Sorrowful Mysteries from Ash Wednesday to Easter.


13 posted on 03/08/2014 9:45:38 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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~ PRAYER ~

St. Michael, the Archangel, defend us in battle
 Be our protection against the wickedness
and snares of the devil;
May God rebuke him, we  humbly pray,
 and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host,
 by the power of God,
 Cast into hell Satan and all the evil spirits
who prowl through the world seeking the ruin of souls.
 Amen
+

14 posted on 03/08/2014 9:46:30 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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A Prayer for our Free Nation Under God
God Save Our Country web site (prayer warriors)
Prayer Chain Request for the United States of America
Pray for Nancy Pelosi
Prayer and fasting will help defeat health care reform (Freeper Prayer Thread)
Prayer Campaign Started to Convert Pro-Abortion Catholic Politicians to Pro-Life
[Catholic Caucus] One Million Rosaries
Non-stop Rosary vigil to defeat ObamaCare

From an Obama bumper sticker on a car:

"Pray for Obama.  Psalm 109:8"

   

PLEASE JOIN US -

Evening Prayer
Someone has said that if people really understood the full extent of the power we have available through prayer, we might be speechless.
Did you know that during WWII there was an advisor to Churchill who organized a group of people who dropped what they were doing every day at a prescribed hour for one minute to collectively pray for the safety of England, its people and peace?  


There is now a group of people organizing the same thing here in America. If you would like to participate: Every evening at 9:00 PM Eastern Time (8:00 PM Central) (7:00 PM Mountain) (6:00 PM Pacific), stop whatever you are doing and spend one minute praying for the safety of the United States, our troops, our citizens, and for a return to a Godly nation. If you know anyone else who would like to participate, please pass this along. Our prayers are the most powerful asset we have.    Please forward this to your praying friends.


15 posted on 03/08/2014 9:47:02 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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March Devotion: Saint Joseph

Since the 16th century Catholic piety has assigned entire months to special devotions. Due to the solemnity of Saint Joseph on March 19, this month is devoted to this great saint, the foster father of Christ. "It greatly behooves Christians, while honoring the Virgin Mother of God, constantly to invoke with deep piety and confidence her most chaste spouse, Saint Joseph. We have a well grounded conviction that such is the special desire of the Blessed Virgin herself." --Pope Leo XIII

FOR OUR WORK
Glorious Saint Joseph, pattern of all who are devoted to toil, obtain for me the grace to toil in the spirit of penance, in order thereby to atone for my many sins; to toil conscientiously, putting devotion to duty before my own inclinations; to labor with thankfulness and joy, deeming it an honor to employ and to develop, by my labor, the gifts I have received from Almighty God; to work with order, peace, moderation, and patience, without ever shrinking from weariness and difficulties; to work above all with a pure intention and with detachment from self, having always before my eyes the hour of death and the accounting which I must then render of time ill-spent, of talents unemployed, of good undone, and of my empty pride in success, which is so fatal to the work of God. All for Jesus, all through Mary, all in imitation of thee, 0 Patriarch Joseph! This shall be my motto in life and in death. Amen.

FOR THE INTERCESSION OF SAINT JOSEPH
O Joseph, virgin-father of Jesus, most pure spouse of the Virgin Mary, pray every day for us to the same Jesus, the Son of God, that we, being defended by the power of His grace and striving dutifully in life, may be crowned by Him at the hour of death.

Prayer Source: Prayer Book, The by Reverend John P. O'Connell, M.A., S.T.D. and Jex Martin, M.A., The Catholic Press, Inc., Chicago, Illinois, 1954

St. Joseph
St. Joseph was an ordinary manual laborer although descended from the royal house of David. In the designs of Providence he was destined to become the spouse of the Mother of God. His high privilege is expressed in a single phrase, "Foster-father of Jesus." About him Sacred Scripture has little more to say than that he was a just man-an expression which indicates how faithfully he fulfilled his high trust of protecting and guarding God's greatest treasures upon earth, Jesus and Mary.

The darkest hours of his life may well have been those when he first learned of Mary's pregnancy; but precisely in this time of trial Joseph showed himself great. His suffering, which likewise formed a part of the work of the redemption, was not without great providential import: Joseph was to be, for all times, the trustworthy witness of the Messiah's virgin birth. After this, he modestly retires into the background of holy Scripture.

Of St. Joseph's death the Bible tells us nothing. There are indications, however, that he died before the beginning of Christ's public life. His was the most beautiful death that one could have, in the arms of Jesus and Mary. Humbly and unknown, he passed his years at Nazareth, silent and almost forgotten he remained in the background through centuries of Church history. Only in more recent times has he been accorded greater honor. Liturgical veneration of St. Joseph began in the fifteenth century, fostered by Sts. Brigid of Sweden and Bernadine of Siena. St. Teresa, too, did much to further his cult.

At present there are two major feasts in his honor. On March 19 our veneration is directed to him personally and to his part in the work of redemption, while on May 1 we honor him as the patron of workmen throughout the world and as our guide in the difficult matter of establishing equitable norms regarding obligations and rights in the social order.

Excerpted from The Church's Year of Grace, Pius Parsch.

St. Joseph is invoked as patron for many causes. He is the patron of the Universal Church. He is the patron of the dying because Jesus and Mary were at his death-bed. He is also the patron of fathers, of carpenters, and of social justice. Many religious orders and communities are placed under his patronage.

Patron: Against doubt; against hesitation; Americas; Austria; Diocese of Baton Rouge, Louisiana; California; Belgium; Bohemia; bursars; cabinetmakers; Canada; Carinthia; carpenters; China; Church; confectioners; craftsmen; Croatian people (in 1687 by decree of the Croatian parliament) dying people; emigrants; engineers; expectant mothers; families; fathers; Florence, Italy; happy death; holy death; house hunters; immigrants; interior souls; Korea; laborers; Diocese of La Crosse, Wisconsin; Archdiocese of Louisville, Kentucky; Diocese of Manchester, New Hampshire; Mexico; Diocese of Nashville, Tennessee; New France; New World; Oblates of Saint Joseph; people in doubt; people who fight Communism; Peru; pioneers; pregnant women; protection of the Church; Diocese of San Jose, California; diocese of Sioux Falls, South Dakota; social justice; Styria, Austria; travelers; Turin Italy; Tyrol Austria; unborn children Universal Church; Vatican II; Viet Nam; Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston West Virginia; wheelwrights; workers; working people.

Symbols: Bible; branch; capenter's square; carpenter's tools; chalice; cross; hand tools; infant Jesus; ladder; lamb; lily; monstrance; old man holding a lily and a carpenter's tool such as a square; old man holding the infant Jesus; plane; rod.

 

 
Prayer to St. Joseph

Pope Pius X composed this prayer to St. Joseph, patron of working people, that expresses concisely the Christian attitude toward labor. It summarizes also for us the lessons of the Holy Family's work at Nazareth.

Glorious St. Joseph, model of all who devote their lives to labor, obtain for me the grace to work in the spirit of penance in order thereby to atone for my many sins; to work conscientiously, setting devotion to duty in preference to my own whims; to work with thankfulness and joy, deeming it an honor to employ and to develop by my labor the gifts I have received from God; to work with order, peace, moderation, and patience, without ever shrinking from weariness and difficulties; to work above all with a pure intention and with detachment from self, having always before my eyes the hour of death and the accounting which I must then render of time ill spent, of talents wasted, of good omitted, and of vain complacency in success, which is so fatal to the work of God.

All for Jesus, all through Mary, all in imitation of you, O Patriarch Joseph! This shall be my motto in life and in death, Amen.

Litany of Saint Joseph
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.
God, the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us.
God, the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.
God, the Holy Ghost, have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, One God, have mercy on us.
Holy Mary, pray for us.
Holy Joseph,
pray for us.
Illustrious Son of David, pray for us.
Light of the Patriarchs, pray for us.
Spouse of the Mother of God, pray for us.
Chaste Guardian of the Virgin, pray for us.
Foster-Father of the Son of God, pray for us.
Faithful Protector of Christ, pray for us.
Head of the Holy Family, pray for us.
Joseph most just, pray for us.
Joseph most chaste, pray for us.
Joseph most prudent, pray for us.
Joseph most courageous, pray for us.
Joseph most obedient, pray for us.
Joseph most faithful, pray for us.
Mirror of patience, pray for us.
Lover of poverty, pray for us.
Model of working men, pray for us.
Ornament of the domestic life, pray for us.
Guardian of virgins, pray for us.
Pillar of the family, pray for us.
Consoler of the miserable, pray for us.
Hope of the sick, pray for us.
Patron of the dying, pray for us.
Terror of demons, pray for us.
Protector of the Holy Church,
pray for us.
Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, Spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world,
Graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world,
Have mercy on us.
V. He hath made him master of His house.
R. And ruler of all His possessions.

Let us pray.
O God, who in Thy ineffable providence didst vouchsafe to choose blessed Joseph to be the Spouse of Thy most holy Mother: grant, we beseech Thee, that we may have him for our intercessor in Heaven, whom on earth we venerate as out most holy Protector. Who livest and reignest world without end. Amen.

Was St. Joseph a tzadik?
St. Joseph: Patron saint of three Popes [Catholic Caucus]
St. Joseph and the Staircase
St. Joseph, Foster Father, Novena [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
Patron of a “Happy Death” A Special Role for St. Joseph [Catholic/Orhtodox Caucus]
Lists Every Catholic Should be Familiar With: The 7 Sorrows and 7 Joys of St. Joseph
Catholic Group Blasts Pelosi For Invoking St. Joseph on Pro-Abortion Health Care Bill
THE SEVEN SORROWS AND SEVEN JOYS OF ST. JOSEPH
Joseph, Mary and Jesus: A Model Family
Season of Announcement - Revelation to Joseph

In hard times, don't forget about the humble carpenter Joseph
Saint Joseph: Complete submission to the will of God (Pope Benedict XVI) (Catholic/Orthodox Caucus)
St. Joseph as Head of the Holy Family (Catholic/Orthodox Caucus)
St. Joseph, Patron of a Peaceful Death [Catholic Caucus]
Octave: St. Joseph, A 'Man’s Man', Calling Men to Jesus
St. Teresa de Avila's Devotion to St. Joseph (Catholic Caucus)
Catholic Men's National Day of Prayer, MARCH 15, 2008, The Solemnity of St. Joseph (Catholic Caucus)
The Role and Responsibility of Fatherhood - St. Joseph as Model
St. Joseph - Foster Father of Jesus
Some divine intervention in real estate-[Bury St. Joseph Statues in Ground]

Many Turn To Higher Power For Home Sales
St. Joseph the Worker, Memorial, May 1
Catholic Devotions: St. Joseph the Worker
Nothing Will Be Denied Him (St. Joseph)
The Heart of a Father [St. Joseph]
St. Joseph's DAY
Quemadmodum Deus - Decree Under Blessed Pius IX, Making St. Joseph Patron of the Church
Father & Child (Preaching on St. Joseph)
March 19 - Feast of St. Joseph - Husband of Mary - Intercessor of civil leaders
St. Joseph's Spirit of Silence

St. Joseph's Humility (By St. Francis de Sales)
St. Joseph [Husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary], Solemnity, March 19
St Joseph’s Paternal Love
The Heart of St. Joseph
MORE THAN PATRON OF HOMES, IT'S TIME FOR ST. JOSEPH TO GAIN HIGHEST OF RECOGNITION [Fatherhood]
The Importance of Devotion to St. Joseph
St. Francis de Sales on St. Joseph (Some Excerpts for St. Joseph's Day 2004)
St. Joseph: REDEMPTORIS CUSTOS (Guardian Of The Redeemer)
(Saint) Joseph the Patriarch: A Reflection on the Solemnity of St. Joseph
How I Rediscovered a "Neglected" Saint: Work of Art Inspires Young Man to Rediscover St. Joseph


Novena to Saint Joseph

O Saint Joseph, whose protection is so great, so strong, so prompt before the throne of God, I place in you all my interests and desires.

O Saint Joseph, assist me by your powerful intercession and obtain for me from your Divine Son all spiritual blessings through Jesus Christ, Our Lord; so that having engaged here below your heavenly power, I may offer my thanksgiving and homage to the most loving of Fathers.

O Saint Joseph, I never weary contemplating you and Jesus asleep in your arms; I dare not approach while He reposes near your heart. Press Him in my name and kiss His fine head for me, and ask Him to return the Kiss when I draw my dying breath, Amen.

O Saint Joseph, hear my prayers and obtain my petitions. O Saint Joseph, pray for me. (mention your intention)

St. Joseph Novena

O good father Joseph! I beg you,  by all your sufferings, sorrows and joys, to obtain for me what I ask.

(Here name your petition).

Obtain for all those who have asked my prayers, everything that is useful to them in the plan of God. Be near to me in my last moments, that I may eternally sing the praises of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. Amen.

(Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be)


16 posted on 03/08/2014 9:48:01 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Pope's Intentions

March 2014

Universal: That all cultures may respect the rights and dignity of women.

For Evangelization: That many young people may accept the Lord’s invitation to consecrate their lives to proclaiming the Gospel.

17 posted on 03/08/2014 9:48:28 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Daily Gospel Commentary

First Sunday of Lent - Year A

Commentary of the day
Saint Gregory the Great (c.540-604), Pope, Doctor of the Church
Homilies on the Gospel, no. 14[16] (trans. ©Cistercian publications)

« Just as through the disobedience of one person the many were made sinners, so through the obedience of one the many will be made righteous » (Rm 5,19)

If we look at the progress of our Lord's temptation, we see how great the struggle was that set us free. from temptation. Our ancient enemy rose up against the first human being, our ancestor, in three temptations. He tempted him by gluttony, by vain glory and by avarice... He tempted him by gluttony when he showed him the forbidden food of the tree, and told him: “Taste it.” He tempted him by vain glory when he said, “You will be like gods” (Gn 3,5). He tempted him by adding avarice when he said: “knowing good and evil.” Avarice is concerned not only with money but also with high position...

But the means by which the devil overcame the first Adam (1Cor 15,47) were the same ones which caused him to yield when he tempted the second. He tempted him by gluttony when he said, “Tell these stones to become bread.” He tempted him by vain glory when he said, “If you are the son of God, cast yourself down.” He tempted him by an avaricious desire for high position when he showed him all the kingdoms of the world, saying: “I  will give you all these if you will fall down and worship me”... As a captive the devil would depart from our hearts by the same avenue which had given him entrance when he possessed us.

But there is something else we have to consider too in this temptation of the Lord's...: he could have plunged his tempter into the depths. He did not reveal the power of his might, but he only brought forth the precepts of Scripture. This was to give us an example of his patience, so that as often as we suffer something from vicious persons we should be aroused to teach rather than to exact revenge. Consider how great God's patience is, how great our impatience! If we are provoked by injuries, or by some attack, we are influenced by rage...; the Lord endured the devil's opposition, and he answered him with nothing except words of meekness.

First Sunday of Lent - Year A

Commentary of the day
Saint Gregory the Great (c.540-604), Pope, Doctor of the Church
Homilies on the Gospel, no. 14[16] (trans. ©Cistercian publications)

« Just as through the disobedience of one person the many were made sinners, so through the obedience of one the many will be made righteous » (Rm 5,19)

If we look at the progress of our Lord's temptation, we see how great the struggle was that set us free. from temptation. Our ancient enemy rose up against the first human being, our ancestor, in three temptations. He tempted him by gluttony, by vain glory and by avarice... He tempted him by gluttony when he showed him the forbidden food of the tree, and told him: “Taste it.” He tempted him by vain glory when he said, “You will be like gods” (Gn 3,5). He tempted him by adding avarice when he said: “knowing good and evil.” Avarice is concerned not only with money but also with high position...

But the means by which the devil overcame the first Adam (1Cor 15,47) were the same ones which caused him to yield when he tempted the second. He tempted him by gluttony when he said, “Tell these stones to become bread.” He tempted him by vain glory when he said, “If you are the son of God, cast yourself down.” He tempted him by an avaricious desire for high position when he showed him all the kingdoms of the world, saying: “I  will give you all these if you will fall down and worship me”... As a captive the devil would depart from our hearts by the same avenue which had given him entrance when he possessed us.

But there is something else we have to consider too in this temptation of the Lord's...: he could have plunged his tempter into the depths. He did not reveal the power of his might, but he only brought forth the precepts of Scripture. This was to give us an example of his patience, so that as often as we suffer something from vicious persons we should be aroused to teach rather than to exact revenge. Consider how great God's patience is, how great our impatience! If we are provoked by injuries, or by some attack, we are influenced by rage...; the Lord endured the devil's opposition, and he answered him with nothing except words of meekness.


18 posted on 03/08/2014 9:51:13 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Zenit.org

Lent: 40 Days of Exodus

Lectio Divina: 1st Sunday of Lent, Year A

Paris, March 07, 2014 (Zenit.org) Monsignor Francesco Follo | 455 hits

1)  Lent: 40 Days of exodus[1] to go to the Promised Land.

 

      As suggested by today’s liturgy (the first Sunday of Lent) the right way to take part in Lent is to remember and relive what it was like for Him the 40 days of prayer and fasting spent in the desert and that ended with the passing of three tests.

     In the narration that Jesus did ​​for his disciples, the three temptations, which summarize this time of trial, let quite clearly understand that, in a battle that foreshadowed his agony, He chose the love of the Father and the charity for us and started drinking the cup of the New Covenant, which He would have then sealed with his offering on the Cross.

     This love offered and refused is already presented in the first reading, taken from the book of Genesis that shows us that man is dust shaped by the "creative hands" of God and animated by His breath of life and mercy. A few lines later, the book of Genesis presents the tragedy of wrong choices in front of good and evil, an evil that is born in the heart of man, from his choices, his refusals and his stubbornness in using his own criteria instead of those of God. We are asked to reflect on the seriousness of the refusal to fit into God's plan demanding absolute autonomy in deciding what is good and what is bad. It is the claim to be the equal of God, to be God to ourselves and to others.

     Then, in the second reading taken from the Letter to the Romans, we see that St. Paul refers to the narration of Genesis and compares the behaviors of Adam and of Christ and the results of their actions. The rebellion and disobedience of the first caused the separation from God and the death of all men, the perfect obedience of Christ, on the other hand, has obtained fullness of grace and of life for all. Adam and Eve experiment that their presumption has taken them away from each other, from the creation and from God.  Jesus repairs this tear and cancels this gap.

     Finally, the passage from the Gospel of Matthew that is offered to us today as the third reading, presents the same temptation of Adam and Eve, but shows how Jesus is victorious and points out the way to live a life faithful to God and free from the profound evil that threatens us.

     The devil puts into question the fact that Jesus is the son of God (" If you are the Son of God ...") which had been established at the time of his baptism on the banks of the Jordan River. In fact the temptation concerns neither bread neither material things but how to live our relationship with things, with people and with God. We can live as children of God like Jesus, or reject the loving fatherhood of God who offers a relationship stable, alive and vivifying with Him.

     God offers a covenant between two freedoms: his, which is the initiative of infinite love, and ours, which is called to live and flourish from and for the loving freedom of God.

     If by grace we overcome temptation, God expands our heart so that it may have the gift of Him who is Love and gives us the way to do good to make our life a long praise to Him.

2)  Hunger and desert.

     One thing that is not secondary is that today’s Gospel tells us that Jesus is tempted by Satan after forty days and forty nights of fasting and, therefore, He is hungry.

    But it is not only a bodily hunger. Like every human being Jesus has three hungers:

a- for life which lures man to possession and accumulation of disproportionate assets (the stones to turn into bread),

b- for human relations that can be of friendship or of power, symbolized by the availability of power,

c- for  omnipotence, which pushes to suffocate the desire for God that is the yearning for the infinite and limitless freedom, leading to the temptation of designing his own human existence according to the criteria of the ease , success , power, appearance, namely the temptation to worship the Liar (the devil) instead of worshiping the true provident Love.

     But Jesus chose another criterion, that of faithfulness to God's plan which fully endorses and of which He is the Word made ​​flesh to redeem us, taking our condition marked by poverty and suffering   and choosing with courage to become the servant of all.

     To overcome these trials, this hunger for life, relationships and God, man has an infallible tool: the Word of God. Let’s  then rewrite a sentence of St. Augustine: When you're caught by the pangs of hunger - and we can also add of temptation - let the Word of God become your bread of life , let Christ be your Bread of Life.

     At this point, I think it is fair to ask why Jesus to fast, went into the wilderness.

     In the biblical tradition the desert was the place of preparation for a divine mission. So it had been for Moses, who knew the revelation of Yahweh (Exodus 3.1) and for the people out of the slavery that experienced the fatigue of freedom. So it was for Elijah, who listened to the word of God (1st Kings 19:18). Then also Jesus remained in the solitude of the desert for forty days[2] before beginning His public ministry.

     Jesus has done so to teach us to live life as an exodus in the desert as it was for the Jewish people and as it must be for the Church, pilgrim to heaven. This means that we cannot plan our life, we cannot decide it, but we must abandon ourselves to a Word of promise. God says to us: "Nothing you'll miss, but everything you will have to expect from me." This is the meaning of faith, not only assent to a body of doctrine, but trust of a love and belief in love: a love that has started without us (the exodus from Egypt as for us the output from our mother's womb), but that will only continue if it finds our acceptance.

      We are asked to translate our daily behavior and the care for ourselves in that Other who has made us free.

     Almost all of us are called to exist tomorrow, not in the emergency situation of the desert, but in the normal situation of a land to cultivate and to inhabit. However, all of us are called to have the same basic attitude: to live on that land but with a heart of the desert.

     This heart is particularly asked to Consecrated Virgins, which in physical solitude are called to a face to face with God: to speak to the heart.

     The desert, the virginal solitude, is the best place, the place where we are face to face with God. The Bridegroom cannot force the bride to love Him. The Lord, however, has an infallible tool, as described, for example, by the prophet Hosea. In chapter 2, Hosea speaks of the terrifying adultery that is the return to worship the idols that the old fathers worshiped. The Lord grieved and distressed, intervenes and says that he has a tool and will put it into action. He will return the people to the desert will point out again the old roads, will speak again to his heart in the desert when the evil categories, the opaque diaphragms have fallen. Then the heart of man, namely his intelligence and the heart of God, namely the divine Wisdom, will be face to face and their meeting immediate, possible and fruitful.

     The consecrated virgins live the "desert" of their vocation as total availability. Theirs is a spirituality of the generous availability to others and of the total availability to the Lord from whom they expect everything.

     Let’s with prayer , almsgiving and fasting , all learn this availability to walk united in the "desert " of Lent and of life so that hunger will become holy desire of  God. We will be the Tent where the Emmanuel, God with us always, will be at home.

---

Roman Rite - First Sunday of Lent - Year A - March 9, 2014

Gen 2 , 7-9 , 3, 1-7 ; Ps 51; Rom 5, 12-19 ; Mt 4 , 1-11

Ambrosian Rite - First Sunday of Lent

Is 58: 4b - 12b; Ps 102; 2 Corinthians 5: 18 t- 6.2; Mt 4: 1-11

---

[1] The Christian interpretation of Exodus is guided by the reading that is usually called “typological”.  Everything about Israel (characters and events, rituals and institutions) is the figure - the typos - of what happens in Christ and in the Church. Let’s recall briefly the main steps of Exodus to see how they are reproduced and reinterpreted on the basis of the Christian event.

First stop: Egypt (and the Pharaoh) is intended as the figure of sin and especially of the universal condition of sin that before the coming Christ held humanity enslaved. But Egypt can be also the one that causes sin, Satan, or his historical transcription, the pagan idolatry. As a result, the deliverance from Egypt through the passage of the Red Sea will be the figure of baptism, and the sacrificed Passover lamb will become the symbol of Christ in his passion.

The stop of the desert is taken as a figure of the believer's life on the road. In it, as for Israel, test and temptation appear, but also the divine protection will unfold with particular intensity. The miracles of the Exodus become the miracle of the sacramental existence: the rock is Christ from which the water of baptism flows and manna became the Eucharist. The desert can be internalized as individual journey of the soul to contemplation and spiritual perfection or can be experienced as a journey (Lent) to prepare Easter celebrations.

The Christian meaning of the Law is found in the condensation of all ethical and social laws into charity, while the ritual laws find their truth in the Christian worship.

Finally, the Promised Land proposes once again the sacramental reason: the passage of the Jordan, like the one of the Red Sea, refers to baptism, while in the “land flowing with milk and honey" the Fathers of the Church see a striking figure of the Eucharistic banquet. Next to this , and even more frequently,  is the interpretation of the promised land as the final image of life with God

We can sum it all up by saying that the typological sense of Exodus is the route of the Christian people from the slavery of sin, through baptism and life in faith and charity, up to the heavenly homeland.

[2] Forty is a symbolic number.  In this case, besides being connected to the forty years spent by the people of Israel in the wilderness, it means a whole generation. Jesus becoming man was tempted all his life.

 * * *

PATRISTIC READING

From a commentary on the psalms by Saint Augustine, bishop

(Ps. 60, 2-3: CCL 39, 766)



In Christ we suffered temptation, and in him we overcame the devil



Hear, O God, my petition, listen to my prayer. Who is speaking? An individual, it seems. See if it is an individual: I cried to you from the ends of the earth while my heart was in anguish. Now it is no longer one person; rather, it is one in the sense that Christ is one, and we are all his members. What single individual can cry from the ends of the earth? The one who cries from the ends of the earth is none other than the Son’s inheritance. It was said to him: Ask of me, and I shall give you the nations as your inheritance, and the ends of the earth as your possession. This possession of Christ, this inheritance of Christ, this body of Christ, this one Church of Christ, this unity that we are, cries from the ends of the earth. What does it cry? What I said before: Hear, O God, my petition, listen to my prayer; I cried out to you from the ends of the earth. That is, I made this cry to you from the ends of the earth; that is, on all sides.

Why did I make this cry? While my heart was in anguish. The speaker shows that he is present among all the nations of the earth in a condition, not of exalted glory but of severe trial.

Our pilgrimage on earth cannot be exempt from trial. We progress by means of trial. No one knows himself except through trial, or receives a crown except after victory, or strives except against an enemy or temptations.

The one who cries from the ends of the earth is in anguish, but is not left on his own. Christ chose to foreshadow us, who are his body, by means of his body, in which he has died, risen and ascended into heaven, so that the members of his body may hope to follow where their head has gone before.

He made us one with him when he chose to be tempted by Satan. We have heard in the gospel how the Lord Jesus Christ was tempted by the devil in the wilderness. Certainly Christ was tempted by the devil. In Christ you were tempted, for Christ received his flesh from your nature, but by his own power gained life for you; he suffered insults in your nature, but by his own power gained glory for you; therefore, he suffered temptation in your nature, but by his own power gained victory for you.

If in Christ we have been tempted, in him we overcame the devil. Do you think only of Christ’s temptations and fail to think of his victory? See yourself as tempted in him, and see yourself as victorious in him. He could have kept the devil from himself; but if he were not tempted he could not teach you how to triumph over temptation.



(March 07, 2014) © Innovative Media Inc.


19 posted on 03/08/2014 9:53:09 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Arlington Catholic Herald

GOSPEL COMMENTARY

The gift of Baptism

Fr. Paul Scalia

If we think at all about Our Lord’s temptation in the desert, we probably think that it came about by chance. We imagine Jesus in the desert, fasting and praying, minding His own business, when along comes the devil to tempt Him. In fact, both Matthew and Luke tell us clearly that Jesus went into the desert “to be tempted by the devil” (Mt 4:1; Lk 4:2). It was not happenstance or coincidence. His purpose for going into the desert was to be tempted. Which might strike us as odd, because we ought to avoid temptations. But the Redeemer seeks them out — to triumph over them on our behalf and so give us an example.

He goes to be tempted, therefore, not for His own sake but for ours. Notice that His temptation immediately follows His baptism. These two events — separated in our minds by different Sundays or new chapter headings — are closely joined in the Gospels. In a sense, it is because of His baptism that He goes into the desert to be tempted. At His baptism Jesus identifies Himself with sinful humanity. In the desert He experiences the temptations of sinful humanity. He is tempted, as He was baptized, for our sake.

He allows Himself to be tempted to give us an example. By His resistance He teaches us how to resist temptations. Again, this has everything to do with His baptism. Notice His childlike simplicity and obedience. He possesses complete confidence and trust in His Father. He has come directly from His baptism, where He heard the Father say of Him, “This is my beloved Son, with Whom I am well pleased” (Mt 3:17). Those words give us a sense of the trust granted to Our Lord’s human soul. In His confrontation with Satan, then, Jesus does not rely on His own strength or wisdom. He rests secure in the Father’s words at the Jordan.

And not only at the Jordan. In response to each assault of the devil, Jesus quotes the words of Scripture with a childlike confidence in their power to save. He does not enter into a debate or a dialogue with the devil. He does not prove Himself smarter or more clever. He does not outwit or overwhelm the devil. His responses are amazingly childlike, as we might expect from a Man whose eternal Sonship was just revealed. Indeed, we might miss the power of His responses precisely because they lack any worldly sophistication or shrewdness. Their power lies in their simplicity. They speak of that childlike trust in and devotion to His Father: “One does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes forth from the mouth of God. … You shall not put the Lord, your God, to the test. … The Lord, your God, shall you worship and him alone shall you serve” (Mt 4:4, 7, 10).

How different we are. We think we can outwit or withstand the devil. We carelessly place ourselves in occasions of sin. Instead of dismissing sinful situations and/or suggestions immediately, we enter into that dangerous dialogue with the devil. We allow doubt to enter our minds about the word of God, parsing Scripture in a worldly manner and providing the evil one more and more room to maneuver. We consider ourselves either smart enough to figure out his temptations or strong enough to resist them. Sooner or later we learn that we are not quite as smart as old scratch, nor as persevering.

Our Lord’s simplicity teaches us to trust less in our own virtues and more in our status as children of God. Consider again the connection between His baptism and His temptation. The Father’s love revealed at His baptism provided His human soul with the confidence to rest securely in His Father’s care and by that means to thwart the devil’s attacks. We have access to that same grace by way of our own baptism. Everything necessary to triumph over temptation was granted us at baptism. We need only stir up that same straightforward, disarming confidence in the Father’s love, allowing ourselves to be simple and childlike — and therefore victorious.

Fr. Scalia is Arlington Bishop Paul S. Loverde’s delegate for clergy.


20 posted on 03/08/2014 9:56:01 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Comment #21 Removed by Moderator

To: Salvation
The Work of God

Year A  -  First Sunday of Lent

Jesus fasts for forty days and is tempted by the devil

Matthew 4:1-11

1 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.
2 He fasted forty days and forty nights, and afterwards he was famished.
3 The tempter came and said to him, "If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread."
4 But he answered, "It is written, 'One does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.' "
5 Then the devil took him to the holy city and placed him on the pinnacle of the temple,
6 saying to him, "If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down; for it is written, 'He will command his angels concerning you,' and 'On their hands they will bear you up, so that you will not dash your foot against a stone.' "
7 Jesus said to him, "Again it is written, 'Do not put the Lord your God to the test.' "
8 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor;
9 and he said to him, "All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me." 10 Jesus said to him, "Away with you, Satan! for it is written, 'Worship the Lord your God, and serve only him.' "
11 Then the devil left him, and suddenly angels came and waited on him. (NRSV)

Inspiration of the Holy Spirit - From the Sacred Heart of Jesus

I am the Eternal Word, the Son of God. In my spiritual nature I am pure Spirit. I am also the Son of Mary, conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit in the womb of my Virgin Mother, therefore I have shared human nature and for the sake of your salvation I became a man.

As a man I shared all the weaknesses and temptations of human beings. After my baptism, I was filled with the Holy Spirit and decided to prepare myself for the work I was going to do. I went to the desert to fast and to pray for my mission. Right at the end when I was at my weakest human point the devil appeared to me trying to seduce me with his temptations.

I represented the whole human race in my spiritual struggle with the powerful enemy of souls so that you all would learn a lesson and always draw your wisdom and strength from me. The three enemies of the soul are the flesh, the world and the devil. He tempted me as he tempts everyone but I overcame his temptations. You can also overcome the same way I did.

To the weakness of the flesh, the devil tempted me with bread in order to interrupt my self-denial, my reply to him was “Human beings live not on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” I have taught you everything you need to know, my word will be your wisdom and your strength. Deny yourselves and you will have total self-control against temptation.

The devil tempted me to worship him in exchange for power, glory and riches, I said to Him “You must do homage to the Lord, Him alone must you serve” The first commandment calls to worship God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength, but many people neglect God and worship the false gods of the world, therefore becoming victims of the devil.

The devil tempted me to throw myself from a pinnacle of the temple, to which, I replied, “You shall not tempt the Lord your God”. Every time you sin, you are doing just that. You are forgetting the damage you are doing to your soul, you are putting the Lord to the test. Therefore don’t put me to the test, avoid sin, do what is good and you will conquer temptations when they come.

Author: Joseph of Jesus and Mary


22 posted on 03/08/2014 10:01:17 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Archdiocese of Washington

Tackle Tempation or Risk Ruination. A Sermon for the 1st Sunday of Lent

By: Msgr. Charles Pope

The Gospel today says that Jesus was tempted by the Devil in the desert. Hebrews 4:15 also affirms: For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.

How exactly a divine person, with a sinless human nature, experiences temptation is somewhat mysterious to us. And yet the text affirms that He does experience it. A Lenten antiphon from the Breviary teaches that he did this, or allowed this, for our sake: Come, let us worship Christ the Lord, who for our sake endured temptation and suffering (Invitatory Antiphon for Lent). Hence, even without pondering too deeply the mystery of how he was tempted or how he experienced it, we can still learn what Jesus teaches us about how to endure temptation and be victorious over it. (More on the question of how Christ was tempted HERE.)

Before we look at each temptation, we might learn a few general aspects of what the Lord teaches us in electing to endure temptation.

1. Temptation and Sin – The fact that the Lord is tempted, but did not sin, tells us that there is a distinction to be made between temptation and sin. Too often the very experience of temptation makes us feel sinful, makes us feel that we have already sinned. But that is not necessarily the case. For Jesus, who never sinned, experienced temptation. Therefore experiencing temptation is not simply to be equated with sin. One of the tactics of the Devil is to discourage us into thinking that the mere experience of temptation is already sin. It may be true that some of our past sins influence the amount and degree to which we feel tempted, but, in and of itself, we need not conclude that we have already sinned, or newly sinned, merely because we are tempted. Rather than to feel shame and run from God, we ought to run to him with confidence and seek his help. But do not conclude you have sinned merely because you are tempted.

2. Temptation and Scripture – Notice how, to every temptation, Jesus responds with Scripture. This is not to be equated with merely proof-texting, or pronouncing biblical slogans. Rather we ought to see it as indicative of the fact that Jesus was deeply rooted in Scripture, in the wisdom of the Biblical vision. In rebuking temptation in this way, Jesus is teaching us to do the same. It will not be enough for us to know a few biblical sayings. But, to the degree that we are deeply rooted in the wisdom of God’s truth available to us through Scripture and the teachings of the Church, we are able to strongly rebuke unholy, worldly, or fleshly thinking. Half the battle to defeating temptation is knowing instinctively its erroneous vision and stupidity. Having our minds transformed by the teachings of Scripture and the Church is an essential weapon in fighting temptation. Scripture says, Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect (Romans 12:2). Ephesian 6:17 also speaks of the Word of God as “the sword of the Spirit” with which we are properly armed for spiritual warfare. Thus, we are taught here by the Lord to be deeply rooted in his Word.

3. Temptation and Strength – Notice that Jesus is tempted three times, after which the devil leaves him. In a certain way the spiritual life is like the physical life, in that we grow stronger through repeated action. After lifting weights repeatedly, our physical strength increases and we are able to overcome increasingly difficult challenges. It is the same with the spiritual life. An old Gospel songs says, Yield not to temptation, for yielding is sin. Each victory will help you, some other to win. Scripture says, Resist the Devil and he will flee (James 4:7). We need not conclude here that Jesus needed to be strengthened (he did not) in order to understand that he is still teaching us what WE need to do. The battle against temptation is not a “one and you’re done” scenario, but an ongoing battle wherein each victory makes us stronger and the devil more discouraged. Eventually, as we grow stronger, he stops wasting his time tempting us in certain areas. At times the battle may weary us, but in the long run it strengthens us. Jesus illustrates this with his threefold battle with Satan.

Having reviewed a few general principles, let’s look at the three temptation scenes.

Scene I: The Temptation of Passions. The text says. At that time Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. He fasted for forty days and forty nights, and afterwards he was hungry. The tempter approached and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command that these stones become loaves of bread.” He said in reply, “It is written: One does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.”

Hunger, as a desire, is a passion. It is not evil per se, for without it we would perish. The same is true with other natural desires for things like life, drink, and propagation (sexuality). Other sorts of passion also exist in us such as anger and love, joy, aversion, hatred, hope, despair, fear, courage, and so forth. In and of themselves, these passions are neither good nor bad, but become so only in relation to their object, or insofar as we allow them to become inordinate.

Hence there is nothing wrong with Jesus as he experiences hunger. What the devil tries to do is to draw Jesus into sin by yielding to his hunger and using his power inappropriately. Remember, Jesus had been led into the desert to fast and pray by the Spirit. This is his call. His hunger is real and without sin, but now he is tempted to set aside his call, and to yield to his hunger in an inappropriate way, by rejecting his call to fast. He is tempted to serve himself. Now he has the power to do this, to turn stones into bread, and so a second aspect of the temptation is to use his power inappropriately, not to glorify His Father, but rather to gratify and serve himself.

What about us? We too have passions. And they are not wrong in and of themselves. But what can happen is that we freely allow them to become inordinate, or we gratify them in unlawful ways. Remember we, like Jesus, are called to fast. Our fast is from things like sin, injustice, unrighteousness, sexual impurity, unlawful pleasures, excessive indulgence, and so forth. And we too have it have it within our power to choose to reject our fast and to gratify our desires by rejecting our call to serve God. And the devil says: reject your call and use your power to gratify your passions: lie, cheat, steal, vent your anger, fornicate, be gluttonous, greedy… and so forth.

But notice how Jesus has recourse to God’s Word: Man does not live on bread alone, but on every Word that comes from the mouth of God. Jesus says to Satan that He would rather live and be sustained by the Word; that his food is to do the will of his Father.

What about us? Can we say with Job: Neither have I gone back from the commandment of his lips; I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food (Job 23:12)? Can we, like Jesus, say that God’s Word is more to me than my desires for satisfaction, sex, self-preservation, popularity, worldly joys, power, prestige, or possessions? My strongest desire is for God and things waiting for me in heaven, and I will gladly forsake all I have for it.

Scene II. The Temptation of Presumption The text says, Then the devil took him to the holy city, and made him stand on the parapet of the temple, and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down. For it is written: He will command his angels concerning you and with their hands they will support you, lest you dash your foot against a stone.” Jesus answered him, “Again it is written, You shall not put the Lord, your God, to the test.”

There is a value in trusting God, but this is not an invitation to act recklessly. There will come a time when Jesus will throw himself down on the Cross in complete assurance that the Father will raise him. He has this command from his Father. But now is not that time and he must act to preserve and protect his life so as to accomplish his full mission.

For us, too, there is no sin in trusting in God’s care for us. But that is not a license to act recklessly. Presumption is a terrible problem today. Too many people think that they can go on sinning and that there will be, or should be, no consequences. This is true in worldly ways and in spiritual ways as well. Too many people engage in risky and ruinous behavior and figure, “I’ll be OK….I’ll escape….I won’t be a statistic….I won’t get caught….I won’t lose my job. Many say, “I can use drugs and not get addicted, I can have evil friends and still stay good and live morally, I can skip school and still get good grades and get into college, I can be promiscuous and won’t get an STD or AIDS….I won’t get pregnant. They think, I can drive recklessly and won’t have an accident or kill someone…I can be disrespectful and still be treated with respect.” In all this, people are simply “cruisin’ for a bruisin’.”

And regarding the moral presumptiveness of thinking that no matter what I or others do, heaven will still be the result, the Lord warns

  1. Sirach 5:4 Say not I have sinned, yet what has befallen me? For the Lord bides his time. But of forgiveness be not overconfident adding sin upon sin. …Delay not your conversion to the Lord, put it not off from day to day for mercy and justice are alike with him.
  2. Gal 6:7 Do not be deceived; God is not mocked, for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption; but he who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. And let us not grow weary in well‑doing, for in due season we shall reap, if we do not lose heart.
  3. Hosea 8:7 For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind.
  4. Psalm 81:11 “But my people would not listen to me; Israel would not submit to me. So I gave them over to their stubborn hearts to follow their own devices. “If my people would but listen to me, if Israel would follow my ways, how quickly would I subdue their enemies and turn my hand against their foes!

God is clear to warn us that sin sets us on a path that hardens our hearts and makes our final conversion increasingly unlikely. He is pleading with us in this Lenten season to be serious about sin and its consequences. Sin renders us not only unfit for heaven, but simply incapable of entering it.

Bad idea – Simply presuming that everything will be fine is not only a poor strategy, it is a temptation and snare of the devil, who seeks to cloud our minds with false hope and unreasonable expectations. Jesus has a very clear message for the devil and for any of us who would engage in presumption (a VERY common sin today): “Don’t you dare put the Lord your God to the test in this way. Obey him out of love, but do not put Him to the test.” Presumption is a very bad and foolish idea.

Scene III. The Temptation of Possessions The text says, Then the devil took him up to a very high mountain, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in their magnificence, and he said to him, “All these I shall give to you, if you will prostrate yourself and worship me.” At this, Jesus said to him, “Get away, Satan! It is written: The Lord, your God, shall you worship and him alone shall you serve.”

There is here the obvious temptation of worldly possessions. Everything, EVERYTHING, is offered by Satan to Jesus in exchange for a little worship of the devil. Now, it may seem strange to us that having an abundance of things would be linked to worshiping the devil and forsaking God, but scripture attests to the connection elsewhere:

  1. Adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. (James 4:4)
  2. Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. (1 John 2:15)
  3. No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money (Matt 6:24)

All pretty blunt. We want to have both, but the Lord is clear in rebuking the temptation by insisting that we have to serve God alone, to adore God alone. The inordinate love of this world causes us to hate God more and more and to bow before Satan in order to get it. Don’t kid yourself. If this seems extreme, then we are calling God an extremist. The Lord is warning us that there is a major conflict here that steals our heart. For where a man’s treasure is, there is his heart (Matt 6:21). It is not wrong to desire what we really need to live, but it is our wants that get us into trouble. And the desire for riches ruins us and makes God seem as a thief, rather than a savior. This is a very severe temptation and Jesus rebukes it forcefully. Him ALONE shall you serve.

We need to beg God for a single-hearted devotion to him. The Book of Proverbs has a nice prayer in this regard: Give me neither poverty nor riches, lest in my poverty I steal or in my riches I say “Who is the Lord?” (Prov 30:8-9 gloss).

In the end, temptations are real, and we either accept God’s grace to fight them, or else “we are going down.” The Lord wants to teach us today about the reality of temptation and how to fight it, by his grace. Remember, the battle is the Lord’s, and no weapon waged against us will prosper if we cling to God’s grace. But in the end, the choice is clear: either tackle temptation (by God’s grace) or risk ruination (by Satan’s “ministrations”).

(Photo credit above right: Evolutionary Times (right click on photo for URL))

This song says, Yield not to temptation, for yielding is sin. Each victory will help you, some other to win. Fight valiantly onward. Evil passions subdue. Look ever to Jesus, He will carry you through. Ask the Savior to help you, comfort strengthen and keep you; he is willing to aid you, He will carry you through.


23 posted on 03/08/2014 10:07:48 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
Sunday Gospel Reflections

1st Sunday of Lent
Reading I: Genesis 2:7-9,3:1-7 II: Romans 5:12,17-19


Gospel
Matthew 4:1-11

1 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.
2 And he fasted forty days and forty nights, and afterward he was hungry.
3 And the tempter came and said to him, "If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread."
4 But he answered, "It is written, 'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.'"
5 Then the devil took him to the holy city, and set him on the pinnacle of the temple,
6 and said to him, "If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down; for it is written, 'He will give his angels charge of you,' and 'On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.'"
7 Jesus said to him, "Again it is written, 'You shall not tempt the Lord your God.'"
8 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and the glory of them;
9 and he said to him, "All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me."
10 Then Jesus said to him, "Begone, Satan! for it is written, 'You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.'"
11 Then the devil left him, and behold, angels came and ministered to him.


Interesting Details
One Main Point

Jesus is the obedient Son of God.

God tested Israel in the wilderness for 40 years, and they failed with doubts, complaining, idolatry, disobedience, and testing God back. At the end, Moses urged Israel to learn from their sins and test God no more. Jesus was tested in the wilderness for 40 days. He quoted Moses, obeyed God, did not test God, and thus passed the test and proved to be the true Son of God, worthy of a covenant with God.


Reflections
  1. How would Jesus be after 40 days of fasting in the wilderness? What is the wilderness, the testing ground, in my life?

  2. What are my temptations to test God? How have I responded? How should I respond? What can I do to prepare for future tests?

  3. What is my covenance with God, and how much do I value it?

24 posted on 03/08/2014 10:11:47 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Sunday, March 09, 2014
First Sunday of Lent
First Reading:
Psalm:
Second Reading:
Gospel:
Genesis 2:7-9; 3:1-7
Psalm 51:3-6, 12-13, 17
Romans 5:12-19 or 5:12, 17-19
Matthew 4:1-11

Our own evil inclinations are far more dangerous than any external enemies.

-- St Ambrose


25 posted on 03/08/2014 10:15:26 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Just A Minute Just A Minute (Listen)
Some of EWTN's most popular hosts and guests in a collection of one minute inspirational messages. A different message each time you click.

26 posted on 03/08/2014 10:16:45 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All



The Angelus 

The Angel of the Lord declared to Mary: 
And she conceived of the Holy Spirit. 

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen. 

Behold the handmaid of the Lord: Be it done unto me according to Thy word. 

Hail Mary . . . 

And the Word was made Flesh: And dwelt among us. 

Hail Mary . . . 


Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ. 

Let us pray: 

Pour forth, we beseech Thee, O Lord, Thy grace into our hearts; that we, to whom the incarnation of Christ, Thy Son, was made known by the message of an angel, may by His Passion and Cross be brought to the glory of His Resurrection, through the same Christ Our Lord.

Amen. 


27 posted on 03/08/2014 10:17:14 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation

As a child I always had to give up something for Lent.
As an older adult, I will now try to give up wine. It will not be easy, as I drink one bottle of red wine per day.


28 posted on 03/09/2014 3:23:25 AM PDT by AlexW
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To: Salvation

Blessings to you for your ministry of daily posting the Lord’s word for all of us to read.


29 posted on 03/09/2014 6:50:58 AM PDT by GreyFriar (Spearhead - 3rd Armored Division 75-78 & 83-87)
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To: AlexW

Prayers for you.


30 posted on 03/09/2014 8:00:41 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: GreyFriar

With the Lord’s help it is possible. Thank you.


31 posted on 03/09/2014 8:01:10 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Saint Frances of Rome, Religious

Saint Frances of Rome, Religious
Optional Memorial
March 9th


traditional prayer card

 

A married woman, she brought up her three children in the love and fear of God. She performed every household duty as though they were sacraments of love. "A married woman, "she said, "must often leave God at the altar to find Him in her household care." She founded an order of oblates.

Source: Daily Roman Missal, Edited by Rev. James Socías, Midwest Theological Forum, Chicago, Illinois ©2003

 

Collect:
O God, who have given us in Saint Frances of Rome
a singular model of both married and monastic life,
grant us perseverance in your service,
that in every circumstance of life we may see and follow you.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. +Amen.

First Reading: Proverbs 31:10-13, 19-20, 30-31
A good wife who can find?
She is far more precious than jewels.
The heart of her husband trusts in her,
and he will have no lack of gain.
She does him good, and not harm,
all the days of her life.
She seeks wool and flax,
and works with willing hands.

She puts her hands to the distaff,
and her hands hold the spindle.
She opens her hand to the poor,
and reaches out her hands to the needy.

Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
Give her of the fruit of her hands,
and let her works praise her in the gates.

Gospel Reading: Matthew 22:34-40
But when the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, they came together. And one of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, to test Him. "Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?" And He said to him, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it, you shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the law and the prophets."


32 posted on 03/09/2014 8:04:22 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Information: St. Frances of Rome

Feast Day: March 9

Born: 1384, Rome

Died: March 9, 1440, Rome

Canonized: 1608, Rome by Pope Paul V

Major Shrine: Santa Francesca Romana Church, Romea

Patron of: Benedictine oblates; automobile drivers

33 posted on 03/09/2014 8:18:05 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
Matthew
  English: Douay-Rheims Latin: Vulgata Clementina Greek NT: Byzantine/Majority Text (2000)
  Matthew 4
1 THEN Jesus was led by the spirit into the desert, to be tempted by the devil. Tunc Jesus ductus est in desertum a Spiritu, ut tentaretur a diabolo. τοτε ο ιησους ανηχθη εις την ερημον υπο του πνευματος πειρασθηναι υπο του διαβολου
2 And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterwards he was hungry. Et cum jejunasset quadraginta diebus, et quadraginta noctibus, postea esuriit. και νηστευσας ημερας τεσσαρακοντα και νυκτας τεσσαρακοντα υστερον επεινασεν
3 And the tempter coming said to him: If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. Et accedens tentator dixit ei : Si Filius Dei es, dic ut lapides isti panes fiant. και προσελθων αυτω ο πειραζων ειπεν ει υιος ει του θεου ειπε ινα οι λιθοι ουτοι αρτοι γενωνται
4 Who answered and said: It is written, Not in bread alone doth man live, but in every word that proceedeth from the mouth of God. Qui respondens dixit : Scriptum est : Non in solo pane vivit homo, sed in omni verbo, quod procedit de ore Dei. ο δε αποκριθεις ειπεν γεγραπται ουκ επ αρτω μονω ζησεται ανθρωπος αλλ επι παντι ρηματι εκπορευομενω δια στοματος θεου
5 Then the devil took him up into the holy city, and set him upon the pinnacle of the temple, Tunc assumpsit eum diabolus in sanctam civitatem, et statuit eum super pinnaculum templi, τοτε παραλαμβανει αυτον ο διαβολος εις την αγιαν πολιν και ιστησιν αυτον επι το πτερυγιον του ιερου
6 And said to him: If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down, for it is written: That he hath given his angels charge over thee, and in their hands shall they bear thee up, lest perhaps thou dash thy foot against a stone. et dixit ei : Si Filius Dei es, mitte te deorsum. Scriptum est enim : Quia angelis suis mandavit de te, et in manibus tollent te, ne forte offendas ad lapidem pedem tuum. και λεγει αυτω ει υιος ει του θεου βαλε σεαυτον κατω γεγραπται γαρ οτι τοις αγγελοις αυτου εντελειται περι σου και επι χειρων αρουσιν σε μηποτε προσκοψης προς λιθον τον ποδα σου
7 Jesus said to him: It is written again: Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. Ait illi Jesus : Rursum scriptum est : Non tentabis Dominum Deum tuum. εφη αυτω ο ιησους παλιν γεγραπται ουκ εκπειρασεις κυριον τον θεον σου
8 Again the devil took him up into a very high mountain, and shewed him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them, Iterum assumpsit eum diabolus in montem excelsum valde : et ostendit ei omnia regna mundi, et gloriam eorum, παλιν παραλαμβανει αυτον ο διαβολος εις ορος υψηλον λιαν και δεικνυσιν αυτω πασας τας βασιλειας του κοσμου και την δοξαν αυτων
9 And said to him: All these will I give thee, if falling down thou wilt adore me. et dixit ei : Hæc omnia tibi dabo, si cadens adoraveris me. και λεγει αυτω ταυτα παντα σοι δωσω εαν πεσων προσκυνησης μοι
10 Then Jesus saith to him: Begone, Satan: for it is written, The Lord thy God shalt thou adore, and him only shalt thou serve. Tunc dicit ei Jesus : Vade Satana : Scriptum est enim : Dominum Deum tuum adorabis, et illi soli servies. τοτε λεγει αυτω ο ιησους υπαγε οπισω μου σατανα γεγραπται γαρ κυριον τον θεον σου προσκυνησεις και αυτω μονω λατρευσεις
11 Then the devil left him; and behold angels came and ministered to him. Tunc reliquit eum diabolus : et ecce angeli accesserunt, et ministrabant ei. τοτε αφιησιν αυτον ο διαβολος και ιδου αγγελοι προσηλθον και διηκονουν αυτω

34 posted on 03/09/2014 10:29:06 AM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex
1. Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the Devil.
2. And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, He was afterward an hungred.

PSEUDO-CHRYS. The Lord being baptized by John with water, is led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be baptized by the fire of temptation. 'Then' i.e. when the voice of the Father had been given from heaven.

CHRYS. Whoever you are then that after your baptism suffers grievous trials be not troubled at that time; for this you received arms, to fight, not to sit idle. God does not hold all trial from us; first, that we may feel that we are become stronger; secondly, that we may not be puffed up by the greatness of the gifts we have received; thirdly, that the Devil may have experience that we have entirely renounced him; fourthly, that by it we may be made stronger; fifthly, that we may receive a sign of the treasure entrusted to us; for the Devil would not come upon us to tempt us, did he not see us advanced to greater honors.

HILARY;The Devil's snares are chiefly spread for the sanctified, because a victory over the saints is more desired than over others.

GREG. Some doubt what Spirit it was that led Jesus into the desert, for that it is said after, The Devil took him into the holy city. But true and without question agreeable to the context is the received opinion, that it was the Holy Spirit; that His own Spirit should lead Him toward that place where the evil spirit should find Him to try Him.

AUG. Why did he offer Himself to temptation? That He might be our mediator in vanquishing temptation not by aid only, but by example.

PSEUDO-CHRYS. He was led by the Holy Spirit, not as an inferior at the bidding of a greater. For we say led, not only of him who is constrained by a stronger than he, but also of him who is induced by reasonable persuasion; as Andrew found his brother Simon, and brought him to Jesus.

JEROME; Led, not against His will, or as a prisoner, but as by a desire for the conflict.

PSEUDO-CHRYS. the Devil comes against men to tempt them, but since he could not come against Christ, therefore Christ came against the Devil.

GREG. We should know that there are three modes of temptation; suggestion, delight, and consent; and we when we are tempted commonly fall into delight or consent, because being born of the sin of the flesh, we bear with us from where we afford strength for the contest; but God who incarnate in the Virgin's womb came into the world without sin, carried within Him nothing of a contrary nature. He could then be tempted by suggestion; but the delight of sin never gnawed His soul, and therefore all that temptation of the Devil was without not within Him.

CHRYS. The Devil is accustomed to be most urgent with temptation, when he sees us solitary; thus it was in the beginning he tempted the woman when he found her without the man, and now too the occasion is offered to the Devil, by the Savior's being led into the desert.

GLOSS. This desert is that between Jerusalem and Jericho, where the robbers used to resort. It is called Hammaim, i.e. 'of blood,' from the bloodshed which these robbers caused there; hence the man was said (in the parable) to have fallen among robbers as he went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, bearing a figure of Adam, who was overcome by demons. It was therefore fit that the place where Christ overcame the Devil, should be the same in which the Devil in the Parable overcomes man.

PSEUDO-CHRYS. Not Christ only is led into the desert by the Spirit, but also all the sons of God who have the Holy Spirit. For they are not content to sit idle, but the Holy Spirit stirs them to take up some great work, i.e. to go out into the desert where they shall meet with the Devil; for there is no unrighteousness with which the Devil is pleased. For all good is without the flesh and the world, because it is not according to the will of the flesh and the world. To such a desert then all the sons of God go out that they may be tempted. For example if you are unmarried, the Holy Spirit has in that led you into the desert, that is, beyond the limits of the flesh and the world, that you may be tempted by lust. But he who is married is unmoved by such temptation. Let us learn that the sons of God are not tempted but when they have gone forth into the desert, but the children of the Devil whose life is in the flesh and the world are then overcome and obey; the good man, having a wife is content; the bad, though he have a wife is not with that content, and so in all other things. The children of the Devil go not out to the Devil that they may be tempted. For what need that he should seek the strife who desires not victory? But the sons of God having more confidence and desirous of victory, go forth against him beyond the boundaries of the flesh. For this cause then Christ also went out to the Devil, that he might be tempted of him.

CHRYS. But that you may learn how great a good is fasting, and what a mighty shield against time Devil, and that after baptism you ought to give attention to fasting and not to lusts, therefore Christ fasted, not Himself needing it, but teaching us by His example.

PSEUDO-CHRYS. And to fix the measure of our quadragesimnal fast, he fasted forty days and forty nights.

CHRYS. But He exceeded not the measure of Moses and Elias, lest it should bring into doubt the reality of His assumption of the flesh.

GREG. The Creator of all things took no food whatever during forty days. We also, at the season of Lent as much as in us lies afflict our flesh by abstinence. The number forty is preserved, because the virtue of the decalogue is fulfilled in the books of the holy Gospel; and ten taken four times amounts to forty. Or, because in this mortal body we consist of four elements by the delights of which we go against the Lord's precepts received by the decalogue. And as we transgress the decalogue through the lusts of this flesh, it is fitting that we afflict the flesh forty-fold. Or, as by the Law we offer the tenth of our goods, so we strive to offer time tenth of our time. And from the first Sunday of Lent to time rejoicing of the paschal festival is a space of six weeks, or forty-two days, subtracting from which the six Sundays which are not kept there remain thirty-six. Now as the year consists of three hundred and sixty-five, by the affliction of these thirty-six we give the tenth of our year to God.

AUG. Otherwise; The sum of all wisdom is to be acquainted with the Creator and the creature. The Creator is the Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; the creature is partly invisible, - as the soul to which we assign a threefold nature, (as in the command to love God with the whole heart, mind, and soul,) - partly visible as the body, which we divide into four elements; the hot, the cold, the liquid, the solid. The number ten then, which stands for the whole law of life, taken four times, that is, multiplied by that number which we assign for the body, because by the body the law is obeyed or disobeyed, makes the number forty. All the aliquot parts in this number, viz. 1, 2, 4, 5, 8, 10, 20, taken together make up the number 50. Hence the time of our sorrow and affliction is fixed at forty (lays; the state of blessed joy which shall be hereafter is figured in the quinquagesimal festival, i.e. the fifty days from Easter to Pentecost.

AUG. Not however because Christ fasted immediately after having received baptism, are we to suppose that He established a rule to be observed, that we should fast immediately after His baptism. But when the conflict with the tempter is sore, then we ought to fast, that the body may fulfill its warfare by chastisement, and the soul obtain victory by humiliation.

PSEUDO-CHRYS. The Lord knew the thoughts of the Devil, that he sought to tempt Him; he had heard that Christ had been born into this world with the preaching of Angels, the witness of shepherds, the inquiry of the Magi, and the testimony of John. Thus the Lord proceeded against him, not as God, but as man, or rather both as God and man. For in forty days of fasting not to have been hungered was not as man; to be ever hungered was not as God. He was hungered then that the God might not be certainly manifested, and so the hopes of the Devil in tempting Him be extinguished, and His own victory hindered.

HILARY; He was hungered, not during the forty days, but after them. Therefore when the Lord hungered, it was not that the effects of abstinence then first came upon Him, but that His humanity was left to its own strength. For the Devil was to be overcome, not by the God, but by the flesh. By this was figured, that after those forty days which He was to tarry on earth after His passion were accomplished, He should hunger for the salvation of man, at which time He carried back again to God His Father the expected gift, the humanity which He had taken on Him.

3. And when the Tempter came to Him, he said, If You are the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.
4. But He answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.

PSEUDO-CHRYS. The Devil who had begun to despair when he saw that Christ fasted forty days, now again began to hope when he saw that he was hungered; and then the tempter came to him. If then you shall have fasted and after been tempted, say not, I have lost the fruit of my fast; for though it have not availed to hinder temptation, it will avail to hinder you from being overcome by temptation.

GREG. If we observe the successive steps of the temptation, we shall be able to estimate by how much we are freed from temptation. The old enemy tempted the first man through his belly, when he persuaded him to eat of the forbidden fruit; through ambition when he said, You shall be as gods; through covetousness when he said, Knowing good and evil; for there is a covetousness not only of money, but of greatness, when a high estate above our measure is sought. By the same method in which he had overcome the first Adam, in that same was he overcome when he tempted the second Adam. He tempted through the belly when he said, Command that these stones become loaves; through ambition when he said, If you are the Son of God, cast yourself down from here; through covetousness of lofty condition in the words, All these things will I give you.

AMBROSE; he begins with that which had once been the means of his victory, the palate; If you are the Son of God, command that these stones become loaves. What means such a beginning as this, but that he knew that the Son of God was to come, yet believed not that He was come on account of His fleshly infirmity. His speech is in part that of an inquirer, in part that of a tempter; he professes to believe Him God, he strives to deceive Him as man.

HILARY; And therefore in the temptation he makes a proposal of such a double kind by which His divinity would be made known by the miracle of the transformation, the weakness of the man deceived by the delight of food.

JEROME; But you are caught, O Enemy, in a dilemma, if these stones can be made bread at His word, your temptation is vain against one so mighty. If He cannot make them bread, your suspicions that this is the Son of God must be vain.

PSEUD-CHRYS. But as the Devil blinds all men, so is he now invisibly made blind by Christ. He found Him hungered at the end of forty days, and knew not that He had continued through those forty without being hungry. When he suspected Him not to be the Son of God, he considered not that the mighty Champion can descend to things that be weak, but the weak cannot ascend to things that are high. We may more readily infer from this not being an hungered for so many days that he is God, than from this being hungered after that time that the is man. But it may be said, Moses and Elias fasted forty days, and were men. But they hungered and endured, he for time space of forty days hungered not, but afterwards. To be hungry and yet refuse food is within the endurance of man; not be hungry belongs to the Divine nature only.

JEROME; Christ's purpose was to vanquish by humility;

LEO; hence he opposed the adversary rather by testimonies out of the Law, than by miraculous powers; thus at the same time giving more honor to man, and more disgrace to the adversary, when the enemy of the human race thus seemed to be overcome by man rather than by God.

GREG. So the Lord when tempted by the Devil answered only with precepts of Holy Writ, and He who could have drowned His tempter in the abyss, displayed not the might of His power; giving us an example, that when we suffer anything at the hands of evil men, we should be stirred up to learning rather than to revenge.

PSEUD-CHRYS. He said not, "I live not' but, Man does not live by bread alone, that time Devil might still ask, If you are the Son of God. if He be God, it is as though He shunned to display what He had power to do; if man, it is a crafty will that His want of power should not be detected.

RABANUS; This verse is quoted from Deuteronomy. Whoso then feeds not on the Word of God, he lives not; as the body of man cannot live without earthly food, so cannot His soul without God's word. This word is said to proceed out of the mouth of God, where he reveals His will by Scripture testimonies.

5. Then the Devil took Him up into the holy city, and set Him on a pinnacle of the temple.
6. And said to Him, If You be the Son of God, cast Yourself down; for it is written, he shall give His Angels charge concerning you: and in their hands they shall bear you up, lest at any time You dash Your foot against a stone.
7. Jesus said to Him, It is written again, You shall not tempt the Lord your God.

PSEUD-CHRYS. From this first answer of Christ, the Devil could learn nothing certain whether he were God or man; he therefore betook him to another temptation, saying within himself; This man who is not sensible of time appetite of hunger, if not the Son of God, is yet a holy man; and such do attain strength not to be overcome by hunger; but when they have subdued every necessity of the flesh, they often fall by desire of empty glory. Therefore he began to tempt Him by this empty glory.

JEROME; Took him, not because the Lord was weak, but the enemy proud; he imputed to a necessity what the Savior did willingly.

RABANUS; Jerusalem was called the Holy City, for in it was the Temple of God, the Holy of Holies, and the worship of the one God according to the law of Moses.

REMIG. This shows that the Devil lies in wait for Christ's faithful people even in the sacred places.

GREG; Behold when it is said that this God was taken by the Devil into the holy city, pious ears tremble to hear, and yet the Devil is head and chief among the wicked; what wonder that He suffered Himself to be led up a mountain by the wicked one himself, who suffered Himself to be crucified by his members.

GLOSS.The Devil places us on high places by exalting with pride, that he may dash us to the ground again.

REMIG. The pinnacle is the seat of the doctors; for the temple had not a pointed roof like our houses, but was flat or the top after the manner of the country of Palestine, and in the temple were three stories. It should be known, that the pinnacle was on the floor, and in each story was one pinnacle. Whether then he placed Him on the pinnacle in the first story, or that in the second, or the third, he placed Him whence a fall was possible.

GLOSS. Observe lucre that all these things were done with bodily sense, and by careful comparison of the context it seems probable that the Devil appeared in human form.

PSEUD-CHRYS. Perhaps you may say, How could he in the sight of all place Him bodily upon the temple? Perhaps the Devil so took Him as though He were visible to all, while he, without the Devil being aware of it, made Himself invisible.

GLOSS. He set Him on a pinnacle of the temple when he would tempt Him through ambition, because in this seat of the doctors he had before taken many through the same temptation, and therefore thought that when set in the same seat, he might in like manner be puffed up with vain pride.

JEROME; In the several temptations the single aim of the Devil is to find if He be the Son of God, but he is so answered as at last to depart in doubt; he says, Cast yourself, because the voice of the Devil, which is always calling men downwards, has power to persuade them, but may not compel them to fall.

PSEUD-CHRYS. How does he expect to discover by this proposition whether he be the Son of God or not? For to fly through the air is not proper to the Divine nature, for it is not useful to any. If then any were to attempt to fly when challenged to it, he would be acting from ostentation, and would so belong rather to the Devil than to God. If it is enough to a wise man to be what he is, and he has no wish to seem what he is not, how much more should the Son of God hold it not necessary to show what He is; he of whom none can know so much as he is in Himself?

AMBROSE; But as Satan transfigures himself into an Angel of light, and spreads a snare for the faithful, even from the divine Scriptures, so now he uses its texts, not to instruct but to receive.

JEROME; This verse we read in the ninetieth Psalm, but that is a prophecy not of Christ, but of some holy man, so the Devil interprets Scripture amiss.

PSEUD-CHRYS. For the Son of God in truth is not born of Angels, but Himself bears them, or if he be born in their arms, it is not from weakness, lest He dash His foot against a stone, but for the honor. O you Devil, you have read that the Son of God is born in Angels' arms, have you not also read that He shall tread upon the asp and basilisk? But the one text he brings forward as proud, time other he omits as crafty.

CHRYS. Observe that Scripture is brought forward by the Lord only with an apt meaning, but by the Devil irreverently; for that where it is written, He shall give his Angels charge over you, is not an exhortation to cast Himself headlong.

GLOSS. We must explain thus; Scripture says of any good man, that he has given it in charge to His Angels, that is to His ministering spirits, to bear him in their hands, i.e. by their aid to guard him that he dash not his foot against a stone, i.e. keep his heart that it stumble not at the old law written in tables of stone. Or by the stone may be understood every occasion of sin and error.

RABAN; It should be noted, that though our Savior suffered Himself to be placed by the Devil on a pinnacle of the temple, yet refused to come down also at his command, giving us an example, that whosoever bids us ascend the straightway of truth we should obey. But if he would again cast us down from the height of truth and virtue to the depth of error we should not listen to him.

JEROME; The false Scripture darts of the Devil He brands with the true shield of Scripture.

HILARY; Thus beating down the efforts of the Devil, He professes Himself both God and Lord.

PSEUD-CHRYS. Yet He says not, You shall not tempt me your Lord God; but, You shall not tempt the Lord your God; which every man of God when tempted by the Devil might say; for whoso tempts a man of God, tempts God.

RABANUS; Otherwise, it was a suggestion to Him, as man, that He should seek by requiring some miracle to know the greatness of God's power.

AUG. It is a part of sound doctrine, that when man has any other means, he should not tempt the Lord his God.

THEOD. And it is to tempt God, in anything to expose one's self to danger without cause.

JEROME; it should be noted, that the required texts are taken from the book of Deuteronomy only, that he might show the sacraments of the second Law.

8. Again, the Devil took Him up into an exceeding high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them;
9. And said to Him, All these things will I give You, if You will fall down and worship me.
10. Then said Jesus to him, Get you back, Satan: for it is written, You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only shall you serve.
11. Then the Devil left Him, and, behold, Angels came and ministered to Him.

PSEUD-CHRYS. The Devil, left in uncertainty by this second reply, passes to a third temptation. Christ had broken the nets of appetite, had passed over those of ambition, he now spreads for Him those of covetousness; He took him up into a very high mountain, such as in going round about the earth he had noticed rising above the rest. The higher the mountain, the wider the view from it. He shows Him not so as that they truly saw the very kingdoms, cities, nations, their silver and their gold; but the quarters of the earth where each kingdom and city lay. As suppose from some high ground I were to point out to you, see there lies Rome, there Alexandria; you are not supposed to see the towns themselves, but the quarter in which they lie. Thus the Devil might point out the several quarters with his finger, and recount in words the greatness of each kingdom and its condition; for that is said to be shown which is in any way presented to the understanding. ORIGEN; We are not to suppose that when he showed Him the kingdoms of the world, he presented before Him the kingdom of Persia, for instance, or India; but he showed his own kingdom, how he reigns in the world, that is, how some are governed by fornication, some by avarice.

REMIG. By their glory, is meant, their gold and silver, precious stones and temporal goods.

RABAN. The Devil shows all this to the Lord, not as though he had power to extend his vision or show Him any thing unknown. But setting forth in speech as excellent and pleasant, that vain worldly pomp wherein himself delighted, he thought by suggestion of it, to create in Christ a love of it.

GLOSS. he saw not, as we see, with the eye of lust, but as a physician looks on disease without receiving any hurt.

JEROME; An arrogant and vain vaunt; for he has not the power to bestow all kingdoms, since many of the saints have, we know, been made kings by God.

PSEUD-CHRYS. But such things as are gotten by iniquity in this world, as riches, for instance, gained by fraud or perjury, these the Devil bestows. The Devil therefore cannot give riches to whom he will, but to those only who are willing to receive them of him.

REMIG. Wonderful infatuation in the Devil! To promise earthly kingdoms to Him who gives heavenly kingdoms to His faithful people, and the glory of earth to Him who is Lord of the glory of heaven!

AMBROSE; Ambition has its dangers at home; that it may govern, it is first others' slave; it bows in flattery that it may rule in honor; and while it would be exalted, it is made to stoop.

GLOSS. See the Devil's pride as of old. In the beginning he sought to make himself equal with God, now he seeks to usurp the honors due to God, saying, If you will fall down and worship me. Who then worships the Devil must first fall down.

PSEUD-CHRYS. With these words he puts an end to the temptations of the Devil, that they should proceed no further.

JEROME; The Devil and Peter are not, as many suppose, condemned to the same sentence. To Peter it is said, Get you behind me, Satan; i.e. follow you behind Me who are contrary to My will. But here it is, Go, Satan, and is not added 'behind Me,' that we may understand into the fire prepared for you and your angels.

REMIG. Other copies read, Get you behind me; i.e. remember you in what glory you were created, and into what misery you have fallen.

PSEUD-CHRYS. Observe how Christ when Himself suffered wrong at the hands of the Devil, being tempted of him, saying, If you be the Son of God, cast yourself down, yet was not moved to chide the Devil. But now when the Devil usurps the honor of God, he is wroth, and drives him away, saying, Go your way, Satan; that we may learn by His example to bear injuries to ourselves with magnanimity, but wrongs to God, to endure not so much as to hear; for to be patient under our own wrongs is praiseworthy, to dissemble when God is wronged is impiety.

JEROME; When the Devil says to the Savior, If you will fall down and worship me, he is answered by the contrary declaration, that it more becomes him to worship Jesus as his Lord and God.

AUG. The one Lord our God is the Holy Trinity, to which alone we justly owe the service of piety. ID. By service is to he understood the honor due to God; as our version renders the Greek word ' latria,' wherever it occurs in Scripture, by ' service' (servitus), but that service which is due to men (as where the Apostle bids slaves be subject to their masters) is in Greek called 'dulia;' while 'hatria,' always, or so often that we say always, is used of that worship which belongs to God.

PSEUD-CHRYS. The Devil, we may fairly suppose, did not depart in obedience to the command, but the Divine nature of Christ, and the Holy Spirit which was in Him drove him thence, and then the Devil left him. Which also serves for our consolation, to see that the Devil does not tempt the men of God so long as he wills, but so long as Christ suffers. And though He may suffer him to tempt for a short time, yet in the end He drives him away because of the weakness of our nature.

AUG. After the temptation the Holy Angels, to be dreaded of all unclean spirits, ministered to the Lord, by which it was made yet more manifest to the demons how great was his power.

PSEUD-CHRYS. He says not 'Angels descended from heaven,' that it may be known that they were ever on the earth to minister to Him, but had now by the Lord's command departed from Him, to give opportunity for the Devil to approach, who perhaps when he saw Him surrounded by Angels would not have come near Him. But in what matters they ministered to Him, 'You cannot know, whether in the healing diseases, or purifying souls, or casting out demons; for all these things He does by the ministration of Angels, so that what they do, Himself appears to do. However it is manifest, that they did not now minister to Him because His weakness needed it, but for the honor of His power; for it is not said that they 'succored Him,' but that they ministered to Him.

GREG; In these things is shown the twofold nature in one person it is the man whom the Devil tempts; the same is God to whom Angels minister.

PSEUD-CHRYS. Now let its shortly review what is signified by Christ's temptations. The fasting is abstinence from things evil, hunger is the desire of evil, bread is the gratification of the desire. He who indulges himself in any evil thing, turns stones into bread. Let him answer to the Devil's persuasions that man does not live by the indulgence of desire alone, but by feeling the commands of God. When any is puffed up as though he were holy he is led to the temple, and when he esteems himself to have reached the summit of holiness he is set on a pinnacle of the temple. And this temptation follows the first, because victory over temptation begets conceit. But observe that Christ had voluntarily undertaken the fasting; but was led to the temple by the Devil; therefore do you voluntarily use praiseworthy abstinence, but suffer yourself not to be exalted to the summit of sanctity; fly high-mindedness, and you will not suffer a fall. The ascent of the mountain is the going forward to great riches, and the glory of this world which springs from pride of heart. When you desire to become rich, that is, to ascend the mountain, you begin to think of the ways of gaining wealth and honors, then the prince of this world is showing you the glory of his kingdom. In the third place He provides you reasons, that if you seek to obtain all these things, you should serve him, and neglect the righteousness of God.

HILARY; When we have overcome the Devil and bruised his head, we see that Angels' ministry and the offices of heavenly virtues will not be wanting to us.

AUG. Luke has not given the temptations in the same order as Matthew; so that we do not know whether the pinnacle of the temple, or the ascent of the mountain, was first in the action; but it is of no importance, so long as it is only clear that all of them were truly done.

GLOSS. Though Luke's order seems the more historical; Matthew relates the temptations as they were done to Adam.

Catena Aurea Matthew 4
35 posted on 03/09/2014 10:29:46 AM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex


Temptation of Christ

mosaic
12th century
Basilica di San Marco, Venice

36 posted on 03/09/2014 10:30:57 AM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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To: All
Christ's Temptation and Ours (An explanation of the three temptations) [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
Tackle Tempation or Risk Ruination. A Sermon for the 1st Sunday of Lent
Five Lessons we should learn from Christ’s time in the Wilderness
The Temptations of Jesus Christ
Christ's temptation and ours (Reflection for the First Sunday of Lent)
Christ's temptation and ours
THE PATHOLOGY OF POWER: 3rd temptation of Christ - Part 1
37 posted on 03/09/2014 2:41:15 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Interactive Saints for Kids

St. Frances of Rome

Feast Day: March 09
Born: 1384 :: Died: 1440


St. Frances was born at Rome in Italy. Her parents Paul Bussa and Jacobella de’ Roffredeschi were wealthy, but they taught Frances to be concerned about people and to live a good Christian life. Frances was an intelligent little girl who informed her parents when she was eleven that she had made up her mind to be a nun.

Her parents encouraged her to think of marriage instead. As was the custom, they selected a good young man to be Frances' husband. The bride was just thirteen.

Frances and her husband, Lorenzo Ponziano, fell in love with each other. Even though their marriage was arranged, they were happily married for forty years. Lorenzo admired his wife and his sister-in-law, Vannozza.

Both women prayed every day and did penance for Jesus' Church, which faced many difficulties at that time. Frances and Vannozza also visited the poor. They took care of the sick. They brought food and firewood to people who needed it.

Other rich women were moved by their example to do more with their lives too. All the while, Frances became more and more prayerful and really grew close to Jesus and Mary.

Frances and Lorenzo were kindhearted people. They knew what it was like to suffer as two of their three children died from the plague. This made them even more aware of the needs of the poor.

During the wars between the rightful pope and the anti-popes, Lorenzo led the armies that defended the true pope. While he was away at battle, his enemies destroyed his property and possessions.

Even then, Frances cleaned up a part of the family villa that had been wrecked and used it for a hospital. As hard as things were for her family, the people out on the street were in greater need.

Lorenzo was wounded and came home to be nursed back to health by his loving wife. He died in 1436. Frances spent the remaining four years of her life in the religious congregation called the Collatines which she helped to start. St. Frances of Rome died on March 9, 1440. p> Reflection: This holy woman kept the delicate balance between her family life, her own relationship with God, and her desire to show compassion to others.


38 posted on 03/09/2014 2:45:47 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

Day 91 - What does "Church" mean?

 

What does "Church" mean?

The Greek word for Church is "ekklesia" = those who are called forth. All of us who are baptized and believe in God are called forth by the Lord. Together we are the Church. Christ is, as Paul says, the Head of the Church. We are his body.

When we receive the sacraments and hear God's Word, Christ is in us and we are in him that is the Church. The intimate communion of life with Jesus that is shared personally by all the baptized is described in Sacred Scripture by a wealth of images: Here it speaks about the People of God and in another passage about the Bride of Christ; now the Church is called Mother, and again she is God's family, or she is compared with a wedding feast. Never is the Church a mere institution, never just the "official Church" that we could do without. We will be upset by the mistakes and defects in the Church, but we can never distance ourselves from her, because God has made an irrevocable decision to love her and does not forsake her despite all the sins of her members. The Church is God's presence among us men. That is why we must love her. (YOUCAT question 121)


Dig Deeper: CCC section (748-757) and other references here.


39 posted on 03/09/2014 2:49:28 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Part 1: The Profession of Faith (26 - 1065)

Section 2: The Profession of the Christian Faith (185 - 1065)

Chapter 3: I Believe in the Holy Spirit (683 - 1065)

Article 9: "I believe in the Holy Catholic Church" (748 - 975)

748

"Christ is the light of humanity; and it is, accordingly, the heart-felt desire of this sacred Council, being gathered together in the Holy Spirit, that, by proclaiming his Gospel to every creature, it may bring to all men that light of Christ which shines out visibly from the Church."135 These words open the Second Vatican Council's Dogmatic Constitution on the Church. By choosing this starting point, the Council demonstrates that the article of faith about the Church depends entirely on the articles concerning Christ Jesus. The Church has no other light than Christ's; according to a favorite image of the Church Fathers, the Church is like the moon, all its light reflected from the sun.

135.

LG 1; cf. Mk 16:15.

749

The article concerning the Church also depends entirely on the article about the Holy Spirit, which immediately precedes it. "Indeed, having shown that the Spirit is the source and giver of all holiness, we now confess that it is he who has endowed the Church with holiness."136 The Church is, in a phrase used by the Fathers, the place "where the Spirit flourishes."137

136.

Roman Catechism I,10,1.

137.

St. Hippolytus, Trad. Ap. 35: SCh 11,118.

169
811
(all)

750

To believe that the Church is "holy" and "catholic," and that she is "one" and "apostolic" (as the Nicene Creed adds), is inseparable from belief in God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. In the Apostles' Creed we profess "one Holy Church" (Credo ... Ecclesiam), and not to believe in the Church, so as not to confuse God with his works and to attribute clearly to God's goodness all the gifts he has bestowed on his Church.138

138.

Roman Catechism I,10,22.

Paragraph 1: The Church in God's Plan (751 - 780)

I. NAMES AND IMAGES OF THE CHURCH

751

The word "Church" (Latin ecclesia, from the Greek ek-ka-lein, to "call out of") means a convocation or an assembly. It designates the assemblies of the people, usually for a religious purpose.139 Ekklesia is used frequently in the Greek Old Testament for the assembly of the Chosen People before God, above all for their assembly on Mount Sinai where Israel received the Law and was established by God as his holy people.140 By calling itself "Church," the first community of Christian believers recognized itself as heir to that assembly. In the Church, God is "calling together" his people from all the ends of the earth. The equivalent Greek term Kyriake, from which the English word Church and the German Kirche are derived, means "what belongs to the Lord."

139.

Cf. Acts 19:39.

140.

Cf. Ex 19.

1140
830
832
(all)

752

In Christian usage, the word "church" designates the liturgical assembly,141 but also the local community142 or the whole universal community of believers.143 These three meanings are inseparable. "The Church" is the People that God gathers in the whole world. She exists in local communities and is made real as a liturgical, above all a Eucharistic, assembly. She draws her life from the word and the Body of Christ and so herself becomes Christ's Body.

141.

Cf. 1 Cor 11:18; 14:19,28,34,35.

142.

Cf. 1 Cor 1:2; 16:1.

143.

Cf. 1 Cor 15:9; Gal 1:13; Phil 3:6.

Symbols of the Church

781
789
(all)

753

In Scripture, we find a host of interrelated images and figures through which Revelation speaks of the inexhaustible mystery of the Church. The images taken from the Old Testament are variations on a profound theme: the People of God. In the New Testament, all these images find a new center because Christ has become the head of this people, which henceforth is his Body.144 Around this center are grouped images taken "from the life of the shepherd or from cultivation of the land, from the art of building or from family life and marriage."145

144.

Cf. Eph 1:22; Col 1:18; LG 9.

145.

LG 6.

857
(all)

754

"The Church is, accordingly, a sheepfold, the sole and necessary gateway to which is Christ. It is also the flock of which God himself foretold that he would be the shepherd, and whose sheep, even though governed by human shepherds, are unfailingly nourished and led by Christ himself, the Good Shepherd and Prince of Shepherds, who gave his life for his sheep.146

146.

LG 6; cf. Jn 10:1-10; Isa 40:11; Ezek 34:11-31; Jn 10:11; 1 Pet 5:4; Jn 10:11-16.

795
(all)

755

"The Church is a cultivated field, the tillage of God. On that land the ancient olive tree grows whose holy roots were the prophets and in which the reconciliation of Jews and Gentiles has been brought about and will be brought about again. That land, like a choice vineyard, has been planted by the heavenly cultivator. Yet the true vine is Christ who gives life and fruitfulness to the branches, that is, to us, who through the Church remain in Christ, without whom we can do nothing.147

147.

LG 6; cf. 1 Cor 3:9; Rom 11:13-26; Mt 21:33-43 and parallels; Isa 5:1-7; Jn 15:1-5.

1045
797
857
(all)

756

"Often, too, the Church is called the building of God. The Lord compared himself to the stone which the builders rejected, but which was made into the corner-stone. On this foundation the Church is built by the apostles and from it the Church receives solidity and unity. This edifice has many names to describe it: the house of God in which his family dwells; the household of God in the Spirit; the dwelling-place of God among men; and, especially, the holy temple. This temple, symbolized in places of worship built out of stone, is praised by the Fathers and, not without reason, is compared in the liturgy to the Holy City, the New Jerusalem. As living stones we here on earth are built into it. It is this holy city that is seen by John as it comes down out of heaven from God when the world is made anew, prepared like a bride adorned for her husband.148

148.

LG 6; Cf. 1 Cor 3:9; Mt 21:42 and parallels; Acts 4:11; 1 Pet 2:7; Ps 118:22; 1 Cor 3:11; 1 Tim 3:15; Eph 2:19-22; Rev 21:3; 1 Pet 2:5; Rev 21:1-2.

1616
507
796
(all)

1

 

757

"The Church, further, which is called 'that Jerusalem which is above' and 'our mother', is described as the spotless spouse of the spotless lamb. It is she whom Christ 'loved and for whom he delivered himself up that he might sanctify her.' It is she whom he unites to himself by an unbreakable alliance, and whom he constantly 'nourishes and cherishes.'"149

149.

LG 6; Cf. Gal 4:26; Rev 12:17; 19:7; 21:2,9; 22:17; Eph 5:25-26,29.


40 posted on 03/09/2014 2:51:30 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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CATHOLIC ALMANAC

Sunday, March 9

Liturgical Color: Violet

Today is the optional memorial of St.
Frances of Rome, religious. She was a
wealthy woman who was encouraged in
a vision to help the poor with her wealth.
After her husband died, she founded a
religious order, which she led until her
death in 1440.

41 posted on 03/09/2014 3:18:59 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

 

Daily Readings for:March 09, 2014
(Readings on USCCB website)

Collect: Grant, almighty God, through the yearly observances of holy Lent, that we may grow in understanding of the riches hidden in Christ and by worthy conduct pursue their effects. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

RECIPES

o    Pease Porridge

ACTIVITIES

o    The Kaleidoscope of Lent

PRAYERS

o    Prayer for the First Week of Lent

o    Lent Table Blessing 1

o    Book of Blessings: Blessing Before and After Meals: Lent (1st Plan)

LIBRARY

o    None

·         Lent: March 9th

·         First Sunday of Lent

Old Calendar: First Sunday of Lent

The scene of the temptation, which opens the public life of Jesus, declares in the Gospels in a very forceful manner the great change in our lives that He introduces into the world by His work of redemption. Where Adam fell, Christ, the new Head of humanity, triumphs over the power of Satan: at the time of His passion "the prince of this world" will be cast out. The Gospel of the temptation heralds Christ's victory in advance.

By appointing this Gospel for the beginning of Lent the Church proclaims that this victory should be ours also. In us, as all around us, it is Christ's temptation, Christ's struggle, Christ's victory which is prolonged; our effort is His and so is our strength; His will be our victory at Easter.

The Feast of St. Francis of Rome which is ordinarily celebrated today is superseded by the Sunday Liturgy.

Click here for commentary on the readings in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite.

Stational Church


Sunday Readings
The first reading is from the Book of Genesis 2:7-9; 3:1-7 and is about the creation and fall of man.

The second reading is from St. Paul to the Romans 5:12-19. He is speaking of some of the immediate effects of Christian salvation, as brought to mankind by Christ. St. Paul stresses the fact that Christ through his death not only conquered sin but poured out divine grace so abundantly and lavishly on mankind, making them his brothers and therefore sons of God, that there is no comparison between the world redeemed by Christ's death and the world of sin which prevailed up to then.

The Gospel is from St. Matthew 4:1-11. This incident in our Lord's life, his forty days and nights of fasting followed by temptations, has been chosen as a reading for this first Sunday of Lent for our edification and encouragement. Lent is a period of preparation for the central Christian events of Good Friday and Easter Sunday. Christ, the Son of God in human nature, died the excruciating death of crucifixion on Good Friday, because of the sins of the human race. By this supreme act of obedience to his heavenly Father he made atonement for all our disobediences, and set us free from the slavery of Satan and of sin. In his resurrection his human nature was glorified by God the Father, and in that glorification we are all offered a share and given the right to an eternal life of glory, if we follow Christ faithfully in this life.

For every sincere Christian therefore, who appreciates what Good Friday and Easter Sunday mean for her or him, this period of preparation should be a welcome opportunity. The Church no longer imposes on us any obligatory daily fasting from food, but it urges us to find other means of mortifying ourselves, so as to show that we realize what Christ has done for us and what he has earned for us through his passion, death and resurrection. The example of Christ fasting from food for forty days, should move even the coldest Christian heart to try to do something to make reparation for past negligence and sins. Christ had no sin to atone for; it was for our sins that he mortified himself. We all have much to atone for. If, because of the demands of our present way of life, we cannot fast rigorously as our grandparents did, we can find many other less noticeable, but maybe nonetheless difficult, ways of subduing our human worldly inclinations. Where there is a will there is a way; the willing Christian will find ready substitutes for fasting.

The temptations, to which our Lord allowed himself to be submitted, are for us a source of encouragement and consolation. If our Lord and master under went temptation, we cannot and must not expect to live a Christian life without experiencing similar tests and trials. The three temptations Satan put to our Lord were suggestions to forget his purpose in life--his messianic mission of redemption. He was urged to get all the bodily comforts of life, all the self-glory which men could give him, and all the possessions and power this world has to offer.

Our basic temptations in life are the same: bodily comforts and pleasure, the empty esteem of our fellowman, wealth and power. There are millions of men and women on earth today—many of them nominal Christians—who have given in to these temptations and, are wasting their lives chasing after these unattainable shadows. But even should they manage to catch up with some of them, they soon find out that they are empty baubles. They will have to leave them so very soon.

Today, let each one of us look into his heart and honestly examine his reaction to these temptations. Do we imitate our Savior and leader, and say "begone Satan"? Our purpose in life is not to collect its treasures, its honors or its pleasures. We are here for a few short years, to merit the unending life which Christ has won for us. Would we be so foolish as to swap our inheritance for a mere mess of pottage (see Gen. 25:29-34)?

Lent is a golden opportunity to review our past and make sensible resolutions for our future.

Excerpted from The Sunday Readings by Fr. Kevin O'Sullivan, O.F.M.

Things to Do:


The Station today is at St. John Lateran. The Lateran is comprised of the Basilica, the Pontifical Palace and the Baptistry. The church is dedicated to the Christ the Savior. In the fifth century the titles of St. John Baptist and St. John the Evangelist were added. The Papal altar contains the wooden altar on which St. Peter is said to have celebrated Mass. This basilica is the mother of all churches and is the only church which has the title of Archbasilica.


42 posted on 03/09/2014 3:41:15 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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The Word Among Us

Meditation: Matthew 4:1-11

1st Sunday of Lent

If you are the Son of God … (Matthew 4:3)

Imagine if Jesus came up to you today, embraced you, and said, “You are my greatest treasure!” Wouldn’t you be shocked and speechless? Well, during this Lenten season, you will have numerous opportunities for this to happen. Day after day, in prayer and in the Scriptures, you will have the chance to let Jesus show you your true dignity and identity as his beloved brother or sister.

In today’s Gospel, we read how Satan tried to get Jesus to question his identity. He prefaced his temptations by saying, “If you are the Son of God …” He knew that if Jesus became unsure of his Father’s love and wisdom, it was much more likely that he would walk away from the plan God had laid out for him. But Satan’s plan didn’t work. Jesus knew who he was, and he clung to the word of God so that he could stay focused on his Father.

God wants you to stand firm on the truth just as Jesus did. He wants to convince you that you belong to him. He wants to make it clear that he is completely committed to you. It sounds easy, doesn’t it? But we all can point to ways that the devil tries to knock us off our foundation in Christ. There seems to be no end to his attempts to discourage us and trap us in our fears and weaknesses so that we won’t bother to pray.

When these temptations come, follow Jesus’ example, and hold on to Scripture. You are God’s child, born of the incorruptible seed of his own word (1 Peter 1:23). You are part of a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation (2:9). You have been made alive with Jesus (Ephesians 2:5) and set free from the law of sin and death (Romans 8:2). Your heavenly Father will supply all your needs out of the riches of his own glory (Philippians 4:19).

There are so many promises. Hold on to them! Believe them—and watch the devil flee!

“Thank you, Lord, for claiming me as your own!”

Genesis 2:7-9; 3:1-7; Psalm 51:3-6, 12-13, 17; Romans 5:12-19

Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion

(Genesis 2:7-9; 3:1-7; Psalm 51:3-6, 12-13,17; Romans 5:12-19; Matthew 4:1-11)

1. As we begin Lent this year the Church, in its first reading, takes us back to the origin of sin in the world, and the temptation we are still part of today: to “be like gods.” In what ways are there still areas in your life where you believe you really know what’s best and, thus, struggle to entrust these areas to God’s providential care?

2. In the responsorial psalm, David’s great prayer of repentance, he cries out, “A clean heart create for me, O God, and a steadfast spirit renew within me” (Psalm 51:12). What do you think this means? Where in your relationship with God could you use a more “steadfast spirit”?

3. In the letter to the Romans, St. Paul tells us that through Jesus Christ “acquittal and life came to all.” All of us have been reconciled to God through “the gracious gift of the one man Jesus Christ.” And what is this gift we have received? It is “the abundance of grace and of the gift of justification.” What steps can you take this Lent to receive more fully these wonderful gifts?

4. In the Gospel, Christ uses the power of the “word of God” - the Scriptures - to defeat Satan’s temptations. During this Lent, what commitment are you prepared to make regarding your prayer time and Scripture reading? Are you willing to be accountable to someone for this commitment? If not, why not?

5. The meditation reminds us that when temptations come, we need to remember who we are in Christ and to use Scriptures “to stand firm on the truth just as Jesus did” and: “follow Jesus’ example and hold on to Scripture.” It goes on to provide some examples from Scripture of the “truths” of who we are in Christ. How would you describe these truths? How often do you turn to the Lord and to the truths of Scripture when you are tempted to sin? During the upcoming weeks of Lent, make a greater effort to turn to the Lord during times of temptation and ask for the power of his “Word” and the power of the Cross to overcome them.

6. Take some time to pray and ask the Lord for the grace and the strength to say no to the temptations that come at you during the day. Use the prayer at the end of the meditation as the starting point.


43 posted on 03/09/2014 5:04:41 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
IT IS VITAL FOR US TO KNOW OUR ENEMY

(A biblical refection on THE FIRST SUNDAY OF LENT [YEAR A], March 9, 2014)

Gospel Reading: Matthew 4:1-11

First Reading: Genesis 2:7-9;3:1-7; Psalms: Psalm 51:3-6,12-14,17; Second Reading: Romans 5:12-19

TEMPTATION

The Scripture Text
Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And He fasted forty days and forty nights, and afterward He was hungry. And the tempter came and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” But He answered, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’”
Then the devil took Him to the holy city, and set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down; for it is written, ‘He will give His angels charge of you,’ and ‘On their hands they will bear You up, lest You strike Your foot against a stone.’”
Jesus said to him, “Again it is written, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord You God.’” Again, the devil took Him to a very high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and the glory of them; and he said to Him, “All these I will give You, if You will fall down and worship me.” Then Jesus said to him, “Begone, Satan! for it is written, You shall worship the Lord Your God and Him only shall you serve.’” Then the devil left Him, and behold, angels came and ministered to Him. (Mt 4:1-11 RSV)

Why do you think the Gospel writers recounted this story of Jesus’ temptation? Do you think they wanted to show how Jesus heroically faced down the devil? Maybe they wanted to illustrate the opposition Jesus faced throughout His ministry. But maybe there’s something more than history here. Maybe they wanted to show us how the devil works so we can be wise to His ways today. Let us take a loser look.

“Command these stones to become bread.” Just as Satan wanted to convince Jesus that He really didn’t have to rely on God’s word for His life, the devil wants to convince us that we can become the source of wisdom for our lives. He wants to tell us we don’t have to submit to our Father’s commands or trust in His all sufficient, generous provision.

“Throw Yourself off the pinnacle of the temple. Surely God will save you.” Just as the devil wanted Jesus to presume upon God’s goodness, He wants us to take lightly the call to holiness. After all, God will always save us, even if we ignore Him and take Him for granted, won’t He? In big and small situations, the devil seeks to convince us that we won’t face any consequences if we decide not live in union with Jesus or follow His commands.

“All this splendor I will give You if You bow down and worship me.” How easy it can be to let the false glory of the world overshadow the true glory that is ours in Christ! This is exactly what Satan wants. There is nothing objectively wrong with money, possessions, or comfort. The problem comes when we let the devil convince us that we won’t experience refreshment, transformation, or hope as we bend our knees before the Lord in love, trust, and obedience.

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ, it is vital that we know our enemy. How else will we know how to repel his attacks? Yet, even as we learn how to fight, we don’t have to be afraid. Jesus overcame Satan both in the wilderness and on the cross! All he asks if that we put on the armor of faith and surrender to God. Victory can be ours, to day and every day!

Prayer: Jesus, You are my Lord and Savior. Thank You for your victory over the devil! Teach me to recognize my enemy’s strategies and to overcome through faith and trust in You. Amen.

44 posted on 03/09/2014 5:08:11 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
A Christian Pilgrim

JESUS AND THE DEVIL

(A biblical refection on THE FIRST SUNDAY OF LENT [YEAR A], March 9, 2014)

First Reading: Genesis 2:7-9;3:1-7; Psalms: Psalm 51:3-6,12-14,17; Second Reading: Romans 5:12-19; Gospel Reading: Matthew 4:1-11

DIGODA IBLIS -31

Some common-sense explanations need to be applied to this Sunday Gospel. It pictures salvation’s two archrivals – Jesus and the devil – having an animated conversation with each other on a mountain and at the pinnacle of the Temple. The best interpretation seems to be that this did not literally happen. The temptations were presented to the mind of Jesus. He had to subdue His inward temptations, urging Him to use His power and glory for His own good as the devil had done. The temptations were in the areas of bread, glory and possessions.

1. BREAD: This is the lure of catering to bodily comforts, giving free rein to all our appetites for food, drink, sex, leisure, etc. – the easy life. It’s only natural to want the best if we can get it, and forget about self-denial and discipline. Jesus knew, however, that this was not the way to prepare for the cross, where He would be thirsty, naked and tortured. So He resisted the temptation.

2. GLORY: Here He was tempted to show off and be spectacular. He could, if He wanted, put on a dazzling display and the people would have jumped with excitement and applause. He could even convince Himself that it would be good for His cause, for it would have attracted an enthusiastic following.

How often we love to be the center of attention and be popular in the eyes of others. Sometimes this clouds our minds, causing us to say and do foolish things. Jesus had to be in control, for later He would be challenged to come down from the cross and save His life. He wouldn’t do that, either. In resisting this temptation, He manifested the divine strength which destroyed our sins.

3. POSSESSIONS: Just imagine all the things that people do for the sake of money. They kill for pay; endure cold, darkness and fear to obtain gold and riches. Some sacrifice every decent principle to obtain an exalted position. The devil doesn’t truly own the world and couldn’t give it to Jesus. But he could remind Him of His freedom to forsake His Father’s will and take possession of the world. Abandoning the Father was tantamount to worshipping the devil and the tough Redeemer told His adversary to get lost. “The devil made me do it,” ha no application here.

This passage causes us to ask: Can Jesus really be tempted? Some would say “no,” for He is divine. Others repond “yes,” for He’s human.

One thing is sure. We can be tempted, but when the mind is resolute, evil will flee. Then peace, like a ministering angel, will gently settle within our souls.

Source: Rev. James McKarns, GO TELL EVERYONE, Makati, Philippines: St. Paul Publications, 1985, pages 16-18.

45 posted on 03/09/2014 5:11:28 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Marriage=One Man and One Woman 'Til Death Do Us Part

Daily Marriage Tip for March 9, 2014:

“Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.” (Ps 51:3) On this first Sunday of Lent, make plans to go to confession as a family sometime during Lent. Frequenting the Sacrament of Penance is great practice for asking forgiveness from our spouse for the times we hurt them.

46 posted on 03/09/2014 5:57:08 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Sunday Scripture Study

Scripture studies for all of Sundays of Lent 2014 are available here.

First Sunday of Lent- Cycle A

March 9, 2014

Click here for USCCB readings

Opening Prayer  

First Reading: Genesis 2:7-9; 3:1-7

Psalm: 51:3-6,12-13,17

Second Reading: Romans 5:12-19 

Gospel Reading: Matthew 4:1-11

 

QUESTIONS:

Closing Prayer

Catechism of the Catholic Church:  §§ 538, 566, 2119, 1438

 

Occupy your mind with good thoughts, or the enemy will fill them with bad ones. Unoccupied, they cannot be.        -St. Thomas More

47 posted on 03/09/2014 6:01:24 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Lent is Knocking on the Door



Lent is Knocking on the Door

 

Pastor’s Column

1st Sunday of Lent-A

March 9, 2014

Lent is not meant to be a burden for us, but an opportunity! This Lent, may we come before the Lord asking, “What is it that you wish from me, Lord?” He sees around corners, which we do not. He knows what we need before we ask. Is there an issue or sin that is separating me from Christ? Is there an addiction or obsession that the Lord wishes me to struggle with and overcome this Lent?

There is a famous painting of the Lord knocking on a closed door. The door has no handle on the outside. Instead, the door must be opened by the person on the inside, with so much to do, so many distractions, emails, videos, work, shopping, to-do lists. With Lent here, who needs something more? Yet through all the busyness of our lives, the Holy Spirit is waiting to offer us a tremendous gift, if only we hear the Lord knocking and open the door for him.

How is my prayer life? If I am in a relationship or friendship with someone and we seldom talk, our friendship is going to be in for hard times. In the same way, if I am not in communion, that is, communicating with the Lord daily, we will be growing more distant. Daily Mass is a good way to grow in friendship with Christ.

Do I read the scriptures regularly? Is something out of balance in my life? Lent is an opportunity to make a fresh start against an addiction I have been avoiding or a sin that the Lord and I will work on together. The best way to begin is with a good confession; many opportunities are available during Lent to heal these sins sacramentally.

Is there someone I need to forgive? Do I spend too much time immersed in video and my computer or cell phone and too little with the Lord and my family? Does my garden need fertilizing? Early spring is the time when we begin adding fertilizer to our gardens to encourage new growth. In order for my soul to grow, we have to fertilize regularly. In practice this means things like attending weekly and daily Mass when I can, finding a good spiritual book or website or blog to keep up on or making time for some of the offerings we have right here at Saint Ed's with bible studies and classes or groups and learning what the Church really teaches.

If I get all my spiritual information solely from the media, my soul will be malnourished! What do I give to others? God has a mission for me in life! It almost always involves the people around me, those who I encounter every day in my family and acquaintances. Do I tithe? How do I show my concern for others? Lent is one of the biggest opportunities we will ever have if only it is possible to hear Christ knocking at the door.

                                    Father Gary


48 posted on 03/09/2014 6:21:13 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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The Sacred Page

Overcoming Temptation: 1st Sunday of Lent

The Readings for this Sunday are exceptionally rich, so we will have to limit ourselves to following just a few themes

1. The First Reading is the account of the Fall, in which Eve, followed by Adam, gives in to temptation by eating the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.

 

Reading 1 Gn 2:7-9; 3:1-7

 

The LORD God formed man out of the clay of the ground
and blew into his nostrils the breath of life,
and so man became a living being.

Then the LORD God planted a garden in Eden, in the east,
and placed there the man whom he had formed.
Out of the ground the LORD God made various trees grow
that were delightful to look at and good for food,
with the tree of life in the middle of the garden
and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Now the serpent was the most cunning of all the animals
that the LORD God had made.
The serpent asked the woman,
“Did God really tell you not to eat
from any of the trees in the garden?”
The woman answered the serpent:
“We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden;
it is only about the fruit of the tree
in the middle of the garden that God said,
‘You shall not eat it or even touch it, lest you die.’”
But the serpent said to the woman:
“You certainly will not die!
No, God knows well that the moment you eat of it
your eyes will be opened and you will be like gods
who know what is good and what is evil.”
The woman saw that the tree was good for food,
pleasing to the eyes, and desirable for gaining wisdom.
So she took some of its fruit and ate it;
and she also gave some to her husband, who was with her,
and he ate it.
Then the eyes of both of them were opened,
and they realized that they were naked;
so they sewed fig leaves together
and made loincloths for themselves.

 

The classic scriptural formulation of the nature of temptation is found in 1 John 2:15-16:

 

 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If any one loves the world, love for the Father is not in him.  For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the pride of life, is not of the Father but is of the world.

 

In the Christian tradition, this threefold love of the world—Lust of the Flesh, Lust of the Eyes, and Pride of Life—is known as the threefold concupiscence, and lines up roughly with the sins of (physical) lust, avarice (greed), and pride.

 

We see this threefold pattern at work when Eve gives in to temptation:

 

The woman saw that the tree was (1) good for food,
(2) pleasing to the eyes, and (3) desirable for gaining wisdom.

 

“Good for food”—this is physical lust.  “Pleasing to the eye”—this is avarice, the desire to have more, to possess things for their beauty or value.  “Desirable for gaining wisdom”—this is pride, because the purpose for gaining wisdom is to make herself equal to God.  As the serpent says, “You will be like God” (RSV).

 

Although Eve is the one tempted into sin according to the narrative, the biblical and post-biblical tradition often attributes the Fall just as much, or even primarily, to Adam, probably because he was considered “head of the family,” and should have known better.  Our liturgical translation rightly renders: "her husband who was with her," implying that Adam was passive and complicit in the whole event.  Some other English translations leave out this important phrase.  Adam was give the role of "working and guarding" in the Garden in Gen 2:15.  Apparently he hasn't been "guarding" very well, because there is a snake in the Garden.  Snakes are never a good thing.  So the responsibility for Original Sin may be laid squarely at the feet of Adam, the original "deadbeat dad" who didn't take responsibility for protecting his nascent family.

 

2. The Responsorial Psalm is Psalm 51, the most famous psalm of penitence in the psalter, recited every Friday in the Liturgy of the Hours:

 

Responsorial Psalm Ps 51:3-4, 5-6, 12-13, 17

 

R/ (cf. 3a) Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.
Have mercy on me, O God, in your goodness;
in the greatness of your compassion wipe out my offense.
Thoroughly wash me from my guilt
and of my sin cleanse me.
R/ Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.
For I acknowledge my offense,
and my sin is before me always:
“Against you only have I sinned,
and done what is evil in your sight.”
R/ Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.
A clean heart create for me, O God,
and a steadfast spirit renew within me.
Cast me not out from your presence,
and your Holy Spirit take not from me.
R/ Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.
Give me back the joy of your salvation,
and a willing spirit sustain in me.
O Lord, open my lips,
and my mouth shall proclaim your praise.
R/ Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.

 

By tradition, David wrote this psalm after his sin with Bathsheba.  David was a New Adam figure in his own right.  He was a royal priest (wearing an ephod in 2 Samuel 6:14; see also Psalm 110) and king of creation (see Psalm 89:19-37).  Like Adam and Eve of old, he fell to the threefold concupiscence (see 2 Sam 11), first ogling the beautiful Bathsheba (Lust of the Eyes), then sleeping with her (Lust of the Flesh), then being too proud to admit wrongdoing, but instead committing murder to hide his sin (Pride).  Like Adam (Hosea 6:7), David was the recipient of a divine covenant (see 2 Sam 7:4-17; Ps 89:28, etc.), who promptly broke his covenant relationship by sin.  David represents an advance over Adam, however, inasmuch as David repents with great contrition (2 Sam 12:13-16, Psalm 51).  David prayers for a “clean heart” and a “new spirit” within him, which is an anticipation of the cleansing of our hearts by the Holy Spirit through baptism in the New Covenant (Acts 2:37-38).  The sacrament was not available to David but he longed for its reality.

 

3. In the Second Reading (Romans 5:12-19), St. Paul explicitly sets up a typological relationship between Adam and Christ:

 

Reading 2 Rom 5:12-19

 

Brothers and sisters:
Through one man sin entered the world,
and through sin, death,
and thus death came to all men, inasmuch as all sinned—
for up to the time of the law, sin was in the world,
though sin is not accounted when there is no law.
But death reigned from Adam to Moses,
even over those who did not sin
after the pattern of the trespass of Adam,
who is the type of the one who was to come.
But the gift is not like the transgression.
For if by the transgression of the one, the many died,
how much more did the grace of God
and the gracious gift of the one man Jesus Christ
overflow for the many.
And the gift is not like the result of the one who sinned.
For after one sin there was the judgment that brought condemnation;
but the gift, after many transgressions, brought acquittal.
For if, by the transgression of the one,
death came to reign through that one,
how much more will those who receive the abundance of grace
and of the gift of justification
come to reign in life through the one Jesus Christ.
In conclusion, just as through one transgression
condemnation came upon all,
so, through one righteous act,
acquittal and life came to all.
For just as through the disobedience of the one man
the many were made sinners,
so, through the obedience of the one,
the many will be made righteous.

 

This passage illustrates what I said above about Adam being attributed primary responsibility in the Fall.  Be that as it may, the Church is calling our attention to the parallel between the Fall and Christ’s victory over temptation.

 

For if, by the transgression of the one,
death came to reign through that one,
how much more will those who receive the abundance of grace
and of the gift of justification
come to reign in life through the one Jesus Christ.

 

The “gift of justification” usually means different things to Protestants and Catholics.  For many Protestants, “justification” is more or less synonymous with “forgiveness” or “acquital” in the divine court, i.e. justification is juridical.  For Catholics, “justification” is an actual “making just,” a changing of our very nature, i.e. justification is ontological.  So, just as Adam changed human nature by his sin, corrupting it and passing it down to his descendants, those who have faith in Christ experience an actual change in our nature (justification) which enables us to live lives of righteousness.  We receive this justification first through Baptism (Rom 6:3-4). 

 

St. Paul’s words in this passage remind us of how dependent we are on Christ for our Lenten observances to have any spiritual effect.  By themselves, practices like fasting and almsgiving do not necessarily effect our souls.  There are plenty of people, for example, who have experienced hunger and yet have remained bitter or selfish; likewise many have given away money, or had it taken away, without experiencing spiritual transformation.  Our Lenten efforts are not effective by themselves.  They are only effective when we unite our small, token efforts with the work of Jesus.  His redemption infuses our humble efforts with meaning, value, and effectiveness. 

 

4.  We move now to the Gospel, where Jesus is tempted three times by Satan:

 

Gospel Mt 4:1-11

 

At that time Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert
to be tempted by the devil.
He fasted for forty days and forty nights,
and afterwards he was hungry.
The tempter approached and said to him,
“If you are the Son of God,
command that these stones become loaves of bread.”
He said in reply,
“It is written:
One does not live on bread alone,
but on every word that comes forth
from the mouth of God.”

Then the devil took him to the holy city,
and made him stand on the parapet of the temple,
and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down.
For it is written:
He will command his angels concerning you
and with their hands they will support you,
lest you dash your foot against a stone.”
Jesus answered him,
“Again it is written,
You shall not put the Lord, your God, to the test.”
Then the devil took him up to a very high mountain,
and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in their magnificence,
and he said to him, "All these I shall give to you,
if you will prostrate yourself and worship me.”
At this, Jesus said to him,
“Get away, Satan!
It is written:
The Lord, your God, shall you worship
and him alone shall you serve.”

Then the devil left him and, behold,
angels came and ministered to him.

 

The temptations follow the pattern of the threefold concupiscence.  First, there is the Lust of the Flesh: “Turn these stones to bread!”  Our Lord was certainly hungry after forty days of fasting.  He was likely in physical pain as his body, having used up fat reserves, was beginning to break down his muscle tissue to stay alive.  Fresh baked bread would sound very good to a starving man ....  And yet Our Lord knew that the use of his divine powers to spare himself the suffering of the human condition was not the will of his Father. 

 

Next is the Pride of Life.  “Throw yourself down from the temple and let the angels catch you!”  This was the temptation to perform a public stunt which would lead to fame and celebrity status.  Jesus would be an instant national sensation.  Yet Our Lord knew his mission was one of humility.

 

Finally comes the Lust of the Eyes.  The devil “showed him all the kingdoms of their world and their glory (or ‘riches’).”  So much could be gained with such a small act of worship—and think of the good Jesus could do as ruler of all these earthly kingdoms!

 

In each of these cases, Jesus opposes the temptation by quoted from Scripture, specifically the Book of Deuteronomy, the quintessential “Law of Moses.”

 

A subtheme of this passage—besides Jesus overturning, as it were, our first parents capitulation to the threefold concupiscence,—is the idea of Jesus as the new Son of David, one greater than Solomon.

 

Solomon was charged to keep the Law of Moses (1 Kings 2:1-4), which gave specified three prohibitions for the king to observe (do not multiply horses, gold or wives; Deut 17:14-17).  Solomon later spectacularly broke the three prohibitions of the Law of Moses (see 1 Kings 10:14-11:8), which, by the way, correspond to the threefold concupiscence (Lust of the Flesh=wives, Lust of the Eyes=gold, Pride of Life=horses [i.e. military power and arrogance]).  Jesus is the better Son of David, who upholds the Law of Moses three times to undo the threefold capitulation of the first Son of David.

 

We as Christians are called to overcome, as Jesus did, the Lust of the Flesh, the Lust of the Eyes, and Pride.  Those in the religious life do so in a radical way, as they vow to follow the three “evangelical counsels”=poverty, obedience, and chastity.  Chastity involves the putting to death (mortification) of Lust of the Flesh.  Poverty mortifies the Lust of the Eyes.  Obedience mortifies Pride—it’s hard to be proud when you are obeying someone else (in poverty, too, no less).

 

It strikes me as odd that Evangelicals do not practice the “evangelical counsels.”  Despite the emphasis on “being Biblical” and even “taking the Bible literally” in some quarters of Protestantism, you find almost no Protestants taking literally Jesus’ call to celibacy (becoming a “eunuch” for the sake of the Kingdom; see Matt 19:12) or poverty (“sell all that you have and come, follow me ...”; see Matt 19:21).  These words of Jesus are followed radically only by the religious within the ancient Churches (Catholic and Orthodox).

 

But the mortification of the threefold concupiscence is not just for monks, nuns, and priests.  According to our state in life, all of us have to overcome this temptation to sin.  Our traditional Lenten disciplines (Prayer, Fasting, Almsgiving) are intended to help us in this.  Fasting mortifies Lust of the Flesh.  Almsgiving mortifies Lust of the Eyes (greed, avarice).  And prayer mortifies Pride, by acknowledging our dependence on God (“give us our daily bread ...”; Matt 6:11) and submitting our will to His (“Thy will be done ...”; Matt 6:10).  Let’s unite our efforts to Jesus powerful work of redemption by faith, and let his Spirit work in us this Lent through the means our Lenten disciplines.


49 posted on 03/09/2014 6:53:06 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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First Sunday of Lent -- Our Desert

 

(Ivan Kramskoi)

 

". . . and afterwards he was hungry . . ."

 

The Word for Sunday: http://usccb.org/bible/readings/030914.cfm


Gn 2: 7-9; 3: 1-7
Rm 5: 12-19
Mt 4: 1-11

Now and then we all have days in which something just doesn’t go right.  In fact, it may be a series of events that just seem to snowball one after the other which causes us frustration and disappointment until they finally even out.  So often in ministry we find that interruptions are the norm rather than the exception.  One works hard at certain arrangements and in the end you find that “plan B” is necessary.  It may be something small like a glitch in the sound system or a scheduled person who cannot show up at the last minute or something far more serious that may cause you to cancel an event all together.

 

As we begin this First Sunday of Lent we hear a well-known story from Genesis that indeed something went wrong with humanity not long after God created us.  Things did not work out as originally planned. God “blew into his (Adam’s) nostrils the breath of life . . .” God then created Eve and set these two first human beings in a Garden, rich with beautiful trees and abundant fruit.  Then, the snake appears and both man and woman believe the serpent’s lie and take to themselves their own will over that of God.  That original sin of disobedience which caused shame and guilt to enter, exhibited by the embarrassment of their nakedness, now needed to be corrected. A savior would need to obey – a new Adam must come for we could not save ourselves from our own sin.  

St. Paul in Romans reminds us that through one man (Christ Jesus), “the gracious gift of the one man Jesus Christ overflow for the many.”  Through Christ Jesus, “the many will be made righteous.” So, rather than a garden, a desert would be the place to confront evil and its source again.

St. Matthew’s Gospel passage is rich with drama as we see Jesus, “led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil.”  Here our new Adam must now face the sin of all humanity which he had taken upon himself.  In the most vulnerable time of his desert experience, the tempter approaches for after forty days and nights of fasting, Jesus “was hungry.”  We could assume he was weak and thirsty as well.  In his weakness, the devil approached and near slithers up to Jesus like the serpent in the garden.

As the first sin was the result of food, so now the first temptation addresses physical hunger: “. . . command these stones become loaves of bread.” Unsuccessful, the tempter moves to the human desire for self-rule: “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down.” God will catch you.  Lastly, the final temptation confronts our hunger for pride, power, and prestige.  As Jesus is shown “all the kingdoms of the world in their magnificence,” he demands that Jesus bow before the tempter and he can have them all: worldly fame, money, and all the advantage the world can bring.  All three temptations together are essentially a means to grab the easy way, the way of my will above that of God’s and essentially for Jesus to abandon his mission of death and resurrection for which he was sent among us to break through the wall and power of sin (death) which estranged us from God. We all know he did not succumb to the devil’s attempts.

Thereby, Lent is an invitation to find our spiritual desert where we confront the truth of our lives.  Here we may find something that upsets us, something we know has to change, or something for which we are grateful yet still need more help.  Yet, the greatest gift is to know that we are not alone in the desert of isolation because we can and should call upon our Lord to come with us.  To believe that God is greater than our sin and more powerful than the forces of evil around us is to know that his mercy and forgiveness is here to call us to a new direction and a new life.

Whenever the moment arrived and reflecting glass provided a mirror, much better than staring into a pond of water, I wonder what the first reactions were like.  Once we could see ourselves as we are did we like what we saw?  Much more likely we could see the many imperfections – a wrinkle here, a gray hair there, a little too chubby here, a nose or ear not proportioned properly, lips too thin, forehead too wide, etc.  We could all go on and on.  The cosmetic industry spends billions of dollars fixing the outside of us but Lent is not cosmetic surgery.  

In the Lenten desert we should see ourselves as we are and turn to the grace of God to correct the faults of our souls and lead us to holiness and virtue which is true beauty.  May the grace of God lead us to a healing desert in these weeks ahead of us.  The sacraments of Reconciliation and the holy Eucharist are powerful tools provided by Jesus our Divine Physician who showed us how we might be “made righteous” before God in this ancient desert time.

 

Grant, almighty God,

through the yearly observances of holy Lent,

 

that we may grow in understanding

of the riches hidden in Christ

 

and by worthy conduct pursue their effects.

 

(Collect of Mass)

 

Fr. Tim


50 posted on 03/09/2014 7:03:20 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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