Temptation

I wonder how many homilies on the temptations of Jesus will concentrate on the theological aspects to the exclusion of the psychological? I ask because I think one of the reasons many find it difficult to relate to the person of Christ is that, practically speaking, we  have an either/or approach, making him wholly human or wholly divine, but not both. The result is an impoverishment of our reading of the gospels. That is especially true of the temptation narrative we read today, where the reality of the choice facing Jesus is often played down, as though he were merely play-acting. The idea of Jesus being genuinely attracted by evil is deeply shocking. It brings home to us with startling clarity the importance of the choices we ourselves make as well as the salvation opened to us by his decisive rejection of all that is contrary to God.

Jesus did not succumb to temptation; we often do; but as the Letter to the Hebrews points out, we now have as intercessor a High Priest who has experienced everything we have — but without sinning. That is a great encouragement to us all. It reminds us that evil can be overcome. We are not the weak and feeble beings we often think we are, and we give thanks that we have ‘such and so mighty a Redeemer.’

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3 thoughts on “Temptation”

  1. I read your blog before going off to church this morning,then attended morning service curious to see what kind of sermon would be preached. In the event we had a Fair Trade presentation from a farmer from St Lucia , which was a bit of an anti climax. Still I suppose the Social gospel is important too! We still have choices to make that much is sure, and oh how wonderful,that life is full of surprises 🙂

  2. At Mass, our priest spoke of the first garden story, and asked how long were Adam & Eve tempted? Four minutes? four hours? He said the bible is silent on that, but clear on the outcome. He then tied it into the temptation Jesus, then our personal temptations, wrapped it all up with your summation, Sister. It was a good homily, and we had as a guest our priest’s grade 8 teacher from 47 years ago who told Harold and I in the parking lot that she was pleased he had become a good homilist, and that our church was a welcoming prayerful place of worship. We felt we’d all received a sticker on our workbooks. It was a treat all ’round.

    • Oh, and one other thing – Stations of the Cross will be led on Fridays throughout Lent by the Benedictine Community, so we thought of you and Little Sis, will remember you both next Friday in a particular way as we take part in this very meaningful devotion.

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