Homily for the 1st Sunday of Lent Year A
Theme: TEMPTATION IS NOT A ONE AND YOU ARE DONE SCENARIO
By: Fr. Augustine Okpara
Homily for Sunday March 1 2020
The bible says that; For we do not have a high priest, who cannot have compassion on our infirmities: but one tempted in all things like as we are, but without sin. Let us go therefore with confidence to the throne of grace: that we may obtain mercy, and find grace in seasonable aid. (Hebrews 4:15). The temptation of Jesus is like a preview of a movie. A preview tells us just enough about a movie to get us interested in it but not enough to spoil its story. And that is exactly what it is with the life of a Christian, every temptation is a preview of our cross. It will however be dangerous if we allow any to destroy our love story with God.
The devil tempts you with your greatest desire or passion just like James said; ‘’ where do these wars and battles between yourselves first start? Is it not precisely in the desires fighting inside your own selves? You want something and you lack it; so, you kill. You have an ambition that you cannot satisfy; so, you fight to get your way by force…. (James 4:1ff)
Jesus was tempted three times which implies that the battle against temptation never ends until we unite with God. It is never a one and you are done scenario. Thus St. Peter warns us; be calm but vigilant because your enemy the devil is prowling like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.’’ (1 Peter 5:8)
To conquer our daily temptation, we have to arm ourselves with the teachings of the scriptures and the Church. In his letter to the Ephesians, Paul states, ‘’ and you must take salvation as your helmet and the sword of the Spirit, that is, the word of God. (Ephesians 6:17). A cursory look on the story in the Acts of the apostles, chapter 15:1-30 will show you how fundamental the teaching authority of the church is, because a slight misinterpretation of the word of God can ruin the whole faith. Even the devil tempted Jesus with Psalm 91 do not forget. Temptations can come from anywhere beware!
Again, it is important to trust God but not to be reckless with our lives. Presumption is a terrible thing. St Augustine would say ‘’ work as if everything depends on you and pray as if everything depends on God’’ and St. Benedict’s modern monastic motto says; ‘’ Ora et labora’’ – pray and work. So, to flee from temptation we must be positively active for they say, an ideal mind is the devil’s workshop. Never forget that, ‘temptation is not a one and you are done scenario’
May god give us strength to always do his will.
-Fr. Augustine Okpara