Homily for the 1st Sunday of Lent Year A
Theme: BETWEEN ADAM AND CHRIST; WHO MENTORS US?
By: Rev. Fr. Jacob Aondover ATSU
Homily for Sunday March 1 2020
READINGS: GENESIS 2:7-9;3:1-7, PSALM 51, ROMANS 5:12-19, MATTHEW 4:1-11
Temptation as understood in the religious parlance simply connote ‘the INCLINATION TO SIN’. It is the state of being attracted and enticed (to unhealthy, sinful, wrong and momentary pleasures or vices). The Tempter is the architect or orchestrator or inducer of sin or vice from the tempted who is normally enticed by the antics of the manipulating ‘tempter’.
Everyone can be tempted, Jesus himself was.
Everyone can overcome temptation – All have a touch of divinity (Gen. 1:27).
Everyone is graced enough to overcome the allurements of sin (Rom. 5:20).
Everyone is tempted within his ability to overcome (1Cor. 10:13).
Struggling to access RESTRICTED KNOWLEDGE and being who we are not can be disastrous. When man tries to be like God, claiming the right to restricted knowledge, and because of his ensuing erroneous choices, he destroys himself. What seems good to man may in fact be grotesque and odious. Genesis reminds us that appropriating undeserved knowledge unto ourselves lead only to one destination, our peril. Adam and Eve fell; we may do well not to follow their lead.
The serpent is symbolic of whatever pushes us to break away from and become independent of God. His (devil) primary mission is to tempt people giving them seemingly palatable reasons to stray from righteousness. HE LACKS THE CAPACITY TO FORCE MAN TO ADHERE TO HIS ANTICS. Eve fell because of her insatiability: “The woman saw that the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eyes, and the tree was desirable for gaining wisdom” (Gen. 3:6). The man also, convinced as he was, took the fruit for they sought knowledge that wasn’t theirs to wield. Beloved, we see the devil tempting Jesus also: to turn stones to bread, fall from the parapet of the temple and to prostrate and worship him. Humanly speaking, Jesus was in his weak moments. He was hungry, tired and concerned about his impending mission.
Be this as it was, he stayed strong and depended on God and he prevailed where Adam failed.
The devil knows when and on what basis to tempt us. He knew Adam and Eve were naïve, wanted more than they had and he came just then and succeeded. In the devil’s limited wisdom, Jesus seemed hungry and helpless hence he came to tempt him on three fronts: FOOD (pleasure), POWER and WEALTH. For every choice we make, we either choose to be good or evil, life or death, progress or retrogression, shame or courage. We may do well to welcome temptations and use them as radar rungs aiding us to climb up to heaven.
We must remember: seasoned prayer and communion with God are needful tools to conquer temptations. We are tempted mostly in our moments of desperation and weakness; only prayer can see us through. We are spiritual beings and there’s more to our lives than our bodies, pleasures, insatiable desires, power and wealth. God’s word is a pivot to our fight against evil. We are sure to have temptations, Christ himself said it (Lk.17:1) but surest to conquer them since the God in us is greater than the devil out there (1Jn. 4:4). When you are ready for something, it doesn’t take you unawares. May I charge us to be ready for temptation and like Christ, pray, fast and depend on God for strength.
FEED AND EDUCATE ONE