LUKE 4: 1-13
HIS WORDâ€¦1) IT IS WRITTEN, ONE DOES NOT LIVE ON BREAD ALONEâ€¦ 2) IT IS WRITTEN, YOU SHALL WORSHIP THE LORD YOUR GOD, AND HIM ALONE SHALL YOU SERVEâ€¦ 3) IT ALSO SAYS, YOU SHALL NOT PUT THE LORD, YOUR GOD, TO THE TESTâ€¦
my wordsâ€¦In the Philippines, the First Sunday of Lent is celebrated as the â€œNational Migrantsâ€™ Sundayâ€ remembering our Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) and praying for them that they too may not succumb to the â€œtemptationsâ€ of life; and so too their families they left behind. We pray that our OFWs and their families will not yield to the temptations of pleasure and material gains but be instruments of spreading the Good News.
Brothers and Sisters, the First Sunday of Lent is also called the â€œTemptation Sundayâ€. Today, we hear the Temptation Narrative from the gospel of Luke. And there were three temptations made by Satan upon the Lord Jesus. The first was when Jesus was hungry after fasting for forty days, Satan asked him to turn stones into bread if He were the Son of God (4:3-4). The second was the offering of the riches of the world if Jesus would worship Satan (Lk 4:5-8). And the third was when Jesus was brought to the parapet of the Temple, and Satan asked Him to jump from it with no harm because the angels will take care or administer unto Him (Lk 4:9-12).
These three temptations are symbolic of our human temptations; namely, the first temptation is called â€œTHE LUST OF THE FLESHâ€ â€“ it refers to the variety of temptations and sins borne out of the human appetite of the mouth and of the sexual desires. They are carnal in nature hence, sins of the flesh. This temptation is widespread in the world of hedonism; the second temptation is called â€œTHE LUST OF THE EYEâ€ â€“ these are temptations and sins committed because of our inherent attractions and attachments to material wealth, riches, money, and the treasures of the world. Money and wealth become their â€œgodsâ€. And the third temptation is called â€œTHE LUST OF LIFEâ€ â€“ these are temptations and sins committed because of manâ€™s search and ambitions for power, popularity, and honor. These are the most common temptations and sins in Philippine politics and of our politicians whose campaign periodhas just started on the eve of Ash Wednesday for the Philippine Elections 2016. Every one desires to be number one!
To all these areas of temptations, Jesus countered them with virtues; to the temptations of the flesh â€“>SACRIFICE; to the temptations of riches â€“>POVERTY; to the temptations of power, popularity, honor â€“>HUMILITY.For us Christians, let the 40 days of Lent be a season of renewing ourselves and our Christians Values by resisting all forms of temptations so that we can TOTALLY be for Christ. Let the Standard of Christ, and not the Standard of Satan, be our guide in our journey towards eternal life.
MAY GOD STRENGTHEN US AGAINST ALL TEMPTATIONS OF THE FLESH, OF THE EYE, AND OF LIFEâ€¦
(By Fr. Julius C. Lupot)