Sunday, 22 February 2015

Lent 2015 - Four

First Sunday of Lent - Temptation

Jesus is the "New Adam". The first Adam was seduced by the lies of Satan to believe that he did not need God, he could create his own paradise. But instead of a new paradise resulting from man's creative efforts, there ensued a pattern of the rise and fall of kingdom upon kingdom, each one falling into chaos and ruin. 

The prophets of the Old Testament were sent by God to announce that God had a plan for the redemption of Adam's decedents; not to simply to bring them back to the original paradise, but to bring them into a New Creation, a New Paradise, beyond anything the human mind could ever imagine. But as it was at the first, this would be a choice, to enter or not.

A New Adam is sent into the world in the person of God's Son. He would not only announce God's plan, he would enter the human condition totally, so that by walking the walk, he would lead the way into this New Creation. Immediately, Satan sets upon him with the full ferocity of his arsenal of lies. It is here that our Lenten journey begins.

The Three Temptations

"You do not need him and his ship of fools. He is only a man, long dead; merely a story made up by his followers, who continue to sail off into a sea of delusion. Leave him. I will show you the truth about your existence.

Stones into bread. Where is the scientific evidence to prove anything he says is true?

God will save you and protect you. Listen to the voices of those poor believers, crying out in their suffering, as they die in torturous pain. Where is their Saviour now?

Worship me, the voice of Reason, and the world will be yours. Reason alone can save you. Let me be the inspiration behind your thinking. Is it not reason alone that has built this great world you now live in?
Matthew 4:1-11

What sets us apart in the hierarchy of living beings on this earth is our ability to think, to reason, to make choices in the way we act. Not only do we  know, we know we know, and this is by God's design. Perhaps we could say it is a way God designed so that we could share in the wonder and awe of his glory. God's design and the purpose he assigns to it is TRUTH. Anything that contradicts God's design is false and destined to fail. Jesus said … “If you hold to my teaching …  you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” Jo 8:31

At his trial before Pilate Jesus announces, "For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice." And in a voice of irony Pilate replies, "What is truth?" Jo 18:37-38.  Indeed, to discover the answer to that question is why all of us are born into this world. Each day science discovers some new working of creation. But this is only part of the truth. The whole truth cannot be discovered by science alone. What cannot be learned by reason alone is taught by revelation and known by faith: ... "I have come into the world, to testify to the truth." Satan knows this well, and his intention is to be a wedge between faith and reason, between God and man, so that we never learn the TRUTH.

Lent is meant to be a time devoted to discovering the TRUTH, especially the part of truth that comes from the VOICE of God. "Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice." Essential to this work of discovery is the prayer of discernment. Sorting through the cacophony of voices we hear every day to discover which Voice speaks the TRUTH, and to learn who's voice is influencing us at this time is the work of our Lenten prayer.


  • Discernment in Jesuit spirituality: LINK
  • Prayer of Examine: LINK
  • Fr. Robert Barron: Atheism and Philosophy: LINK

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