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1st Lent A

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Dear sisters and brothers,

It is very easy to fall into temptations if we are craving for many things and if we have problems with our identity.

Fr. Cielo

Published in: Spiritual
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1st Lent A

  1. 1. Welcome to our BibleWelcome to our Bible StudyStudy March 9, 2014 1st Sunday of Lent A In preparation for this Sunday’s Liturgy As aid in focusing our homilies and sharing Prepared by Fr. Cielo R. Almazan, OFMPrepared by Fr. Cielo R. Almazan, OFM
  2. 2. 11stst reading: Genesis 2,7-9; 3,1-7reading: Genesis 2,7-9; 3,1-7 Creation of Man / Setting  2,7 The LORD God formed man out of the clay of the ground and blew into his nostrils the breath of life, and so man became a living being. 8 Then the LORD God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and he placed there the man whom he had formed. 9 Out of the ground the LORD God made various trees grow that were delightful to look at and good for food, with the tree of life in the middle of the garden and the tree of the knowledge of good and bad. TemptationTemptation  3,1 Now the serpent was the most cunning of all the animals that the LORD God had made. The serpent asked the woman, "Did God really tell you not to eat from any of the trees in the garden?" 2 The woman answered the serpent: "We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden; 3 it is only about the fruit of the tree in the middle of the garden that God said, 'You shall not eat it or even touch it, lest you die.'" 4 But the serpent said to the woman: "You certainly will not die! 5 No, God knows well that the moment you eat of it your eyes will be opened and you will be like gods who know what is good and what is bad." 6 The woman saw that the tree was good for food, pleasing to the eyes, and desirable for gaining wisdom. So she took some of its fruit and ate it; and she also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized that they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made loincloths for themselves. The focus is on the temptation.
  3. 3. 11stst reading: Genesis 2,7-9; 3,1-7reading: Genesis 2,7-9; 3,1-7 Creation / Setting  2,7 The LORD God formed man out of the clay of the ground and blew into his nostrils the breath of life, and so man became a living being. 8 Then the LORD God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and he placed there the man whom he had formed. 9 Out of the ground the LORD God made various trees grow that were delightful to look at and good for food, with the tree of life in the middle of the garden and the tree of the knowledge of good and bad. Commentary  The text comes from the second story of creation (2,4b--3,24).  The first creation story (1,1-2,4a)  God creates man out of clay and his breath. v.7  God also creates a garden and settles the man there.v.8  God again creates. This time he creates trees. v.9  Delightful to see  Good for food  There are two trees of special interest:  Tree of life  Tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
  4. 4. Temptation  3,1 Now the serpent was the most cunning of all the animals that the LORD God had made. The serpent asked the woman, "Did God really tell you not to eat from any of the trees in the garden?" 2 The woman answered the serpent: "We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden; 3 it is only about the fruit of the tree in the middle of the garden that God said, 'You shall not eat it or even touch it, lest you die.'" 4 But the serpent said to the woman: "You certainly will not die! 5 No, God knows well that the moment you eat of it your eyes will be opened and you will be like gods who know what is good and what is bad."  In 3,1 the author (Yahwist) personifies the serpent. The author makes him speak and talk to the woman.  The serpent asks a seemingly innocent question, but truth is, he plays on the woman’s weakness (or challenges God’s authority).  In vv.2-3, the woman entertains the cunning serpent (snake) and this is a big mistake.  In vv.4-5, the serpent again speaks in a more convincing manner.  He subverts the threat of death.  He assures of the good effect once she will eat of it.  Their eyes will be opened.  They will become like gods who know everything (merismus: good and bad)
  5. 5. The Fall  6 The woman saw that the tree was good for food, pleasing to the eyes, and desirable for gaining wisdom. So she took some of its fruit and ate it; and she also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized that they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made loincloths for themselves.  V.6 reveals the woman’s inner craving for three reasons:  Good for food  Pleasing to the eyes  Desirable for gaining wisdom  In v.6b, the woman acts to satisfy her desire.  She takes some of its fruit and eats it  She also gives some to her husband. (She does extra.)  It is a violation of God’s command. (Gen 2,16-17)  V.7 mentions the unexpected result.  Yes, their eyes are opened, but they have not attained wisdom.  Instead, they see their nakedness (vulnerability).  They are ashamed.  They sew fig leaves and make loincloths to cover their bodies.  They do not become like gods.
  6. 6. Reflections on the 1Reflections on the 1stst readingreading  We must know our limits.  We must be wise enough on whom to listen to.  We must discern where the voice, inducing us to do something, is coming from:  From God or from our subliminal needs?  If we want to know everything, to taste everything, to always satisfy our appetites, if we want to be like the gods…forget it.  We are courting disaster.  We are playing with fire.  Let’s learn from the mistake of Adam and Eve.
  7. 7. Resp. Ps 51:3-4, 5-6, 12-13, 17Resp. Ps 51:3-4, 5-6, 12-13, 17  R. (cf. 3a)R. (cf. 3a) Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.  3 Have mercy on me, O God, in your goodness;3 Have mercy on me, O God, in your goodness; in the greatness of your compassion wipe out my offense.in the greatness of your compassion wipe out my offense. 4 Thoroughly wash me from my guilt4 Thoroughly wash me from my guilt and of my sin cleanse me.and of my sin cleanse me.  5 For I acknowledge my offense,5 For I acknowledge my offense, and my sin is before me always:and my sin is before me always: 6 “Against you only have I sinned,6 “Against you only have I sinned, and done what is evil in your sight.”and done what is evil in your sight.”  12 A clean heart create for me, O God,12 A clean heart create for me, O God, and a steadfast spirit renew within me.and a steadfast spirit renew within me. 13 Cast me not out from your presence,13 Cast me not out from your presence, and your Holy Spirit take not from me.and your Holy Spirit take not from me.  16 Give me back the joy of your salvation,16 Give me back the joy of your salvation, and a willing spirit sustain in me.and a willing spirit sustain in me. 17 O Lord, open my lips,17 O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth shall proclaim your praise.and my mouth shall proclaim your praise.
  8. 8. Resp. Ps 51:3-4, 5-6, 12-13, 17Resp. Ps 51:3-4, 5-6, 12-13, 17  R. (cf. 3a)R. (cf. 3a) Be merciful, O Lord, forBe merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.we have sinned.  3 Have mercy on me, O God, in your3 Have mercy on me, O God, in your goodness;goodness; in the greatness of your compassionin the greatness of your compassion wipe out my offense.wipe out my offense. 4 Thoroughly wash me from my guilt4 Thoroughly wash me from my guilt and of my sin cleanse me.and of my sin cleanse me.  5 For I acknowledge my offense,5 For I acknowledge my offense, and my sin is before me always:and my sin is before me always: 6 “Against you only have I sinned,6 “Against you only have I sinned, and done what is evil in your sight.”and done what is evil in your sight.”  12 A clean heart create for me, O God,12 A clean heart create for me, O God, and a steadfast spirit renew within me.and a steadfast spirit renew within me. 13 Cast me not out from your presence,13 Cast me not out from your presence, and your Holy Spirit take not from me.and your Holy Spirit take not from me.  16 Give me back the joy of your16 Give me back the joy of your salvation,salvation, and a willing spirit sustain in me.and a willing spirit sustain in me. 17 O Lord, open my lips,17 O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth shall proclaim yourand my mouth shall proclaim your praise.praise. Commentary  The psalm is full of parallelisms.  A parallelism is a style of saying the same thing in different ways (different vocabularies).  In v.3, the psalmist, a repentant sinner (supposedly David), asks God for mercy and compassion. (Prayer for Mercy)  In vv.3b-4, three times the psalmist asks God to show his mercy by  Wiping out his offense  Washing from his guilt  Cleansing of his sin  In v.5, the psalmist admits his offense/ sin. (Admission of Guilt)  In v.6, the psalmist admits that his sin is directed against God and flagrantly he has done evil even in front of God.  In v.12, the psalmist prays for cleansing (=forgiving) and spirit of renewal.  In v.13, the psalmist asks not to be cast out from God’s fold.  V.16 implies that that inner joy returns when there is forgiveness.  V.17 is a prayer to help us pray. It is God who makes us pray.
  9. 9. Reflections on the PsalmReflections on the Psalm  We must learn how to repent from our sins.We must learn how to repent from our sins.  We do it in the context of prayer.We do it in the context of prayer.  When repenting, we admit our guilt, our sins, our violations andWhen repenting, we admit our guilt, our sins, our violations and transgressions.transgressions.  When repenting, we ask for mercy, understanding, forgiveness,When repenting, we ask for mercy, understanding, forgiveness, and loveand love  When we are forgiven, we should experience serenity and joy inWhen we are forgiven, we should experience serenity and joy in our heart. We should feel God’s spirit working in us again.our heart. We should feel God’s spirit working in us again.  If we are always justifying ourselves by saying “I did not doIf we are always justifying ourselves by saying “I did not do anything wrong, they are wrong,” we will never repent and weanything wrong, they are wrong,” we will never repent and we will keep repeating the same mistakes.will keep repeating the same mistakes.  Have you ever repented? Have you ever examined yourHave you ever repented? Have you ever examined your conscience?conscience?  Have you ever realized you offended someone by your carelessHave you ever realized you offended someone by your careless speech, action (body language, foul gestures,speech, action (body language, foul gestures, patuchadapatuchada)?)?  Pray for a good conscience.Pray for a good conscience.
  10. 10. 22ndnd reading: Romans 5,12.17-19reading: Romans 5,12.17-19 The coming of sin and death  12 Through one man sin entered the world, and through sin, death, and thus death came to all men, inasmuch as all sinned. Reign of life through Jesus  17 For if, by the transgression of one, death came to reign through that one, how much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of justification come to reign in life through the one person Jesus Christ.  18 In conclusion, just as through one transgression condemnation came upon all, so through one righteous act acquittal and life came to all. 19 For just as through the disobedience of one man the many were made sinners, so through the obedience of one the many will be made righteous. The focus is on sin and grace.
  11. 11. 22ndnd reading: Romans 5,12.17-19reading: Romans 5,12.17-19 The coming of sin and death  12 Through one man sin entered the world, and through sin, death, and thus death came to all men, inasmuch as all sinned. Reign of life through Jesus  17 For if, by the transgression of one, death came to reign through that one, how much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of justification come to reign in life through the one person Jesus Christ.  18 In conclusion, just as through one transgression condemnation came upon all, so through one righteous act acquittal and life came to all. 19 For just as through the disobedience of one man the many were made sinners, so through the obedience of one the many will be made righteous. CommentaryCommentary  The reading recalls the fall of AdamThe reading recalls the fall of Adam (and Eve) in Genesis.(and Eve) in Genesis.  It is a theological reflection on the firstIt is a theological reflection on the first reading.reading.  The first parents fall into sin. TheThe first parents fall into sin. The consequence is death.consequence is death.  V.12 clarifies that all men and womenV.12 clarifies that all men and women die, because they too commit sin.die, because they too commit sin. Their death is not attributed solely toTheir death is not attributed solely to the first parents.the first parents.  V.17 speaks of the redemption ofV.17 speaks of the redemption of humankind.humankind.  Picking up the sin of one man as thePicking up the sin of one man as the cause of death, we come back to lifecause of death, we come back to life through the merit of one man also,through the merit of one man also, Jesus Christ.Jesus Christ.  Vv.18-19 further develop the idea ofVv.18-19 further develop the idea of v.17.v.17.
  12. 12. Reflections on the 2Reflections on the 2ndnd readingreading  Jesus dismantles sin and its consequence - death.Jesus dismantles sin and its consequence - death.  Christ repairs (undoes) the damage done by the sin ofChrist repairs (undoes) the damage done by the sin of our first parents.our first parents.  How does he do it?How does he do it?  Through obedience to God’s law.Through obedience to God’s law.  By listening to the voice of the Father.By listening to the voice of the Father.  We are saved from sin and death, by the merits of JesusWe are saved from sin and death, by the merits of Jesus Christ.Christ.  It is a big favor from God that our sin and guilt areIt is a big favor from God that our sin and guilt are removed from us.removed from us.  Let us live according to the likes of Christ, not the likes ofLet us live according to the likes of Christ, not the likes of Adam and Eve.Adam and Eve.
  13. 13. Gospel reading: Matthew 4,1-11Gospel reading: Matthew 4,1-11 Introduction  1 At that time Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. 2 He fasted for forty days and forty nights, and afterwards he was hungry. Entrance of the Devil: 1st temptation  3 The tempter approached and said to him, "If you are the Son of God, command that these stones become loaves of bread." 4 He said in reply, "It is written: 'One does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.'" 2nd temptation  5 Then the devil took him to the holy city, and made him stand on the parapet of the temple, 6 and said to him, "If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down. For it is written: 'He will command his angels concerning you and 'with their hands they will support you, lest you dash your foot against a stone.'" 7 Jesus answered him, "Again it is written, 'You shall not put the Lord, your God, to the test.'" 3rd temptation  8 Then the devil took him up to a very high mountain, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in their magnificence, 9 and he said to him, "All these I shall give to you, if you will prostrate yourself and worship me." 10 At this, Jesus said to him, "Get away, Satan! It is written: 'The Lord, your God, shall you worship and him alone shall you serve.'" Exit of the devil  11 Then the devil left him and, behold, angels came and ministered to him. A simple outline! The focus is on the temptations of Jesus.
  14. 14. Gospel reading: Matthew 4,1-11Gospel reading: Matthew 4,1-11 Introduction  1 At that time Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. 2 He fasted for forty days and forty nights, and afterwards he was hungry. CommentaryCommentary  In vv.1-2, we are told that Jesus is led by theIn vv.1-2, we are told that Jesus is led by the SpiritSpirit (Holy Spirit),(Holy Spirit), into the desertinto the desert (arid place,(arid place, without food, in contrast to the Garden),without food, in contrast to the Garden), to beto be temptedtempted (tested)(tested) by the devil (evil one).by the devil (evil one).  He fastedHe fasted (not eaten anything or no full meals)(not eaten anything or no full meals) for 40 days and nightsfor 40 days and nights (symbolizing the(symbolizing the Israelites’ wandering in the desert for 40 years).Israelites’ wandering in the desert for 40 years).  Jesus gets hungry afterwards.Jesus gets hungry afterwards.  TemptationsTemptations come when there is hunger.come when there is hunger.  Why does Matthew place theWhy does Matthew place the temptationstemptations here, not within the ministry of Jesus?here, not within the ministry of Jesus?  According to some interpreters, theAccording to some interpreters, the temptationstemptations are placed right before hisare placed right before his ministry to tell us his method ofministry to tell us his method of evangelization.evangelization.  Will he gain people to God by satisfying theWill he gain people to God by satisfying the craving and appetite for worldly valuescraving and appetite for worldly values (money, power and prestige)?(money, power and prestige)?
  15. 15. Gospel reading: Matthew 4,1-11Gospel reading: Matthew 4,1-11 Entrance of the Devil: 1st temptation  3 The tempter approached and said to him, "If you are the Son of God, command that these stones become loaves of bread." 4 He said in reply, "It is written: 'One does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.'" .  In v.3, the devil is identifiedIn v.3, the devil is identified as theas the temptertempter..  TheThe temptertempter is subtle. He starts by saying, “If youis subtle. He starts by saying, “If you are the son of God…”are the son of God…”  Wow, but did not God tell us during Jesus’ baptismWow, but did not God tell us during Jesus’ baptism that he is the son of God?that he is the son of God?  And here comes the devil to confuse him and makeAnd here comes the devil to confuse him and make him doubt that he is. The devil puts him into a crisishim doubt that he is. The devil puts him into a crisis (identity crisis).(identity crisis).  TheThe testtest is a matter of whom to listen to: God or theis a matter of whom to listen to: God or the devil.devil.  In v. 3 the devil says: command these stones toIn v. 3 the devil says: command these stones to become bread.become bread.  Jesus does not listen. He listens to God speakingJesus does not listen. He listens to God speaking through the scriptures: “One does not live by breadthrough the scriptures: “One does not live by bread alone…” v.4 (Dt 8,3).alone…” v.4 (Dt 8,3).  This is the response of God when the IsraelitesThis is the response of God when the Israelites complain there is no food in the desert.complain there is no food in the desert.  Hunger should dispose this people to listen to theHunger should dispose this people to listen to the Word of God.Word of God.
  16. 16. Gospel reading: Matthew 4,1-11Gospel reading: Matthew 4,1-11 2nd temptation  5 Then the devil took him to the holy city, and made him stand on the parapet of the temple, 6 and said to him, "If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down. For it is written: 'He will command his angels concerning you and 'with their hands they will support you, lest you dash your foot against a stone.'" 7 Jesus answered him, "Again it is written, 'You shall not put the Lord, your God, to the test.'" 3rd temptation  8 Then the devil took him up to a very high mountain, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in their magnificence, 9 and he said to him, "All these I shall give to you, if you will prostrate yourself and worship me." 10 At this, Jesus said to him, "Get away, Satan! It is written: 'The Lord, your God, shall you worship and him alone shall you serve.'" Exit of the devil  11 Then the devil left him and, behold, angels came and ministered to him.  In vv.5-6, the devil commands:In vv.5-6, the devil commands: “throw yourself…” he also quotes the“throw yourself…” he also quotes the bible (Ps 91,12). How dare him! Hebible (Ps 91,12). How dare him! He shamelessly quotes the bible as if heshamelessly quotes the bible as if he is listening to God.is listening to God.  Jesus does not listen. He listens toJesus does not listen. He listens to God speaking through the scriptures:God speaking through the scriptures: “You shall not put the Lord to the“You shall not put the Lord to the test.” v.7 (Dt 6,13)test.” v.7 (Dt 6,13)  In vv.8-9, the devil says, “I will giveIn vv.8-9, the devil says, “I will give you these kingdoms, if you worshipyou these kingdoms, if you worship me…”me…”  Jesus does not listen. He listens toJesus does not listen. He listens to God speaking through the scriptures:God speaking through the scriptures: You shall worship the Lord yourYou shall worship the Lord your God…” v.10God…” v.10  V.11 states the defeat of the devil.V.11 states the defeat of the devil. And come the angels who take careAnd come the angels who take care of him.of him.
  17. 17. 11stst temptationtemptation If you are the son of GodIf you are the son of God 22ndnd temptationtemptation If you are the son of GodIf you are the son of God 33rdrd temptationtemptation LocationLocation DesertDesert No man’s landNo man’s land (alone)(alone) Holy City =Holy City = JerusalemJerusalem Place of worship (manyPlace of worship (many people)people) High mountainsHigh mountains Vantage pointVantage point (few people)(few people) Voice ofVoice of the Devilthe Devil (prioritize(prioritize yourself, youryourself, your needs)needs) Stone into breadStone into bread (wealth)(wealth) Satisfy your craving forSatisfy your craving for material things. You needmaterial things. You need them for your campaign.them for your campaign. Throw yourselfThrow yourself down (prestige)down (prestige) Satisfy your craving to beSatisfy your craving to be popular (vanity). Youpopular (vanity). You need a name for peopleneed a name for people to follow you.to follow you. Worship meWorship me (devil)(devil) (power)(power) Satisfy your cravingSatisfy your craving for power. You can’tfor power. You can’t make people followmake people follow you if you don’tyou if you don’t control the army.control the army. Voice ofVoice of GodGod Not by bread, butNot by bread, but word…word… You need God’s Word, notYou need God’s Word, not just material food, to livejust material food, to live with dignity as children ofwith dignity as children of Do not tempt theDo not tempt the Lord…Lord… Don’t presume God willDon’t presume God will save you when yousave you when you endanger yourself byendanger yourself by Worship GodWorship God alone…alone… Don’t betray God toDon’t betray God to pursue your personalpursue your personal ambition.ambition. For your further observation
  18. 18.  Jesus does not fall into any of the traps of the devil. It is very tempting, very convenient, but salvation is not cheaply attained.  Following any of them, to prove himself, will spell disaster to his true identity as the Son of God and his mission to spread God’s reign.  Jesus wants to teach us a new paradigm:  Listening to the voice of God always.  Never listen to the devil and compromise with it.
  19. 19. Reflections on the gospel readingReflections on the gospel reading  Jesus is the model on how to handle temptations.Jesus is the model on how to handle temptations.  Like Jesus, first of all, we must never doubt our identityLike Jesus, first of all, we must never doubt our identity as children of God.as children of God.  As such, we must act and decide accordingly.As such, we must act and decide accordingly.  We must do our mission by following God’s way, not theWe must do our mission by following God’s way, not the devil’s way.devil’s way.  We must stand guard against entertaining possibilities ofWe must stand guard against entertaining possibilities of a compromise because of a nice promise that comesa compromise because of a nice promise that comes from an enticing intruder.from an enticing intruder.  Once we compromise, give an inch to what contradictsOnce we compromise, give an inch to what contradicts God, we spell our downfall.God, we spell our downfall.
  20. 20. Tying the 3 readings and the PsalmTying the 3 readings and the Psalm  TheThe first readingfirst reading talks about Adam and Eve’s fall intotalks about Adam and Eve’s fall into temptation.temptation.  TheThe psalmpsalm is a prayer for mercy, for those who haveis a prayer for mercy, for those who have fallen into temptation.fallen into temptation.  TheThe second readingsecond reading talks about the triumph of Jesustalks about the triumph of Jesus over sin and death. He does not fall into temptation.over sin and death. He does not fall into temptation.  TheThe gospel readinggospel reading demonstrates how Jesusdemonstrates how Jesus successfully handles the temptations.successfully handles the temptations.
  21. 21. How to develop your homily / sharingHow to develop your homily / sharing  Temptations are here to stay.Temptations are here to stay.  As long as we desire a lot of things, we areAs long as we desire a lot of things, we are prone to be tempted.prone to be tempted.  And we have more chances of falling into sin.And we have more chances of falling into sin.  The “devil” triggers what is inside usThe “devil” triggers what is inside us (our inordinate(our inordinate desires and thoughts).desires and thoughts).
  22. 22.  TheThe first readingfirst reading demonstrates the innate desiredemonstrates the innate desire of human beings to know and possessof human beings to know and possess everythingeverything ((pakialameropakialamero, gustong malaman ang lahat;, gustong malaman ang lahat; sakimsakim,, gustong angkinin lahat, without limits).gustong angkinin lahat, without limits).  In the process, we lose our innocence andIn the process, we lose our innocence and vitality.vitality.  We expose our vulnerability.We expose our vulnerability.  We discover that we are not that smart.We discover that we are not that smart.  We feel ashamed of ourselves.We feel ashamed of ourselves.  What we discover put us into trouble.What we discover put us into trouble.
  23. 23.  TheThe gospel readinggospel reading demonstrates how Jesusdemonstrates how Jesus Christ, who is disinterested in wealth, prestige andChrist, who is disinterested in wealth, prestige and power and all those garbage, successfully fightspower and all those garbage, successfully fights against the seductions of the devil.against the seductions of the devil.  His only desire is to do the will of God. He listensHis only desire is to do the will of God. He listens to the voice of God.to the voice of God.  The voice of God is to establish God’s reign by:The voice of God is to establish God’s reign by:  Listening to God’s Word, not by satisfyingListening to God’s Word, not by satisfying appetitesappetites  Living simply and ordinarily, not by trying toLiving simply and ordinarily, not by trying to impressimpress  Being focused to the one true God, not toBeing focused to the one true God, not to anything bizarreanything bizarre
  24. 24.  If we are not formed by the Word of God,If we are not formed by the Word of God, we easily give in to any temptation.we easily give in to any temptation.  We have no qualms about committingWe have no qualms about committing injustices, crimes, blunders and sin.injustices, crimes, blunders and sin.  The voice of God (God’s Word) serves asThe voice of God (God’s Word) serves as a reminder for us not to give in to what isa reminder for us not to give in to what is evil.evil.
  25. 25.  TheThe second readingsecond reading reflects on the downfall (sin)reflects on the downfall (sin) of the first parents and oursof the first parents and ours (1(1stst reading)reading) and theand the victory of Christ Jesus over the devilvictory of Christ Jesus over the devil (gospel).(gospel).  Sin leads us to death; Christ brings us back toSin leads us to death; Christ brings us back to life.life.  Christ overcomes sin, because he never listensChrist overcomes sin, because he never listens to the devil, nor to himself.to the devil, nor to himself.  Besides, he has no worldly desires. He tooBesides, he has no worldly desires. He too overcomes death.overcomes death.
  26. 26.  How do we handle the temptations  To grab power?  To steal other’s money?  To be showy and ostentatious?  To be unfaithful to our loved ones because somebody else is seducing us?  To consume what is more than necessary?  To buy what we don’t need?  To squander our hard earned money?  To use our influence to get what we want?  How do we handle temptations when there is no choice?  Jesus’ answer is never compromise with the devil (no to “kapit sa patalim”)  We should not desire anything else but God.  We take hold of our identity as children of God.  We should decide die as children of God, in God’s loving hands, not to die in disrepute.
  27. 27.  TheThe eucharisteucharist is the reward for those who resistis the reward for those who resist temptations.temptations.  ItIt is the sacrament that celebrates our victory over evil.is the sacrament that celebrates our victory over evil.  TheThe eucharisteucharist strengthens us in our fight againststrengthens us in our fight against temptations.temptations.  Frequency in theFrequency in the eucharisteucharist assures us of God’s continuedassures us of God’s continued support to our journey to holiness and fullness of life.support to our journey to holiness and fullness of life.
  28. 28. Our Context of Sin and GraceOur Context of Sin and Grace  Giant billboardsGiant billboards  CommercialsCommercials  Indecent suggestionsIndecent suggestions  Compulsive buying, creditCompulsive buying, credit cardscards  Unlimited access toUnlimited access to informationinformation  ““The public has the rightThe public has the right to know everything.”to know everything.” (using(using it justify invasion to privacy)it justify invasion to privacy)  Eavesdropping,Eavesdropping, snooping, spyingsnooping, spying  Stealing of secretsStealing of secrets  Greed (money, property,Greed (money, property, power)power)  Aware of one’s limitationsAware of one’s limitations  Listens to the voice ofListens to the voice of God (God’s Word)God (God’s Word)  In control of oneself (notIn control of oneself (not easily seduced)easily seduced)  Pure of heartPure of heart  Has simple needsHas simple needs  Tightly clings to GodTightly clings to God  Uncompromising in termsUncompromising in terms of spiritual and moralof spiritual and moral issuesissues  Nourished by God’s WordNourished by God’s Word
  29. 29. Suggested SongsSuggested Songs  AshesAshes  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8dO5kBOGnYAhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8dO5kBOGnYA  HoseaHosea  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VrYhNWt03oE&feature=relatedhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VrYhNWt03oE&feature=related  Paano Namin MasasabiPaano Namin Masasabi  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WVN-MThZQDshttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WVN-MThZQDs  Reflection For Ash Wednesday (from Sambuhay)Reflection For Ash Wednesday (from Sambuhay)  http://xa.yimg.com/kq/groups/22399089/332105447/name/E20110309_Ashttp://xa.yimg.com/kq/groups/22399089/332105447/name/E20110309_As hWednesday_A.pdfhWednesday_A.pdf
  30. 30.  Dear sisters and brothers,  It is very easy to fall into temptations if we are craving for many things and if we have problems with our identity.  Fr. Cielo

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