Welcome to Divine Providence Catholic Church on this First Sunday of Lent in Year C: February 17, 2013 We are glad you visit our Facebook site !Thank you and may God bless you abundantly! Father Jean-Marie Mvumbi, CICM
Gospel according to Luke 4:1-13 Filled with the Holy Spirit, Jesus returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the desert for forty days, to be tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and when theywere over he was hungry. The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.” Jesus answered him, “It is written, One does not live on bread alone.” Then he took him up and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a single instant. The devil said to him, “I shall give to you all this power and glory; for it has been handed over tome, and I may give it to whomever I wish. All this will be yours, if you worship me.”
Jesus said to him in reply, “It is written: You shall worship the Lord, your God, and him alone shall you serve.” Then he led him to Jerusalem, madehim stand on the parapet of the temple, and saidto him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here, for it is written: He will command his angels concerning you, to guard you, and: With their hands they will support you, lest you dash your foot against a stone.” Jesus said to him in reply, “It also says, You shallnot put the Lord, your God, to the test.” When thedevil had finished every temptation, he departed from him for a time.
THE G0SPEL narrates Lukes version of the temptationsof Jesus. Luke has changed the order of thetemptations, placing the third in Jerusalem, since forhim, the Holy City is the goal and the end of everythingconnected with Jesus .The three temptations deal withthe use and abuse of P0WER: the first temptation dealswith the uses of the personal powers and talents forones own benefit; the second, with the acquisition ofworldly power to satisfy ones ego and pride, puttingoneself above others; the third, with having the powerof God at the service of ones whims. Jesus overcomesall temptations by affirming the primacy of God ineverything, thus effectively saying “no” to the devil.We, in many ways, suffer the same temptations.
Luke speaks of the powers of the world as"devilish" ("It has been given to me," the devilsays) because in the world of the first century, like inthe world of today, power was used to oppress andenslave people. The First Adam was invited to eat theforbidden fruit, and he disobeyed God; the Israelites"in the desert" were tempted by the lack offood, and they protested and sinned against God;the New Adam is tempted about food, but he resists.The Word of God is the only true food that takesaway all the hungers, and calms all thedesires, of the human heart. The Eucharist is ourfood that sums up our faith in the Word of
Jesus, the saints, and all of us, are tempted by ourpassions, desires, things, happenings, circumstances, and "devils" which want to lead us away from God: we aretempted to take care of ourselves at the expense ofothers; we are tempted to exploit others for our ownbenefit; we are tempted to make gods ofmoney, power, and prestige; we pretend that God willapprove our choices and desires even when they areoutside his will. We can overcome all temptations withJesus on our side; then temptations become motives ofglory, strength, happiness and reward. If we cannotavoid all temptations, with prayer, prudence andeffort, ("Lead us not Into temptation") we canalways fight and conquer like Jesus. Temptationsare conquered with Faith, Fidelity, Prayer, and
THE SECOND READING … affirms the primacy offaith. The Jews of Jesus time pretended toplease God by obeying the Law; Christiansplease God through a living faith that inspiresus to do the will of God, to love our neighborsas God loves them, to extend a helping handto the poor and the needy, and to fightagainst sin. Christ is the Lord to whom we allcling in faith. Since he conquered sin, we shallconquer with him. Faith is an interior convictionand dynamism which we must profess with ourlips and proclaim with our actions.
THE FIRST READING presents the profession of faith withwhich Israelites gave thanks to God after the harvest; itrecalls the three principal actions of God in the history oftheir nation: election of the Patriarchs, liberation fromEgypt, gift of the land. The faith of Israel is not directlyconcerned with abstract truths but with concretesalvific actions and events in which the peopleexperienced the salvation of God. The Creed we recite inthe mass proclaims the Christian experience of Gods love.The works of generosity ("This is why I bring as an offering... ") are the faith response of the people. (SortieHispanics are not used to contribute to the Churchbecause, for centuries, the Royal Patronage of the SpanishCrown took care of the needs of the Church; people need tobe encouraged to take responsibility for their own
THEMES FOR REFLECTION1. Which are the three most common temptationswe have?2. What thought and actions help you to overcometemptation?3. Are there temptations impossible to resist? Why?4. What good do you derive out of your owntemptations?5. Which are the principal actions and interventionsof God in the history of your nation and family? Howhas God revealed to you his love?6. What meaning do you see in the expression "Jesusis my Lord"?