Friday, February 15, 2013

A Funny Thing about Temptation

For some reason I can’t eat seafood.  Every kind of seafood makes me very sleepy. This has made me a popular invitee at lobster boils because the host knows that there will be all-the-more for everyone else.  Simply put:  I cannot be tempted with lobster.  No amount of coaxing, peer-pressure, trickery or bribery will get me to don a plastic bib to dip the rich meat in melted butter.  My point is you can only be tempted by things you want.  For me, chocolate chip cookies are another matter.

In Luke’s Gospel (4:1-13), we hear of Jesus being tempted in the wilderness.  These temptations are real, each is something Jesus wants.  Bread, Jesus wants to eat and he wants enough for others to eat as well.  Political and judicial power, Jesus wants the politicians, magistrates and peace keeping officers of the world to act in accordance with the will of God.  The top of the temple, Jesus wants all religious people to worship the one, true God.

But in each case Jesus refuses the things he wants, the things he will live and die for.  Why?  Because the one law that overrides everything else is freedom.  God has blessed us with freedom, particularly the freedom to accept or reject God.  Jesus chooses to abide by this principle rather than to do anything that will trick, force or bribe people into worshiping God.

At the start of Lent each year we are invited, to observe a holy Lent by self-examination, penitence, prayer, fasting, and almsgiving, and by reading and meditating on the word of God.  Lent is a time to prepare for Easter and to renew our life in the paschal mystery of the death, resurrection and return of Jesus Christ.  Lent is a time to be renewed in our spiritual journey so that we can freely worship God.

Order of Service for Lent 2013

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