My Dear Parishioners,
God is very good to each of us. This comes across clearly in today’s first reading. The Genesis story unfolds as an environment which shows God’s love for us, his creation. It is the story about each of us. We were nothing but dust, and then God breathed into us his very life, making us into his image and likeness. You would think that the story might end there, but it takes a turn for the worse. Evil makes its presence felt, and we succumb to its powerful and manipulative tactics. I say we because Adam and Eve stand for all of us. The dynamics of the Genesis story is played out over and over again each and every time we sin.
As we celebrate this first Sunday of Lent, we are reminded that no one is spared from temptations, not even Jesus. We hear this in today’s Gospel. The desert experience of Jesus is a far cry from the paradise experience of Adam and Eve. While our first parents gave in to the evil of their day, Jesus was victorious in
defeating the tactics of Satan. No evil would take hold of Jesus even as he fasted and prayer during those forty days in the desert. Jesus is more powerful than the evil of Satan and he remains true to obedience of the will of his Father. This is why Jesus is often referred to as the new Adam, for, whereas Adam sinned, Jesus did not. Adam separated himself from God, Jesus refused to allow Satan to separate him from his heavenly Father.
How well do any of us deal with temptation? Are we able to be strong and stand up to its power? Lent is the perfect time to look at ourselves and face those temptations which can jeopardize our very life with the Lord, as well as separate us from him. Lent reminds us that God is good. However, we realize that we are not always as good as God calls us to be, and, for that, we repent and seek God’s mercy. Just as Jesus entered the desert to fast and pray for forty days, so we, as his disciples, do likewise. We enter into the mystery of Jesus in the desert, and we pray that, like Jesus, we, too, will triumph over the power of Satan. Father … lead us not into temptation but deliver us from Evil.
God Bless, Msgr. Maresca