Thursday, 7 February 2008

1st Sunday of Lent - Year A

Genesis 2:7-9.3:1-7; Romans 5:12-19; Matthew 4:1-11

The drama of the First Reading has four characters – God, Satan, Adam & Eve.
  • What does God do?
God creates (fashions), gives life, nurtures, makes fruitful, provides, plants, and causes an abundance of life.

God's actions are good, beautiful and truthful. Good because he creates man and gives him all he needs; beautiful because he creates a beautiful world; truthful because he sets limits to Adam and Eve and thereby gives them the security of knowing who they are. ie. He is God and they are not. They are creatures.
  • What does Satan do?
The only thing he does is speak. The tongue is Satan’s main weapon, his weapon of mass destruction, undoing the good God has done.

Did God really say you were not to eat from any of the trees in the garden?

No! You will not die! God knows in fact that on the day you eat it your eyes will be opened and you will be like gods, knowing good and evil.
  • What does Eve do?
Eve made the horrible mistake of speaking to Satan. This was fatal. He is far cleverer than she.
Eve answered the serpent, saw that the tree was good to eat, pleasing to the eye, desirable, took, ate, gave to the man.

In the Rite of Exorcism the exorcist is counselled not to speak to the demon, not to ask him questions beyond what the Rite permits.

Sin loves company. It was not enough for her to sin, she had to make Adam sin too.
  • What does Adam do?
Adam took the fruit from Eve and ate.

Adam was like most men. He did what the woman told him (just kidding).

The Church warns us that Satan and his demons are still among us. There are still serpents who wish to become like gods, choosing for themselves what is good and evil. And we are warned to be on our guard against them or they will tempt us to disobey God and the teachings of his Church.

These serpents will tell you lies: Did God really tell you? Does the Church really teach such and such?

I have had experience many times of these serpents. They will say: No, you will not die. In other words: It’s not a mortal sin to do this, or to do that. Choose for yourselves what is right or wrong. Just let your conscience tell you it’s ok. You can be like gods. You can decide.

Don’t ever listen to that kind of talk. It’s the talk of the Evil One who can use good people as well as evil people to broadcast his errors.

We don’t have time to speak of the Gospel at length. Let’s just draw some quick parallels.
  • Adam and Eve had everything in Eden but they wanted more - Jesus had nothing in the desert and rejected the temptation to have something.
  • Eve listened to Satan's words – Jesus listened to the words of Scripture.
  • Adam & Eve were free from work but ended up working by the sweat of their brow – Jesus laboured in the desert, fasting and praying, and the angels came and ministered to him.
  • Adam and Eve disobeyed God and plunged all mankind into sin – Jesus obeyed God and set us all free.

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