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Monday, February 15, 2016

Join the Battle Against Sin!

Sermon by Rev. John Paul Shea
1st Sunday of Lent, Feb. 14, 2016
Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish, Tucson, AZ

In today's Gospel passage (Luke 4:1-13), we accompany Jesus while He is tempted by the devil. 

There are many areas worthy of reflection in today’s passage and what it means for our lives, but the main message concerns our battle against sin.

Jesus is led by the Holy Spirit into the desert for forty days to undergo temptation. As we reflect on this experience of Our Lord, remember Jesus did not need to be tempted for His own sake. Jesus is the Son of God. He was sinless. 

No, Jesus was tempted -- not because He was inclined to sin -- but to show us His fidelity to the Father. He was led into the desert to give us a model of how we can resist the promptings of the evil one. 

My brothers and sisters, we live in a fallen world, and Our Lord has taken on our
Our Lord's Ascension
humanity to save us! Through His death, resurrection, and ascension into heaven, our Lord has established His Kingdom. Yet, until Our Lord comes again, we need to strive to overcome temptation because the power of the devil is at work. 

Our Lord defeated the devil, and in doing so He has taught us how to strive to overcome the tactics of the devil through the power of God! 

In fact, we live in a time today of great temptations, and these temptations will become more intense as we come closer to Our Lord’s second coming. The devil is destroying marriages. He is destroying families. He is destroying souls! 

Yet, his time is short. This is why he is so active in the world today. Therefore, the Gospel teaches us that we must be on guard.
Jesus -- fasting for 40 days -- is hungry. Satan suggests Jesus  turn the stone into bread. Jesus rebukes him, saying man does not live on bread alone. This comes from from the Book of Deuteronomy:

"He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD." (Deuteronomy 8:3)

Therefore Jesus shows us we must rely on every word from the mouth of God if we want to live. Know God’s word and let it be the focus of your life!
Satan offers Jesus the lure of power, the opportunity to become king of the world. He shows Him He could have anything He wanted. Our Lord  again quotes from the Book of Deuteronomy saying, “You shall not put the Lord, your God, to the test.”

We put God to the test whenever we place ourselves in the near occasion of sin! Therefore, today’s Gospel calls us to know our weaknesses. We must learn to recognize what can lead us to fall from God’s grace. For example, if we have trouble encountering pornography we should not be on the  

computer or look at material that we know will tempt us.  

We are in a battle against sin! We are in a battle for the salvation of our souls and those with whom we come in contact!

Each one of us is baptized. In our baptism we made a promise to renounce satan, all his empty works and all his empty promises. This promise we not only make on the day of our baptism, we make it every day of our lives!

As we enter into this season of Lent, let us strive to become more aware of the temptations in our own lives. Let us strive for God’s protection from all evil through prayer and frequent use of the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist and Confession. May God keep us and protect us. Amen.

Did you enjoy this homily? Perhaps you would like to read another Lenten Reflection? Wake Up! Repent and Turn Back to God

1 comment:

  1. O Jesus! Eternal High Priest! Make your Priests Holy! That They may guide your people to Holyness!