Brian’s Reflection: The Weekend, Sat, February 20, 2010
[ Lent I in the Christian Kalendar ]
Jesus ….. was led by the Spirit in the wilderness,
where for forty days he was tempted by the devil.
The Gospel called Luke, Chap 4 [for Lent 1 C_RCL]
[ Here is the link for the Readings - http://www.io.com/~kellywp/YearC_RCL/Lent/CLent1_RCL.html ]
How are we seduced? That’s the issue on this First Sunday of Lent. Seduced from what? Seduced from living our lives as a “child” (not a good term, in my opinion, with all it’s both negative and positive connotations for us) of the God of Compassion and Unconditional Love, Justice and Mercy.
[ I’m not interested in what more or less degree you think this story falls, from “literal” or “metaphorical”; I’m interested in what it means for us living our lives today.]
What are the “temptations? Well :
1. Ignoring what sustains Life beyond sustaining the physical being. (Changing stones into bread)
2. Forgetting what God, and our lives, are essentially about. Our lives are not about unholy power and praise, and the acquiring of them (The kingdoms of the World)
3. Misunderstanding God. God is not a magician, an intervener in the natural order of things, someone who abrogates our freedom, or the requirement to exercise our human gifts. (Testing God)
Lent, as a liturgical season, is a focused time of paying attention to those things that seduce us away from living our lives as a compassionate, loving, merciful, kind, generous, thankful human being. It also reminds us that this is our daily journey.
Jesus was on a long retreat, fasting and praying. This reminds us to take focused time to think and learn. The “devil’s” presence to Jesus in his time of deep prayer reminds us that Temptation becomes more vivid in such times. The “angels” remind us that God is with us, near to us, sustaining us, helping us to reject false wisdom. Remember: Jesus was deeply anchored in His Scriptures and faith practice.
The principle warning here is : “Stay Grounded”.