Monday 3 February 2014

1st Sunday of Lent Year A

When we do something wrong or make a mistake, how many of us are willing to admit it? Some of us may try to sweep it under the carpet and hope that no one would discover what we have done. Some would start putting the blame on others and try to find a scapegoat to take the blame for us. How many of us are honestly and readily willing to say we are sorry and move on?

In today's readings, we are reminded that Adam and Eve sinned because they did not want to admit their wrong doing. Adam blamed Eve for causing him to eat the forbidden fruit. Eve blamed the serpent for tempting her into eating the fruit. It is a continuous vicious circle. You blame me, I blame you, and in the end, we may end up fighting more and more over the most trivial things, just to ensure that we appear to look good. This attitude smacks of pride and arrogance, where we refuse to acknowledge our weaknesses and be compassionate about the weaknesses of others.

Today's Gospel paints us another picture. Jesus was able to overcome temptation from the devil. Some may say: "But He is God! Surely as God, He is beyond temptation!" However, we should not forget that Jesus is also human. As human, He could be tempted. The forms of temptation which the devil used on Jesus are dissatisfaction, pride and disobedience. But He knew that what the devil was offering Him were merely lies. When we are dissatisfied, we begin to think that God is not giving us our needs. Pride causes us to think that we are greater and more important, and our heads begin to swell. Disobedience is caused when we bow down to the Devil instead of God, and we could do so when we treat other things and objects as gods.

Jesus refused to give in to these temptations because He knew that He was God's beloved. We too are God's beloved. We are precious in God's eyes. We do not need to prove ourselves to God or to anyone. God can and will provide for us. Are we willing to be humble and patient, letting God care for us and give us what we need according to His wisdom? Or are we going to continue doing things our own way? Sometimes, when we demand too much our rights, nothing will be left.

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