First Sunday of Lent
March 6, 2022
Ps 91:1-2, 10-15
USCCB Podcast of the Readings:
Filled with the Holy Spirit, Jesus returned from the Jordan
and was led by the Spirit into the desert for forty days,
to be tempted by the devil.
The temptations neither come from God nor God lead us in to temptations but strengthens us to resist the temptations. The Gospel reading of today tells us the Spirit of God led Jesus to be tempted by the Devil for forty days. God wants his children to be like him and to test the faithfulness of his Children , God puts his Children to a test to fight against the evil spirit. Adam was put in the Garden of Eden to fight against Satan but Adam and Eve failed miserably to the lying attitude of the Evil one. God chose Israel as his own Children and set them apart from the World but they had to go through the test of forty years in the Wilderness and Israel too miserably failed in the hands of the Prince of this World Satan. Jesus Christ was Baptized and becomes a Son of God in Human Context and fills with full of the Holy spirit and the Spirit of God leads Jesus in to the Desert to be tested for forty Days.
Jesus was tempted in three areas in his life with three temptation. First Temptation was in the area of his fives senses of flesh. The second Temptation was in the area of five senses of his mind. The third Temptation was in area of five senses of his Spirit.
The first temptation was of the Flesh and Jesus overcomes this Temptation through fasting, fasting is the result of the trust in every Word spoken from the mouth of God.
The second temptation is of the World or material life , Jesus overcomes it by Charity and love of God by worshiping God and serving him alone.
The third Temptation is of Satan , Satan is a liar and father of all lies. Satan tries to trick Jesus by manipulating the Word of God and Jesus overcomes him by Prayer , Prayer is the result of the trusting relationship and immovable faith in God. Satan tries to bring doubt in the heart of Jesus saying if God loves you let him prove you by Word and deed but Jesus was very clear in his faith in God by saying do not put your God in to test. Jesus defeats Satan in all the three temptations and teaches us how to be Victorious.
All human beings are tempted in these three areas of life. When I encountered the Lord for the first time, there was so much grace and anointing came upon me , I wanted to leave everything of this World and live like a Monk in Monastic life but with in fifteen days of my conversion the temptations in the areas of my Flesh, World and Satan were so severe which I did not face in my previous sinful life. A spiritual Warfare started with in me , the Spirit of God and Satan became something real in my life who were trying to take possession of my Body,mind and Spirit. It is been 28 years of my transformation experience or I call it my real Baptism in the Holy spirit , the spiritual warfare has never ended in my life. The warfare intensifies more and more . If I avoid one Temptation the second one comes at the very next moment which is double the size. Most of our difficulties and setbacks or we call them our Crosses are the result of the Temptations of our time we must face them with the tools Jesus used in his life.
The Fasting helps us to control our physical senses. People who are foodies -Gluttons or with lustful desires or Gossipers or impatient or hot tempered must fast once in a Week to control or discipline the five senses of the Body. Our bodies are controlled by the Commandments of god which are inbuilt in our consciences. When the voice of our Conscience which is the in built word of God tells us not to eat or not to look or no to touch or not to speak or not to hear we must hear the word of God which sustains us and keeps us.
Prayer increases our faith and love with God, whatever circumstances come on our way if we have a trusting relationship with God through Prayer time we will not doubt or fear our life. People with fear, doubt, insecurity. depression, timidity, inferiority complex, pride, ego,envy must pray every day for one hour in personal Prayer , Scripture reading, Worship and praise. This builds our identity as sons and daughter of God and gives us a meaning in life and controls and disciplines our mind , also it helps us to find the plan of God in our life. when we make God as the center of our life , the spirit of God controls our mind. The will power or any type of meditation can not control our minds , we can use meditations as a media to pray to Jesus , the psychological studies give us awareness of our faulty mind or beliefs but can not take us to the right direction of our life. Prayer leads us to faith and faith leads us to love no psychology teaches this but when we Worship God in truth and Spirit we see God as he is and serve him alone, not our intelligence or education. God can be sensed only through Faith and love.
Alms giving and tithing makes us more charitable and kind in heart, people who are too much materialistic, money minded, workaholics, superstitious, fanatics, greedy, selfish, unforgiving must visit some poor families in once in a Week and help them financially and in service , also support the Works of God by taking active part in at least one ministry in the Church or Society by supporting them financially. Giving and forgiving is the definition of love and charity. The self sacrifice empties our self burden , baggage of our life. Service is the best form of worship . Mercy and kindness are the drivers of Charity. Charity and Compassion flows from the Spirit and the spirit of God works at this time. The real miracles of God take place . There is no Preaching without the love and Charity because love drives to propose the love of God to our Neighbor. If there is no love and we preach the Word of God, our proposal is fake because the very Word of God is love.
Prayer: Lord teach us to pray, fast and love the poor. Amen.