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Topic Started: Feb 21 2010, 08:01 AM (602 Views)
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First Sunday of Lent(C)

"Worship me, then, and it shall all be Yours" (Luke 4:7).
Deuteronomy 26:4-10; Psalms 91:1-2,10-15; Romans 10:8-13; Luke 4:1-13

A former President of Boston University had a dog named "Clipper." He was a mongrel, but he was a smart dog. He was easy to train, and he knew a lot of tricks. The best trick was one that involved cheese ...

Of all the foods he ever tasted, Clipper loved cheese the most. The trick took place when Clipper's master would place a piece of cheese on the dog's front paws. Think of the temptation to this little fellow! The smell, the sight, it was all there within gulping range. But Clipper was a very smart little dog. His master would say to him, "Now Clipper, this cheese is given to you in trust" (meaning, "Don't eat it!"). And that smart little pup would twist his head around as far as he could in order to get away from the temptation. Then, finally, when the word came, "Okay, Clipper, the cheese is yours": Whoosh! the cheese would be gone.
It is often the case, is it not, that when a temptation is laid on our paws, so to speak, instead of having the smarts to turn away from it, we nuzzle up to it, we sniff it, we get as close to it as possible and before we know it, "Whoosh!" we're goners -- It's all over?

God gives us the insight to recognize the temptation for what it is and to turn away before it takes hold.

In today's Lesson, Satan tempts Jesus by showing Him all the kingdoms of the world. "I will give You all this power and the glory of these kingdoms," the devil says. "Worship me, then, and it shall all be Yours." But Jesus answers, "Scripture says, 'You must worship the Lord your God, and serve Him alone'"(Luke 4:5-8).

It has been said that a good sub-title for the Bible would be "The Book of Temptation." The Bible opens with the story of Adam and Eve being tempted. And Cain being tempted to kill his brother. And Noah being tempted. And Abraham being tempted, and Moses and King David and the prophets and the Apostles, and as we have seen in today's Gospel Lesson, even Jesus as Luke tells us, "was led by the Spirit out into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil."

The Biblical story of temptation comes to an end in the Book of Revelation. Here we see that the temptation to fall away from God comes to the whole world.

But there is a further Biblical truth telling us that at the very moment we realize that life is full of temptation and evil, God Himself is our Protector.

The Apostle Paul tells us that although temptations are common to our lives, nevertheless there will never be a temptation that is too great for us to resist if we remain open to God's protection.
Lent, as today's Gospel episode suggests, is a time to think about temptation ...

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