Saturday, March 08, 2014

One Righteous Act

First Sunday of Lent 2014 A

The LORD God formed man out of the clay of the ground and blew into his nostrils the breath of life, and so man became a living being.  Genesis 2:7

In conclusion, just as through one transgression condemnation came upon all, so, through one righteous act, acquittal and life came to all.  For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so, through the obedience of the one, the many will be made righteous.  Romans 5:18-19

At that time Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil.  He fasted for forty days and forty nights, and afterwards he was hungry.  Matthew 4:1-2

Temptations are the blessed moments of our life when we have the chance to know how much we love the Lord when we choose his way over a powerful attraction to selfishness. Selflessness is when we choose the need of another to do something positive about rather than our own comfort. Christ did not turn the stones into bread even when he was hungry. He did something about the hunger of others. Our challenge is to love even as Christ has loved us. How we give up servicing our own comfort for the sake of another is the work of Lent. The Evil Spirit shows us something that would seem to be good for us. He uses the appearance of good to tempt us to do something that distances the Lord from us. Showiness would have been Christ throwing himself off the Temple for the Angels to catch him. It takes many forms. The need to have the best of everything is responding to the temptation to show off how Christianity is worthwhile. Christ works a different way. He identifies with the poor and the needy to such an extent that it is Christ we work for when we do something for the poor and needy. The call of our Lent is to do everything for the Lord. Power in its attractiveness corrupts. Response to the call of Christ is seen in the ways we share the lot of the poor.

Our study is for the discovery of how we can be more like Christ. Putting on his mind and his heart so that we face life just as he would face it if he were we is a never-ending journey into the happiness of being like Christ. Lent is not so much about giving up. Rather it is an attempt to become more like Christ by facing up to the responsibilities of life the same way Christ did. We study to put on his mind and his heart so that we make Christ real in who we are by our love.

Actions speak louder than words. Surrendering something I like for the sake of Christ and my neighbor makes the desire to be more like Christ real. Christ gave up being and acting as God for the sake of us. He loved us so much that he became one of us. Our actions of Lent give us our chance to be more like him as we offer our sacrifices for others for his sake. Giving up becomes giving to when we dedicate our sacrifices to those who need our love and help. Christ gives us his world when we give him our lives.

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