TO WHOM ARE YOU LISTENING?

Clergy Corner by Fr. Robert Falabella

The Gospel for the First Sunday of Lent presents us with an experience common to all of us -- temptation, which Jesus reveals as “being put to the test,” i.e. an attractive enticement, the choosing of which contradicts the will of God. In the Commandments God presents a blueprint to us as to what is to be done if we are to survive as human beings. Whenever we are faced with a decision of accepting what has to do with the will of God or the will of other than God, we find ourselves experiencing a critical moment in our lives, as did Adam and Eve who found themselves having to choose between following God, the Creator’s will, or the will of simply a creature of God. Choosing to follow the will of a creature of God rather than God, the Creator, is basically the definition of SIN. The effect for Adam and Eve was the loss of Paradise, suffering and death -- a loss we share in to this day.

SIN MAY ALSO BE CONSIDERED AS A CULPABLE, IRRATIONAL ACT BY A PERSON endowed with rationality. An example would be someone having excruciating pains in the stomach who chooses to go to an auto mechanic for the solution to his physical problem rather than to a medical doctor. Such is obviously a ridiculously irrational choice  -- and this is what SIN is -- an irrational choice by a    person who, having the gift of rationality and thus able to know and love God, chooses to love and know “other than God!”

 

An added lesson from the synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark and Luke) on the temptation of Jesus is a caution, namely, merely because someone can quote Scripture to you, does not mean automatically their interpretation is the correct one. SATAN QUOTED SCRIPTURE TO JESUS IN MATTHEW 4:7, and Jesus corrected him.

 

There are some who hold that the Holy Eucharist is but a symbol. Jesus, however, did not say, ‘This is FOR my Body,’ Jesus said: “THIS IS MY BODY.” For someone to reject this teaching of Jesus because it is found to be an incomprehensible, transcendent Mystery is tantamount to our making God in our image rather than our accepting to being made in God’s image -- in essence this is the hubristic face of idolatry.

 

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