March 5, 2017

Reading 1 Gn 2:7-9; 3:1-7

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.

Then the LORD God planted a garden in Eden, in the east,
and placed there the man whom he had formed.
Out of the ground the LORD God made various trees grow
that were delightful to look at and good for food,
with the tree of life in the middle of the garden
and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Now the serpent was the most cunning of all the animals
that the LORD God had made.
The serpent asked the woman,
“Did God really tell you not to eat
from any of the trees in the garden?”
The woman answered the serpent:
“We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden;
it is only about the fruit of the tree
in the middle of the garden that God said,
‘You shall not eat it or even touch it, lest you die.'”
But the serpent said to the woman:
“You certainly will not die!
No, God knows well that the moment you eat of it
your eyes will be opened and you will be like gods
who know what is good and what is evil.”
The woman saw that the tree was good for food,
pleasing to the eyes, and desirable for gaining wisdom.
So she took some of its fruit and ate it;
and she also gave some to her husband, who was with her,
and he ate it.
Then the eyes of both of them were opened,
and they realized that they were naked;
so they sewed fig leaves together
and made loincloths for themselves.

We are alive because God breathed into us.  Isn’t that something.  Without God’s breath, we would still be dust. We are dead without Him.

The famous Adam and Eve.  How many years have gone by, and we are still like the first humans.  We often listen to the devil’s lies instead of God’s promises.  God specifically told them not to eat fruit fro that tree, and they do it.  The serpent tried to tell Eve that God just doesn’t want them to be like Him, basically that God is being selfish and holding them back.  How could that ever make sense?  That is why we stray from God because we do not think His plan is best and we ty to do better on our own.  We put Him on the back burner and try to get through life by not listening to what He said.  This will fail every single time.  It is also pride to think that we know better than God.  That somehow, even though He breathed life into us, that we have more knowledge.  Why would a good God hide and scheme Adam and Eve for selfish reasons????? Everything He did was for their benefit.  We, too, have blinders over our eyes and choose to not see God’s blessings in our lives and are prone to see only the ways we think we are being “sold short”.  We try out what could be the “better” option and listen to the devil.  Not only do we choose what’s wrong, but like Eve we bring others down with us.

Decisions everyone makes affects all people whether you realize it or not, whether it is people you love or not.  Eve’s decision affected Adam and in turn the whole human race.  We do not want to be causing other people to sin.  Sometimes we are unaware, but it is good to be more conscious of it before it becomes a habit.

Rom 5:12, 17-19

Brothers and sisters:
Through one man sin entered the world,
and through sin, death,
and thus death came to all men, inasmuch as all sinned.

For if, by the transgression of the one,
death came to reign through that one,
how much more will those who receive the abundance of grace
and of the gift of justification
come to reign in life through the one Jesus Christ.
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. 

Jesus is often referred to as the New Adam.  If all humans were condemned because of Adam’s one act, think of how much grace everyone has because of Jesus’ one act.  If one human could cause all of that for all people generations to generations, imagine the impact that Jesus’ saving power has.  It is a zillion times more powerful that anything Adam could have done.  The contrast diminishes the effect of Adam and makes my focus go to Jesus and really ponder how much His death and Resurrection really did mean and change the course of humanity.

Gospel Mt 4:1-11

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.
The tempter approached and said to him,
“If you are the Son of God,
command that these stones become loaves of bread.”
He said in reply,
“It is written:
One does not live on bread alone,
but on every word that comes forth
from the mouth of God.”

Then the devil took him to the holy city,
and made him stand on the parapet of the temple,
and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down.
For it is written:
He will command his angels concerning you
and with their hands they will support you,
lest you dash your foot against a stone.”

Jesus answered him,
“Again it is written,
You shall not put the Lord, your God, to the test.”
Then the devil took him up to a very high mountain,
and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in their magnificence,
and he said to him, “All these I shall give to you,
if you will prostrate yourself and worship me.”
At this, Jesus said to him,
“Get away, Satan!
It is written:
The Lord, your God, shall you worship
and him alone shall you serve.”

Then the devil left him and, behold,
angels came and ministered to him.

How many times do we say that God doesn’t understand us or doesn’t get us just because…well the joke is on us.  Jesus did not have some easy life.  He went through hardships, too.  Just because He never sinned, does not mean He wasn’t tempted.  Jesus understands every aspect of humanity, and that is exactly why we can and must be honest and open with Him.  We should not hold back because He has been through everything that we could possibly experience, and this means He is the perfect One to help.  No reason to only go to friends and family or to avoid God because you think He is too big and wouldn’t get it.  He cares more than anyone and wants us to come to Him.

Each time Jesus has a comeback to the devil, He seems more and more like a Boss.  He always knows what to say, and each comeback is a lesson in and of itself.  We do not live on bread alone.  We need to live more from spiritual blessings and concentrate more on those disciplines rather than just focusing on materialistic possessions.  Self-control and discipline also come from not giving into the flesh.  This does not only have to do with food, but it could apply to sexual desires, want for alcohol, drugs, gambling, etc.  We need to know that God is all we truly need.  Everything else is extra.

We should never put God to the test.  Making deals with Him is not how it works.  God is taking care of us without the need for us to intervene and check up on how He’s doing.  He’s got it covered, and we need to trust that it is all for our good no matter what.  It is more humble to simply believe God and not question His ways.

The devil will put your pride to the test.  How many distractions can he throw your way so you turn from God?   Which will you start to worship instead?  We can serve only God and that means nothing else is to come before or take precedence over Him.  There are too many idols, but we have to remember that God deserves special treatment and nothing is too compare remotely at all.

 

 

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