Sunday, February 14, 2016

1st Sunday of Lent, Year C

After Jesus's baptism, St. Luke tells us in today's Gospel, he was led by the Spirit into the desert for forty days to be tempted by the devil. A perfect Gospel for the beginning of our own forty day's journey towards Easter! In his commentary on Psalm 60, St. Augustine tells us we are not alone: Jesus suffered temptation for our sakes. In him we suffer temptation and are victorious:
Our pilgrimage on earth cannot be exempt from trial. We progress by means of trial. No one knows himself except through trial, or receives a crown except after victory, or strives except against an enemy or temptations.
The one who cries from the ends of the earth is in anguish, but is not left on his own. Christ chose to foreshadow us, who are his body, by means of his body, in which he has died, risen and ascended into heaven, so that the members of his body may hope to follow where their head has gone before.
Temptation of Christ, historiated Bible illumination, Naples ca. 1350
Bibliothèque nationale de France.
He made us one with him when he chose to be tempted by Satan. We have heard in the gospel how the Lord Jesus Christ was tempted by the devil in the wilderness. Certainly Christ was tempted by the devil. In Christ you were tempted, for Christ received his flesh from your nature, but by his own power gained salvation for you; he suffered death in your nature, but by his own power gained glory for you; therefore, he suffered temptation in your nature, but by his own power gained victory for you.

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