So you’ve got a term paper to do. Isn’t the internet great? Say you’re writing a term paper on Catholicism. As you lounge out on the couch watching The Walking Dead or The Big Bang Theory (hopefully the latter, not the former) – nowadays you’re free from the confines of having to scour the library for a book, or a document during the hours they’ve set. You don’t have to worry that some other person has taken out that book you needed before you got there. Nope, from the comfort of your couch - during the commercials - you can simply log onto the Vatican website; get any document the church wrote - you can check the citations or the different references with a point and a click of your mouse... It’s all right there... Then a voice seems to suggest are there really sites that will just write a paper for you? A quick google search and low and behold 20 different web sites pop up (how convenient). The commercials are done, your program’s back on and then the thought comes what’s the difference - what is this paper about Catholicism going to do for me anyway? And everybody does it - and the professor, they don’t even read the stupid thing. And low and behold - it’s time to turn a stone into bread...
Today’s Gospel reading, this first Sunday of Lent, we always hear an account of Jesus being tempted by Satan in the desert from one of the Gospels. And there always seems like there’s a disconnect inside of us with this Gospel. Some national polls on people’s religious beliefs have said that while a great majority of people believe in God, a lot less believe the devil exists and even fewer are convinced he actually tempts us. With those statistics, its hard to conjur up an image of Satan sparring with Jesus.
But the reality is - we have all have heard the devils voice.
We’ve experienced different ways, different takes on those same temptations Jesus faced:
Jesus is fasting in the desert so he’s hungry and he’s tempted turn those stones into bread - haven’t we been faced with the temptation to find the easy way out?
Jesus is on the height of the temple, will Jesus prove to everyone how important He is - illustrate Who he is by jumping and watching the Angels hoist him from plummeting to the earth? That’s not too different from the temptation we’re faced with each time we want to prove our importance - maybe not expecting an angel to hoist us up, but willing to knock down anyone who gets in our way;
Or the final temptation - Satan says to Jesus, you can become king right now of the whole world - you don’t have to worry about saving the world, that whole Passion and Death thing - just worship me...you and I know in our heart of hearts how often we give into the temptation to make sure we take care of ourselves and our little kingdoms regardless of the world around us.