1st Sunday of Lent Year C Sermon and Homily Notes

First Sunday of Lent
Lectionary: 24
Reading 1 DT 26:4-10

Moses spoke to the people, saying:
“The priest shall receive the basket from you
and shall set it in front of the altar of the LORD, your God.


Then you shall declare before the Lord, your God,
‘My father was a wandering Aramean
who went down to Egypt with a small household
and lived there as an alien.
But there he became a nation
great, strong, and numerous.
When the Egyptians maltreated and oppressed us,
imposing hard labor upon us,
we cried to the LORD, the God of our fathers,
and he heard our cry
and saw our affliction, our toil, and our oppression.
He brought us out of Egypt
with his strong hand and outstretched arm,
with terrifying power, with signs and wonders;
and bringing us into this country,
he gave us this land flowing with milk and honey.
Therefore, I have now brought you the firstfruits
of the products of the soil
which you, O LORD, have given me.’
And having set them before the Lord, your God,
you shall bow down in his presence.”

Responsorial Psalm PS 91:1-2, 10-11, 12-13, 14-15

R. (cf. 15b) Be with me, Lord, when I am in trouble.

You who dwell in the shelter of the Most High,
who abide in the shadow of the Almighty,
say to the LORD, “My refuge and fortress,
my God in whom I trust.”
R. Be with me, Lord, when I am in trouble.
No evil shall befall you,
nor shall affliction come near your tent,
For to his angels he has given command about you,
that they guard you in all your ways.
R. Be with me, Lord, when I am in trouble.
Upon their hands they shall bear you up,
lest you dash your foot against a stone.
You shall tread upon the asp and the viper;
you shall trample down the lion and the dragon.
R. Be with me, Lord, when I am in trouble.
Because he clings to me, I will deliver him;
I will set him on high because he acknowledges my name.
He shall call upon me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in distress;
I will deliver him and glorify him.
R. Be with me, Lord, when I am in trouble.

Reading 2 ROM 10:8-13

Brothers and sisters:
What does Scripture say?
The word is near you,
in your mouth and in your heart
—that is, the word of faith that we preach—,
for, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord
and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead,
you will be saved.
For one believes with the heart and so is justified,
and one confesses with the mouth and so is saved.
For the Scripture says,
No one who believes in him will be put to shame.
For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek;
the same Lord is Lord of all,
enriching all who call upon him.
For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

Gospel LK 4:1-13

Filled with the Holy Spirit, Jesus returned from the Jordan
and was led by the Spirit into the desert for forty days,
to be tempted by the devil.
He ate nothing during those days,
and when they were over he was hungry.
The devil said to him,
“If you are the Son of God,
command this stone to become bread.”
Jesus answered him,
“It is written, One does not live on bread alone.”
Then he took him up and showed him
all the kingdoms of the world in a single instant.
The devil said to him,
“I shall give to you all this power and glory;
for it has been handed over to me,
and I may give it to whomever I wish.
All this will be yours, if you worship me.”
Jesus said to him in reply,
“It is written:
You shall worship the Lord, your God,
and him alone shall you serve.”
Then he led him to Jerusalem,
made him stand on the parapet of the temple, and said to him,
“If you are the Son of God,
throw yourself down from here, for it is written:
He will command his angels concerning you, to guard you,
and:
With their hands they will support you,
lest you dash your foot against a stone.”
Jesus said to him in reply,
“It also says,
You shall not put the Lord, your God, to the test.”
When the devil had finished every temptation,
he departed from him for a time.

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Sermon and Homily

Dear Friends in Jesus Christ,  today we celebrate with the Holy Mother Church the first Sunday of the lent.

The season of lent is the season of repentance in receiving God’s grace.  As I mentioned in Ash Wednesday homily, the season of lent requires two major qualities in our life.

The season of lent is the time to come back to God – Repentance

The season of lent is the time to receive spiritual strength for spiritual warfare.

The Baptism of Jesus and its significant in the life of Jesus

The Baptism fills Jesus with the Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit moves Jesus to the desert.

In the desert Jesus was tempted by devil for 40 days

Baptism for new life as well as spiritual warfare

After the baptism of Jesus at Jordan, he was filled with the Holy Spirit. It is true that we receive the power of the Holy spirit in the sacrament of baptism. The baptism makes us holy in the Spirit and leads us towards the new life. Our new life in God begins with baptism.

As we noticed in the life of Jesus, immediately after his baptism he was moved by the Holy Spirit to the desert to be tempted by Satan. As we receive the sacrament of baptism we receive the power of the Holy Spirit to be tested. We as Christians receive the baptism for new life and this new life always begins with trial and temptations. Moreover we are also moved by the Holy Spirit towards the lonely place where we will be tested by God.

Holy spirit moves us to be tested, no worry

I like this statement “When God test you, don’t worry, for God  sees  you as a worthy person to be tested.” In the same manner, God wants to test the people before he calls them his children. Temptations and sufferings may be harder, but still we need to understand that all those sufferings and temptations are under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, because the Holy Spirit moves us to be tempted   Therefore no need to worry over them, but to face them with power of God.

Why was Jesus moved to the desert?

Jesus was moved by the Holy Spirit to the desert to be tested by the devil. Why was Jesus moved to the desert?

In the biblical language the desert has so many meanings. The meaning of desert also has the richer meaning in spiritual language.

Desert is a place where God and You meet

Deserts are there in our life. As Christians and followers of Christ, one should not pass this life without the desert experiences where you could meet your God and your God will meet you. We also  sometime feel the desert experience in our life. We are all alone in a lonely place and in that moment God wants to meet us.

Desert is a place where you are alone

Sometimes in our life we feel that we are all alone. That is  the very moment that we are in the desert experience. No one is there to help me, no one is there to care for me, no one is there to understand me, on one is there to look after me, and no one is there to protect me and to comfort me. In that situation I am in a desert all alone with myself and with my God.

Desert is a place where you have nothing

When u are in the desert, you have nothing for you self. Just imagine that you are in a desert,  and u will get a nice picture of yourself,  sitting in a sand area beyond the view of the eyes. In the desert you have no food, no water, no shelter, no place to rest, no place to sleep. Just simply you are there.

You may have this kind of experiences in your life here and there or very often. You are with empty hands and nothing to for your daily life to  live. This is the terrible desert experiences in our life. Jesus was in the desert without food for 40 days.

God prepares you in the Spirit to test you in the desert.

When you suddenly feel that you are in the desert in your life,(  that means all have left you alone, you are all alone, you have nothing at your hands to eat or protect your life ) you have to understand that God wants to test you and to meet you. This is how God wants to prepare the people  to test them.

If you have everything in your life and if there are so many to support in your daily life, you are not worthy to be tested.  Our worthiness and faithfulness in God is proved when we trust in God even when our future is in question mark.

Jesus was tempted in the desert

Now look at the desert experience of Jesus. Before Jesus was tempted, God makes him nothing in the desert and then allows Satan to test him.

It will definitely happen to us also. God will make us empty in everything in the midst of the world and then he will allow the Satan to test us.  We need to be faithful and to stand strong in our temptations.

 

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Picking Forbidden Fruit

It is hard to pick forbidden fruit if you are a hundred yards away, but it is easy if you are at an arm’s length. (Kent Crockett, The 911 Handbook, Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 2003, 33)

————————————-

Your Head is Made of Butter

Martin Luther once said, “Don’t sit near the fire if your head is made of butter.” The closer we get to the fire, the hotter the fire feels to us. Even though the fire remains at the same temperature, the heat affects us according to how close we are to it. The closer we are to the temptation, the more it influences us. (Kent Crockett, The 911 Handbook, Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 2003, 33)

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Temptation of Satan is same from the time of Adam and Eve at the  garden of Eden.

Today’s Gospel speaks of the temptation of Jesus at desert for 40 days. The temptation of Satan is same for all the time.

There are two main temptation of Satan in the Bible, in the first temptation Adam and Eve were fail, but in the second temptation at desert, Jesus won it.

How is Satan tempting others?

In the book of Genesis we see the first temptation of Satan.

Genesis 3: 6 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom

3 types of temptation here

1. Taste of tongues    – Food

2. Pleasing to the eyes  – eyes pleasure

3. Gaining wisdom  – power and knowledge

 

Look at the temptation of Jesus …….

Mathew 4: 1-11The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”

Then the devil took him to the holy city and set him on the pinnacle of the temple and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written,

Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.”

 

Again see, the  temptation of Satan is same to Jesus as it was to the Adam and Eve.

3 types of temptation here

1. Taste of tongues    – Food

2. Pleasing to the eyes  – eyes pleasure

3. Gaining wisdom  – power and knowledge

Jesus won the temptation with prayer and with the Word of God

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