Genesis 2:7-9; 3:1-7
Romans 5: 12-19
The readings this weekend provide us with an opportunity to look at temptation, sin, and redemption. These are themes we will see repeated throughout the Lenten season culminating with Easter. In the first reading from Genesis, the idea of temptation and sin are presented. Eve and Adam succumb to temptation by the serpent and they commit an act of disobedience against God. This one act had repercussions for years to come. In the Gospel reading, Jesus is tempted by the Satan while in the desert. Satan tries to have Jesus bow down to him in return for false promises of power, safety, and food. Jesus resists the temptations and admonishes Satan. These are two very different scenarios. In one, Adam and Eve fall from grace and in the other, Jesus receives grace.
We are faced with temptation every day. Temptation comes in many forms. It may come through the media, friends, co-workers, strangers, or even within our own minds and hearts. Temptation comes from anything or anyone that tries to pull us away from our relationship with God or prevents us from beginning one.
The season of Lent provides us with time to look at sin in our personal lives. Where have we failed to love God, those around us and ourselves? What are the things that prevent us from having a relationship with God or tear us away from that relationship we already had with Him? Do we play the blame game or do we look at what part we played in sinful moments?
In the second reading from the Letter of Saint Paul we are offered hope. It is written, “For if by the transgression (sin) of the one, the many died, how much more did the grace of God and the gracious gift of one the man Jesus Christ overflow for the many. And the gift is not like the result of the one who sinned. For after one sin there was the judgment that brought condemnation; but the gift (Jesus), after many transgressions, brought acquittal.” In this reading, we are being reminded that because of the selfless act of love by Jesus, He brought acquittal for our past transgressions. However, did that stop us who have free will from sinning again? The obvious answer is No.
We find ourselves at the threshold of a new Lenten season during which time we are called to take a long look at ourselves and our relationship with God. Spend time in reflection, pray, fast, and do good deeds for others as a means of entering or fostering a deeper relationship with God. As we embark on our Lenten journeys, may we continue to serve those in need around us here at St. Mary’s Health System and in our families. May God bless us all.