February 26, 2023
1st Sunday of Lent
FOCUS: Through Christ we are made righteous and have eternal life.
On this first Sunday of Lent, our readings bring into focus the great drama of our salvation history: Our first parents sinned, and through them death came to all. Yet our gracious God sent his Son not to condemn but to free us and show his power over Satan. Through him we are made righteous.
What's in Your Heart
Which of the temptations Jesus faced speaks most directly to you at this point in your life?
The desire for power and glory is one that seems to trip most of us up at one time or another, especially when we are in positions with a lot of authority, where others tend to look up to us. If power and glory have been alluring, what antidote have you found for their heady aroma?
A story, often attributed to C. S. Lewis, tells of a novice devil, Wormwood, and his uncle and superior, Screwtape. They are trying to come up with the best lie to lure humans to destruction. Wormwood suggests, “We can tell them there is no God.” Screwtape shakes his head. “Not bad, but even humans are too smart to believe that.” “Then how about telling them there is no hell.” Again the experienced tempter rejects the idea. “No. Truly good people are good out of love, not fear.” On the verge of giving up, Wormwood whines, “Well, what lie should we tell them?” Screwtape smiles and says, “My dear Wormwood, just tell them there is no hurry.”
Adam was but human—this explains it all. He did not want the apple for the apple’s sake, he wanted it only because it was forbidden.
I have come to realize that the greatest trap in our life is not success, popularity, or power, but self-rejection.
—Henri J. M. Nouwen