March 9, 2014
(First Sunday of Lent, A)
The second Creation story in the Book of Genesis culminates in Adam and Eve’s Fall from God’s grace, when they lost their trust, their faith in Him and moved it to themselves. Genesis says, “Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized that they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made loincloths for themselves.”
Gn 2:7-9; 3:1-7
Isn’t it sad how self-centeredness leads us to guilt and shame. Yet, God-centeredness will always lead us to Freedom and Joy. Today we read about these two different ends of the spectrum. Adam and Eve’s failure to resist temptation; their failure to trust in God’s Word and God’s promise. And on the other end, Jesus’ total reliance on His Father to help him Conquer Satan’s temptations after His 40-day fast.
Then if we move from the Genesis story to the very last Chapter of the Gospel of Luke, St. Luke tells another story about two men who were traveling back home from Jerusalem after the events of Jesus’ passion, death and (rumors of His) resurrection. They were sad about the whole event, because they were expecting a different ending.
And on the way, the resurrected Jesus approached them and explained the reason for it all, though they didn’t recognize Him. And while they were at dinner, “He took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them. With that their eyes were opened and they recognized him, but he vanished from their sight. Then they said to each other, ‘Were not our hearts burning [within us] while he spoke to us on the way and opened the scriptures to us? They set out at once and returned to Jerusalem where they found gathered together the eleven and those with them who were saying, ‘The Lord has truly been raised and has appeared to Simon!’ Then the two recounted what had taken place on the way and how he was made known to them in the breaking of the bread.”
Two totally different “eye opening” experiences – one in which distrust and greed led to guilt and shame, and another in which trust and open hearts led to a joy so great that the story just had to be shouted out in excitement!
When we trust in our Lord and God, Jesus, we can’t help but live our lives in Joy, even when the traffic is a strain, the washer stops working and the weather is trying to get us down. Jesus will always protect and strengthen us from all of Satan’s attempts to tempt us with self-centeredness, and anger, and depression.
So, PRAISE the Lord, beloved, praise the Lord!!!!
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