Tempting but Destructive Suggestion

by | Feb 28, 2017 | Formation, Reflections

Jesus is God-Man.  He himself unmasks the deceit in the devil’s tempting suggestion:  it is either God or man.

From the perspective of our faith in the Word made flesh, we cannot but reject such tempting suggestion.  It is not true that one must choose either God or the human being.  God and humans are compatible.  And those saying otherwise are laying out a false dilemma.

Undoubtedly, the claim that we can better ourselves by disobeying God is alluring and tempting.  But it is still absurd.  That is because were God to oppose human fulfillment, he would have no reason to create us in the first place.  And it would be even more senseless for him to create us in his image.

So then, what is true and makes sense is that our Creator wants us to be like him. Moreover, he reveals to us through Jesus how humanity can arrive at divinity.  The two meet and kiss in the one who makes us righteous through his obedience.

Way of  humble obedience, not of tempting disobedience

Jesus discredits the tempting suggestion that to attain our human freedom, we need to free ourselves from divine enslavement.  That is because it is precisely due to his being human to the utmost that Jesus is divine.  That is to say, he humbles himself, becoming obedient even to death.  Because of this, God lifts him up, giving him the name that is above every name.

But do we not betray our faith because of our double life?  Double life shows that we do not find any compatibility between Christian religion and daily human life.

Do we not deny our supposed adherence to the Suffering Servant, resplendent on the cross, by behaving like opportunists?  They take advantage of their powerful condition for their personal needs and gains, without considering the helpless.  And to meet their cravings for power, they leverage their powerful and influential relatives and friends.

Does not our hunger for splendor stand in the way of our being just and merciful?  Such hunger is blinding, too.  Because of it, we may not see the gift of the other person or the gift of the Word.

Indeed, one thing is to witness to the Word made flesh through our words and another thing to give the same witness through our works.  We embrace God not so much with our sweet words as with the strength of our arms and the sweat of our brows (SV.EN XI:32).

Lord, you are the life-giving communion between God and humans beings.  Make us find your life so tempting that we give unassailable witness to the same communion.

5 March 2017
1st Sunday of Lent (A)
Gen 2, 7-9; 3, 1-7; Rom 5, 12-19; Mt 4, 1-11


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