We hear the story of the three temptations Jesus faced in the desert, but how often have you taken a real look at them. This was an eye-opener for me.
Each one of his temptations is of the same nature as a temptation most of us could face at some time in or lives. The challenge is to recognize it and face it! And some forms of these temptations can be really appealing.
We all face temptations. The question is what we do with them.
In this last Sunday before Lent, we have some scripture readings worth considering. One of the basic purposes of Lent is to take the opportunity to see if we are “on course”, and these help.
The epistle speaks of charity. Given the various mis-uses of the word, I suggest we (myself, too) reflect on the word as St Paul intended it to mean. And, of all gifts we can have, none is greater than charity. In fact, it would seem that charity makes the others be effective. A point to ponder considering some things going on in the world.
And then, the story of Jesus as he begins his journey to Jerusalem. And a blind man calls to Jesus for help. Do you notice that in the Gospels, people in need tell Jesus that they are in need, with none of the “if it’s your will” stuff? Perhaps it might mean that our prayers should be insistent?
We have here a familiar parable which, unfortunately, is so well known that the actual message is lost in the discussion of details. We begin by saying that in King James’ time, a penny was an amount of money typical of a laborer’s daily wage. There were workers who worked a full twelve hours, and others who worked for less hours, down to the last-hired who only worked one hour.
All things considered, the solution of the issue raised might be the only one that might actually be fair.
We know the story of Paul’s conversion that happened on his journey to Damascus. We certainly see that God is going to get what God wants! But what of the Gospel lesson?
In the Gospel, we come across some of the most often mis-used and abused sayings in all of Christendom, most often used far away from the original context. Look closely, and you can see again the promise of fulfillment!
Something here that your Sunday school teacher didn’t mention? We hear too sickeningly much about “God’s will”, “God’s time”, and “God’s higher plan”, but we don’t hear enough about one of the main points that the Bible tries to get across: fulfillment”.
You can’t frost a cake until the cake itself has been baked. Likewise, the world arranged itself in a manner that was not only advantageous, but necessary for the work of Jesus to spread faster than authorities could move to suppress it!
Secrets revealed? The Gospel reading is the Finding in the Temple, in which Jesus tarries around in the Temple a few days after Mary and Joseph left Jerusalem to go back home to Nazareth following the Passover celebration. It is also the last thing we read about him as a child. The next event in his life that we will read about is his baptism by John the Baptist.
All of this leaves room for much speculation. We can, of course, speculate and surmise from what we find in other sources and tradition.