Sunday, February 26th
Gen. 2: 7-9; 3:1-7
Ps. 51: 3-6, 12-13
Rom. 5: 12-19
Mt. 4: 1-11
“Do not take your spirit from me.” Ps. 51: 12
The readings today outline the redemption story in dramatic detail. Genesis speaks of the cunning nature of evil as the serpent bargains with Eve: Don’t worry about this particular tree, go ahead, try it and you will be rewarded with so many good things. Eve thinks about it for a minute and then gives in to the temptation.
The Psalm response counterbalances the shame and pity Eve experiences: “Do not drive me from your presence nor take from me your spirit.”
Matthew’s Gospel returns to the cunning sense of evil. Jesus, exhausted from fasting in the desert for forty days, is tempted in three ways. Theologians say the temptations represent fame, power, and money. The dialogue between Satan and Jesus reflects the trust in his Father that Jesus must have experienced.
As we begin this season of Lent, I hope I can be more aware of how very easily I can fall into the subtle and often cunning power of evil over good. Although my minor temptations are not of the epic proportions outlined in today’s readings, they are the “who cares” moments that whisper “What difference will my small efforts to recycle or cut back make in the grand scheme of things?” “How can my meager contribution to the parish Lenten collection possibly make a difference to those on the margins?” “Can I risk alienating a friend if I remind her that a racist comment made in jest can be so damaging?”
Creator God, may these Lenten days provide a good opportunity to be more attentive to changes, large and small, that I might be called to make in my life. May my heart be open and responsive to how those changes might make a difference in large and small ways.
I will try not to give in to the “who cares” or “what difference does it make” moments in the day.
Sister Jean McGrath, CSJ