Tag Archives: Redemption

1st Sunday of Lent: Facing our temptations

jesus-wilderness

Study:  When in life have you been profoundly tempted?  What patterns do you notice in your life?

Pray:  The temptations we face provide a special place in our prayers; bring them to the Lord!

Serve:  How can you support others who are tempted so that they can face them with grace?

Mass Readings – 1st Sunday of Lent

We enter into the great season of Lent with classic readings about temptation, sin and God’s grace:

  • 1st Reading – The temptation of Adam & Eve
  • Psalm – “Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.”
  • 2nd Reading – The sin of Adam is redeemed by Christ
  • Gospel – The devil tempts Jesus…and fails

First, let me be perfectly clear:  Temptation is a part of the landscape of human life.  From the time of our first parents at the dawn of creation, humanity has experienced temptation.  We can wish all we want, but the fact remains that we are constantly facing great and small temptations throughout the course of our lives.

What’s more, we have all experienced times when temptation has led us to sin.  Being tempted is one thing; falling into sin is another.  For once sin is a part of our lives, our souls are wounded in a way that requires God’s grace to cleanse and heal.

This awareness of temptation and sin can easily lead us to a state of despair.  We can fall into the trap that says “Well, you messed up.  What’s the point now?  You might as well just give up.” Admittedly, the devil would like nothing better than to let us think that there is no hope…that we are lost and without strength to find our way out of the messes of life.

Yet we start our Lent with hope.  Yes, we acknowledge that temptation and sin are real, but we take comfort that this is why Jesus Christ came – to break the bondage of sin, restore our relationships with God and one another, and lead us into eternal life.  The Lord knew about temptation first hand, yet not only did he triumph over Satan’s testing, but he freed us through his death and resurrection.

In our moments of temptation and sin may we run to the Cross of Christ!  As we encounter our own trials may we trust that the Lord stands ready to offer us help and strength – both to face what comes before us this day, and to heal us in our moments of need.

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Podcast Resources for a Powerful Lent

Archive of Fr. Andrew’s Podcasts


Daily Mass: The temptation of Adam & Eve. Catholic Inspiration

temptation

Mass Readings – Friday of the 5th Week of the Year (St. Scholastica)

The temptation of Adam & Eve illustrates for us how sin can erode our relationships with God and one another.  As we come to understand their temptation, we seek the Lord in our moments of trial, asking for the grace (and when necessary, forgiveness) of Jesus Christ.

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Archive of Fr. Andrew’s Podcasts


Daily Mass: Christ meets us where we are. Catholic Inspiration

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Fr. Andrew’s Daily Mass Homily Podcast

Mass Readings – Saturday of the 1st Week of the Year

We discover from the Letter to the Hebrews and the Gospel of Mark three powerful insights about the Lord which can inspire us to draw near to the one who knows us and meets us where we are in life…that we might grow in grace.

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Photo Credit: Stained Glass Window, St. Patrick Catholic Church, Bisbee, Arizona


5th Sunday of Lent – Mercy!

woman caught in adultery

Study:  Reflect on a time in life when you made a grave mistake or serious sin.  How did you face it?

Pray:  Is there something that is keeping you from the Lord or another person?  Ask the Lord for the grace to reconcile.

Serve:  Is there a situation in your life that offers you a chance to extend mercy?  Consider ways to make it happen.

5th Sunday of Lent Readings – Year C

Fr. Andrew’s Homily Podcast

Have you ever been clearly in the wrong?  Made a mistake that was self-evident and completely your own fault?  Don’t worry…you’re in good company.  As much as we don’t like to admit it or claim it, we have all fallen short of the Lord’s commandments.  We sin.

There are a couple of easy traps that we need to avoid:

  • Assuming that it is no big deal, and downplaying our fault
  • Making it an all-consuming mountain, beyond hope of redemption

What we find in the Gospel today is something in between that exemplifies God’s Mercy.  The woman caught in adultery (where’s the man?!) is dragged before the Lord and forced to stand out in her shame as the people try to trap Jesus.

His response is profound.  “Let the one among you who is without sin, be the first to throw a stone at her.”  One by one the realization of their own sins causes the crowd to dwindle away; they have all fallen short, and they have all been in need of mercy.

Yet the Lord is not done.  After all, he is the only one without sin in the group!  He alone has the right to carry out judgment.  Yet this is what he says:

“Neither do I condemn you.  Go, and from now on do not sin.”

Note both points:

  1. Jesus acknowledges the sin.  It is clearly and directly stated.
  2. Jesus extends mercy.  His mercy begins her reconciliation and healing.

In light of this Gospel I suggest the following takeaways:

  • What sins do we need to acknowledge, confess, and claim?
  • What steps do we need to take to start the process of reconciliation?
  • We draw near to Christ…who extends mercy to us!

As we embark on the last weeks of Lent, may we never fear to approach the Lord in our sins.  For as we honestly claim our faults we draw forgiveness from the one who came to save and set us free.

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The image is taken from the movie The Passion of the Christ.