The readings this First Sunday of Lent is a study in contrast among two men, the first man, Adam, and the new Adam, Jesus.
In the First Reading (Gn. 2: 7-9; 3: 1-7), the Lord God formed man from the clay of the ground and breathed life from God’s own Spirit. Adam was a son of God, created in His image, and was given dominion over the world. Now, the serpent was the most cunning of all the animals that the Lord God has made. After the woman (Eve) answered the question on what was forbidden, the serpent said to the woman:
“You certainly will not die!
No, God knows well that the moment you eat of it
your eyes will be opened and you will be like gods
who know what is good and what is evil.”
Adam and Eve, however, gave in to the serpent’s temptation, trying to get for himself all that God had already promised him.
In contrast, in His hour of temptation, Jesus prevailed where Adam failed—and drove the devil away (Second Reading Mt. 4: 1-11).
Despite knowing that story of the first man, we still sin in the same pattern as Adam. We let sin into our lives by doubting God’s presence and forgetting to call Him by prayer when we are tempted. Just this morning, a friend captured that precisely when he sent me a text saying “Part-time Christians cannot defeat full-time devils!”
We have to understand that most of the temptations is always about trusting God; whether to followthe way to getting successful no matter what, or rather doing the will of God — which is an act of trust. This is the difference with the saints, as they remained faithful to God despite temptations to become wealthy and popular. As a result, they experienced the love and care of God for here and beyond this temporary world.
As we begin this First Week of Lent, may we be confident in the words of St. Paul in the Second Reading (Rom. 5: 12-19),
“For if by the transgression of the one, the many died, how much more did the grace of God
and the gracious gift of the one man Jesus Christ overflow for the many.”
Trusting Jesus, may we pray with humility, trust and respect today’s Psalms (Ps. 51: 3-4, 5-6, 12-13, 17),
“Give me back the joy of your salvation,
and a willing spirit sustain in me.
O Lord, open my lips,
and my mouth shall proclaim your praise.”
Christ’s victory over sin by obedience to God the Father means that by grace we have also removed sin as our master. Let us pray for forgiveness and reflect on how we can be a better Adam, in our effort to obey and love the Lord as we journey with Him in the desert during this Season of Lent.
“One does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.” (Mt. 4: 4B)