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Summary of English Homily, 17 Feb 2013

Jesus fasted and prayed in the desert to ward off temptation

Jesus fasted and prayed in the desert to ward off temptation

Summary of English Homily, 17 Feb 2013

In today’s Gospel, when the devil finished every temptation, he departed from Jesus for a while. This started from Genesis, the times of Adam and Eve and human lost. But Jesus proved us that human CAN WIN. Such is the nature of the devil: he will always come back again and again, especially when we are weak.

In Hebrew, devil is called SATAN. The word has evolved into many different meanings, but there is the core meaning which is “the person who answers the question of another person.” He reads the answers to that person (so the Q&As are written), then he developed it into theoretical scripts and acts. Satan is only acting, he is only pretending. That is why Satan is the great pretender. He gives solutions which are not medicine but venom. He pretends to make the solution to look so good and attractive. He can really make us focus on the attractiveness of the solution.

In the Hippie era (the Hippie phenomenon), people have forgotten totally of the existence of the devil. Then in the 1970s, there was the movie “the exorcist” which reminded them that the devil exists and he is very much alive.

In the Gospel, Satan gave 3 solutions to Jesus and Jesus warded him off:

1.  To change the stone into bread. But Jesus said, “One does not live on bread alone.” This is a very basic necessity and yet Jesus said that. We always want instant things, but we must remember that “one does not live on bread alone.” Once an elementary student got a cut on his arm and it dried. The coagulated blood looked ugly, black and rough. So he peeled it off. Father saw it and told him, “Now you are going to get a scar.” And indeed he got a scar, because he was impatient and he did not let his wound heal in time. Wounds have their own time to heal. The devil always tells us, “Do this! It’s faster. It’s easier.” Jesus said, “No, don’t be controlled by your urge. Control yourselves.” Which is why to control ourselves, the solution is fasting and prayer.

2.  Arrogance. It is different from pride which is “I’m better than you”. Arrogance is looking down on people because you are better. Jesus answered by emptying Himself. Jesus is God, but He said that “I as God also serves My Father. So serve also.” In the Frog Prince fairytale, the princess had to bow down and kiss an ugly, slimy, dirty frog. Because she humbled herself, bowed down and kissed it, she got a handsome prince. Here Jesus tells us, “No matter how high your position is, no matter how rich, you must serve by emptying yourself.”

3.  False security—you have multitude of angels as your security guards. Here, Jesus said, “False security!” This can be our parents, friends, money, etc that gives us a sense of security. Only God Who is true security. Only when we have this mindset that we will win against the devil who so often sow fear and insecurity in our hearts.

We can win against the devil by Jesus’ 3 medicines:
1.  Fasting and prayer
2.  Humility
3.  Trust in God

Redemptor Mundi Parish

Dukuh Kupang Barat I/7
Surabaya, East Java
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Website: http://gaudenscor.com
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