Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time

When do the temptations of anger, lust, or deceit affect what I say or do? How can I build the habit of treating everyone else with honesty, mercy, and love?

Lent is primarily the time of intense spiritual preparation for conquering our temptations, using the means Jesus used during his forty days of preparation in the desert for his public life.

Today’s readings teach us that we are always tempted by the devil, by the world, and by our own selfish interests. So, we need to cooperate actively with God’s grace to conquer our temptations and practice prayer, self-control, and charity.

The first reading, taken from the book of Genesis describes the “Original Temptation" – “You will be like gods, knowing what is good and what is evil." Adam and Eve were given the possibility of making a choice to live for God, dependent upon and obedient to His will, or to say no to God. The temptation to evil led Adam and Eve to an act of faithlessness and sin. In contrast, today’s Gospel from St. Matthew shows us how Jesus Christ conquered temptation by relying on Faith in God's Word and authority.

In the second reading, St. Paul describes how the disobedience of Adam, who fell to Satan’s Original Temptation, brought him and us sin, death, and a broken relationship with God. Paul explains that Christ regained for us a right relationship with God by his perfect obedience to God his Father.

Today’s Gospel teaches us how the "desert experience" of fasting, praying, and soulstrengthening enabled Jesus to confront his temptations successfully and then to preach the Good News of salvation.

LIfe's Mesage

1) We are to confront and conquer temptations as Jesus did, using the means he employed. Every one of us is tempted to seek sinful pleasures, easy wealth, and a position of authority, power, and glory, and to use any means, even unjust or sinful ones, to gain these things. Jesus serves as a model for us in conquering temptations by strengthening himself through prayer, penance, and the effective use of the Word of God. Hence, during this Lent, let us confront our evil tendencies with prayer (especially by participating in the Holy Mass), with penance, and with meditative reading of the Bible. 2) We are to grow in holiness during Lent by prayer, reconciliation, and sharing: a) by finding time to be with God every day of Lent, speaking to Him in fervent prayer and listening to Him through the meditative reading of the Bible; b) by penitential acts; c) by getting reconciled with God through the Sacrament of Reconciliation and reconciled with others by asking their forgiveness for our offenses against them; d) by sharing our love with others through selfless and humble service, almsgiving, and helping those in need.

Excerpted from the homily of Fr Tony Kadavil available at http://frtonyshomilies.com