Be Prepared in The Moment of Temptation

Weekly Missionary Reflection
1st Week of Lent, 21 February 2021

Gen. 9:8-15; Ps. 25:4bc-5ab,6-7ab,8-9; 1Ptr. 3:18-22; Mark 1:12-15

Lent is the moment for being human again. We need a model and prototype. Adam, the first human being, totally fails to become an ideal model. Why? Because he is disobedient and can not resist the temptation. The fate of human is always under the shadow of Adam’s disobedience. As though that his fragility in enduring the temptation has become our DNA. God’s love has been wasted by humans. God continuously gives and renews His promises, but we always repeat and are haunted by our sins and offences. The world needs to be reorganized. Humans need a true model!

The Holy Spirit that descended on Jesus in baptism, now “pushing” Jesus to go to the desert. Renewal is commenced by the power of God, which is now working fully in Jesus. Desert is a place of temptation, the territory of Satan. The Son of God experiences and gives us example to be always ready to leave our comfort zone. The status as children of God that we receive in Baptism, should always be brought into the world of Satan’s trial and the daily whispers of the evil. That is the symbol of 40 days temptation of the Devil in the desert. In His whole life, Jesus would constantly be tempted by Satan to abandon His mission, to pursue power, to be a famous leader by showing off His great preaching, to perform miracle or mobilize violent revolution. But since the beginning, Satan, the ruler of evil spirit and the leader of opposition’s power and temptation have proven ineffective.

Jesus shows up as the new Adam. “He was with the wild beasts” (v. 13): Jesus restores the lost primeval harmony. This is an invitation for us to restore our relationship with the nature and His creations. Ecological conversion is an essential part of faithful life. Paradise is not a fairy tale of the past, but a real determination and project of present and future to continuously restore the harmony and relationship. Apart from being a place of Satan’s temptation, the desert is also a place of God’s care. For 40 days not only that Jesus has been tempted by the evil, but He is also under the care of the Father, through the angels who “minister Him” (v. 13). How often we see life just as an arid desert, full of traps and temptations, but forget that the Father will always be ready to protect and give us power and life.

Mark does not say that Jesus has been fasting for 40 days. He emphasizes more on enduring the temptations. The evil stays, but his temptation would no longer prevail, when it is faced by always receiving “food” from the Father. The food is not only bread, but the preaching of the Son. Today Jesus sums up the essence of His preaching. First, the time of God’s reign has now begun in Him and His mission. By triumphing over Satan’s temptations, Jesus offers the salvation from God to all of us. Second, the offered salvation demands humans to open their heart to accept Jesus and His preaching. Humans must repent immediately: turning from satanic style of action, attitude, mindset and deed to returning back to God and let Him rule, guide, rebuke and shape us as new humans, who are closely related to other, creation and the Creator.

(Hortensio Mandaru – Indonesia Bible Society, Jakarta)

DAILY DEDICATED PRAYER

Lord, our Father, I present my today prayer, thought, word, work, joy and sorrow in the unity with Your Son, Jesus Christ, who always presents Himself in the Eucharist for the world salvation. May the Holy Spirit, as the soul of Jesus, also lead and give me the strength today so that I am ready to be the witness of Your love.

Together with St. Mary, Mother of Jesus and the Church, I specially present my prayer to our Pope and Indonesian Church prayer apostles of this month:

For Evangelization intention:
Women of violence victims: We pray for the women of violence victims, so they can get protection and their suffer can be truly felt and get the attention from the community. We pray …

For Indonesian Churches intention:
Family affection: May the Catholic families will be more courageous in learning to live the spirituality of living at home which requires family members to understand each other’s weaknesses and strengthen each other in facing every problem. We pray …

Special Intention for the year of St. Joseph:
Please strengthen our heart in giving service to others, like St. Joseph, as long as you allow us to take part in raising the Son in the holy family of Nazareth. We pray…

Amen

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