Homily for the 1st Sunday of Lent Year C (1)

Homily for the 1st Sunday of Lent Year C

Theme: The temptations of Jesus

By: Rev Fr Stephen ‘Dayo Osinkoya

Homily for Sunday March 6 2022


Deuteronomy 26:4-10
Psalm 91
Romans 10:8-13
Luke 4:1-13

On Wednesday we began the season of lent. Lent is the season of repentance – a change in our attitude towards God and our neighbour. Every year on the first Sunday of Lent, the liturgy of the word invites us to meditate on the temptations of Jesus, which show us how to remain focused in our call as Christians and in our faithfulness to God the Father who is always faithful.

Jesus spent forty days in the desert overcoming the devil, and Lent is a time for us to get rid of whatever bit of the devil remains in us by overcoming sin in our lives.

But Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, knows that the solution to life’s problems cannot be found in quick spectacles or manipulative power. Jesus discovers, by contending with the devil and sending the devil away, that his calling is not to be a superstar, but to be a servant. His ministry is not to wear a crown but to carry a cross.

So let us take a look at each temptation and see how it applies to us too.

The first temptation of Jesus shows us how we are also tempted by our human appetite – our passion and desires. Jesus has the power to do whatever he wills and he was tempted in this regard to use his power to turn stones to bread for his own pleasure. We too face similar temptation to use what we have to satisfy the desires of our flesh.
Our beauty for sexual immorality.
Our intelligence for fraud.
Our power for oppression.
Our wealth for intimidation.

The second temptation concerns the acquisition of power and wealth, success, honour, etc. let us ask ourselves “why do people join occult group?” perhaps for power and security. In whom is our security most sure if not God? People could do anything for wealth. Some could sell their body in prostitution for wealth; other could sell others and even kill others for wealth and success.

The third temptation of Jesus concerns the presumption of divine favour. “If you are the son of God…” We hear stuffs like this among us, even in churches today. Many of these pastors would say: “If you are a Christian…”
– You should not be poor!
– You should not suffer!
– You should not have difficulties with your job, marriage, education, relationship, business, etc. Hence, we start looking for God where we ought not to.

Chances are that the evil one will not tempt us with such grand enticements. Nevertheless, we face temptations daily. One of the temptations we face today is the urge many people feel to fight change, especially change in the church. Look at it, none of us likes change and yet change is about the only thing we can count on to be permanent. Things change, things have changed and things will always change. The church has changed, is changing and will continue to change and yet there are many who just like to hang on to the past, to the known, to the familiar. And as long as that fist is clenched, holding tightly to the past, what can God put into it?
We overcome Satan by putting God first in our lives in every way. The three quotations from Deuteronomy cited by Jesus when talking with Satan in the Gospel (Luke 4:1-13) remind us of putting God first in everything.
“Man does not live by bread alone.” (The full quotation is “…not by bread alone does man live, but by every word that comes forth from the mouth of the Lord.”)
“You shall worship the Lord, your God, and him alone shall you serve.”
“You shall not put the Lord, your God, to the test.”

Beloved in Christ, every day we are confronted with temptations, but our faith should not be shaken. Even in the face of temptations, we should be able to stand firm and show our believe in God. The second reading assures us that, “No one who believes in him (God) would be put to shame… everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved.” So let us trust in our heavenly father and we shall triumph over every temptation.

*Rev Fr Stephen ‘Dayo Osinkoya*

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