HOMILY FOR WEDNESDAY OF THE 1ST WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME YEAR I.
THEME: That is, because he has himself been through temptation Jesus is able to help others who are tempted.
BY: Fr. Deotatious Chikontwe SMA.
*READINGS OF THE DAY*
*ABOUT OUR FIRST READING*
Dear friends in Christ, there is a striking statement about Jesus at the end of today’s first reading, ‘because he has himself been through temptation, he is able to help others who are tempted’. We are familiar with the story of the temptation of Jesus in the wilderness, following on from his baptism. These were temptations he probably had to deal with throughout his public ministry. At one point Peter tempted him to avoid taking a path that would inevitably lead to suffering and death, and Jesus had to say to Peter, ‘Get behind me, Satan’.
*ABOUT THE GOSPEL READING OF TODAY*
In today’s gospel reading, we find Jesus being tempted by Simon Peter again. Jesus had spent the day healing the sick and the broken in Capernaum, including healing Simon Peter’s mother-in-law of her fever. Early the following morning, Jesus went off by himself to a lonely place to pray. However, Simon Peter and his companions went looking for him and when they found him they said, ‘Everybody is looking for you’. In other words, ‘Why are you out here on your own praying when there is more work to be done in Capernaum?’ It was a subtle temptation, because there was much indeed more healing work to be done in Capernaum, good work, God’s work. Yet, Jesus knew that he needed to spent time in prayer with God his Father. It was God who would direct his mission, not Simon Peter or the people of Capernaum, and when he came from his prayer Jesus knew that he must move on to other towns.
We are all tempted as Jesus was. Like Jesus, we can be tempted by others to do what seems good but is not God’s desire for us. Because Jesus was tempted, he can help us when we are tempted. That is why we need to go to prayer, as Jesus did, because it is in prayer that we open ourselves to the help the Lord can give us when we are tempted.
May the Lord be with us always, and may He strengthen each one of us in faith. May He empower all of us that we may always walk ever more confidently in the path that He has shown us and led us.
Peace be with You.
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