First Sunday of Lent, Cycle A

Our readings for Sunday are here

These are the poem, my notes, and interpretations of Fr Dennis’ homilies from the Masses of

  • March 9, 2020 5PM
  • March 9, 2014

The poems Fr Dennis references this year are:

  • Original Sin by Lawrence Raab in 2020 (now realizing this was likely the last “live” homily our parish heard from Father Dennis, as the pandemic lockdowns began that week and he missioned to Colombiere Center Community in August 2020. He offered a streamed reflection and goodbye to us in August 2020.
  • I’m Nobody!  Who are you? by Emily Dickinson in 2014

In 2014, we reflected with D2 that —

in the Gospel,

  • The Temptations (the gospel reading) are all about who we are and how we are to act, held in a dynamic tension:
    • Adam and Eve are tempted with “you are going to be like gods” … yet/and we believe we share the life of God, i.e., Grace and in so doing/being, we belong to God’s family.  We are made divine through our brother, Jesus.
  • This is what the devil pounces on — this longing in our heart, arising out of our graced divinity, to be more than what and who we are.  The devil takes something good but uses it to lure us in a wrong direction, that wrong direction being away from God.
    • rl notes this is consistent with Saint Ignatius’ discernment of spirits:  in those trying to follow God more closely (n. 315 and n. 332 of the second set of discernment rules for those trying to follow the Lord)), evil spirits often assume the form of an angel of light.  The soul believes they are following an angel of light, only little by little to be baited and switched to sin by the camouflaged evil spirit.
  • So — the temptations of Jesus from Satan are because you are the Son of God:
    • change stones into bread, i.e., do something for yourself (wealth)
    • jump and be saved, i.e., be noticed for yourself (power)
    • take it all; i.e., take it all and worship me for yourself (pride)
  • And Jesus replies: That’s not who I am created to be by God nor how I should act ==> NO to the Temptations.

Second Reading from Romans

  • All of Paul’s letters can be summed up — if we know who we are, we will act as we should.
  • Emily Dickinson’s poem — “I’m Nobody! Who are you?” is a mildly whimsical take on the 2nd and 3rd temptations, and a general sense of not getting above ourselves. We are the beloved children of God, siblings to Jesus … and sinners.
  • Our journey is about coming to know the Light and Love who is in us, so we can share with those around us.

Our image today is from The Book of Kells. It is housed in Trinity College in Dublin. Their library has a write-up here.

And to keep a little laughter in our Lenten journey, here are some Motown Temptations in a clip from 1966 sharing their fine pipes and steps in “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg,” something the Trinity has sung to us from eternity’s beginning, about rending our hearts, not our garments, and in so doing, returning to God with all our heart.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: