“DESERT WARRIOR OF PEACE”
Saint Matthew 4. 1-11
INVOCAVIT: 22 February Anno + Domini 2015
Fr Jay Watson SSP
In The + Name of Jesus
You tempt Jesus and it is a sin. Make no mistake; your old sinful nature is called “old Adam” for a reason. Even as the tempter, Satan, that old evil foe, the snake and dragon first tempted Eve, and then Eve tempted Adam, so too, all sons of Adam and daughters of Eve tempt the Lord’s love and mercy whenever they sin. When you consciously sin, when you deliberately lay snares and traps for The Lord, you are pushing the Holy Spirit away. Who will save you from this body of death?
“Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.” The God/Man does nothing of His own caprice. There is no whim, spontaneous lark, or pardon the pun, “devil may care” adventurousness in The Christ. He came to seek and search for the lost. He came to crush the head of the serpent. He will not put His Heavenly Father and the Host of Sabaoth into a position to rescue Him from possible death because of rash and brash courage. No! And none of you should ever go looking for the devil or tempt God by demanding His protection for something that the Word does not demand or command from one. Jesus was “led up of (i.e. by) the Spirit.” The same Holy Ghost Who had just descended upon The Lamb in the Jordan River, now leads The same “scape-goat” into the desert to be preyed upon.
Jesus is God. Jesus did not sin and could not sin. Jesus is man. Jesus did suffer from the pain of temptations and trials in so far as He was hungry, thirsty, tired, weak, and morally affronted and offended by the devil’s crassness and unctuous lying. Jesus went into the desert to begin driving Satan back and away from the flock, like a Good Shepherd does when the wolf is spotted. Jesus was starting a push back which would eventually consign the deceiver into the lake of fire. Jesus was fixing all things that Adam and you have broken. Jesus was restoring all things that your first parents and you have perverted and spoiled. Jesus was obeying where you don’t. Jesus was keeping the Law where you daily transgress it.
Man was made in The Lord’s Image. Man was created with the capability to obey and not to sin. Giving in to temptation Man destroyed all that was perfect and ushered in a world and age of sin, death and destruction…culminating in hell for all who are outside God’s family.
Jesus comes this morning into the desert. The Christ comes to your Lenten land of sweat, tears, aging, sickness, loss, and pain to begin again setting things right.
He does what Adam refused to do…live by and on only the Word of God for His food, for His meat and drink. No forbidden fruit for Jesus; no turning stones into baked bread when He had The Word of His Father, Was/Is the Word-enfleshed, and Was/Is the true Bread which comes down from heaven.
Stop grumbling about your daily bread, not your three squares a day plus snacks (your Hobbit gluttony) but the Word of Scripture and The Word of the Sacraments. Repent for your sugar binges on self, Satan, and the sinful world, and fast from poison and swill. Feast on Christ the Bread in daily Scripture study and in every Sunday Mass…in every Thursday Mass during Lententide, and in ever more disciplined attendance here at His temple-Table!
Jesus did what Moses and the Israelites refused to do in their own forty years of desert wandering. Jesus obeyed. Jesus met the horned beast eye ball to eye ball. But the devil is always a counterfeit, and only a hellish mirage, performing tricks and deceitful ersatz “miracles.” Only the Second Person of The Trinity is true Man while also being True God, in the one person Jesus The Christ. Only Jesus performed the only work that matters, obeying His Father for your benefit, and fearing, trusting, and loving God above all things. By relying for His nourishment only on The Word of God, Jesus was loving you and your neighbor with every growl, contraction, and pain in His belly; with every crack in His lips and dry sore on His parched tongue. Suffering in Love to Love you in deed in the wilderness was leading Him up to the ultimate battle against Satan on the Cross of Calvary. There too He thirsted. There too He hurt but not in stomach only, but in hands, feet, head, back and Sacred Heart.
Jesus loves you and gives you daily food, clothing, and all matter of sustenance…as He does for the pagan alike. But man does not live by bread alone and you His brethren live to eternity only on The Word of God which proceedeth out of The mouth of God; out of the Body and Blood of God.
Come and feast on your Desert Warrior—The Peace that ministers unto you forgiveness and life.
In The Name of The Father and of + The Son and of The Holy Ghost