Skip to comments.Catholic Caucus: Daily Mass Readings 26-February-2023
Posted on 02/26/2023 9:33:30 AM PST by annalex
1st Sunday of Lent
St. Isabel Catholic Church, Sanibel, FL
Readings at Mass
Liturgical Colour: Violet. Year: A(I).
The Creation, and the sin of our first parents
The Lord God fashioned man of dust from the soil. Then he breathed into his nostrils a breath of life, and thus man became a living being.
The Lord God planted a garden in Eden which is in the east, and there he put the man he had fashioned. The Lord God caused to spring up from the soil every kind of tree, enticing to look at and good to eat, with the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the middle of the garden.
Now the serpent was the most subtle of all the wild beasts that the Lord God had made. It asked the woman, ‘Did God really say you were not to eat from any of the trees in the garden?’ The woman answered the serpent, ‘We may eat the fruit of the trees in the garden. But of the fruit of the tree in the middle of the garden God said, “You must not eat it, nor touch it, under pain of death.”’ Then the serpent said to the woman, ‘No! You will not die! God knows in fact that on the day you eat it your eyes will be opened and you will be like gods, knowing good and evil.’ The woman saw that the tree was good to eat and pleasing to the eye, and that it was desirable for the knowledge that it could give. So she took some of its fruit and ate it. She gave some also to her husband who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened and they realised that they were naked. So they sewed fig-leaves together to make themselves loin-cloths.
Have mercy on us, O Lord, for we have sinned.
Have mercy on me, God, in your kindness.
In your compassion blot out my offence.
O wash me more and more from my guilt
and cleanse me from my sin.
Have mercy on us, O Lord, for we have sinned.
My offences truly I know them;
my sin is always before me
Against you, you alone, have I sinned;
what is evil in your sight I have done.
Have mercy on us, O Lord, for we have sinned.
A pure heart create for me, O God,
put a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me away from your presence,
nor deprive me of your holy spirit.
Have mercy on us, O Lord, for we have sinned.
Give me again the joy of your help;
with a spirit of fervour sustain me,
O Lord, open my lips
and my mouth shall declare your praise.
Have mercy on us, O Lord, for we have sinned.
However great the number of sins committed, grace was even greater
Sin entered the world through one man, and through sin death, and thus death has spread through the whole human race because everyone has sinned. Sin existed in the world long before the Law was given. There was no law and so no one could be accused of the sin of ‘law-breaking’, yet death reigned over all from Adam to Moses, even though their sin, unlike that of Adam, was not a matter of breaking a law.
Adam prefigured the One to come, but the gift itself considerably outweighed the fall. If it is certain that through one man’s fall so many died, it is even more certain that divine grace, coming through the one man, Jesus Christ, came to so many as an abundant free gift. The results of the gift also outweigh the results of one man’s sin: for after one single fall came judgement with a verdict of condemnation, now after many falls comes grace with its verdict of acquittal. If it is certain that death reigned over everyone as the consequence of one man’s fall, it is even more certain that one man, Jesus Christ, will cause everyone to reign in life who receives the free gift that he does not deserve, of being made righteous. Again, as one man’s fall brought condemnation on everyone, so the good act of one man brings everyone life and makes them justified. As by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by one man’s obedience many will be made righteous.
Praise to you, O Christ, king of eternal glory!
Man does not live on bread alone,
but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.
Praise to you, O Christ, king of eternal glory!
The temptation in the wilderness
Jesus was led by the Spirit out into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. He fasted for forty days and forty nights, after which he was very hungry, and the tempter came and said to him, ‘If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to turn into loaves.’ But he replied, ‘Scripture says:
Man does not live on bread alone
but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’
The devil then took him to the holy city and made him stand on the parapet of the Temple. ‘If you are the Son of God’ he said ‘throw yourself down; for scripture says:
He will put you in his angels’ charge,
and they will support you on their hands
in case you hurt your foot against a stone.’
Jesus said to him, ‘Scripture also says:
You must not put the Lord your God to the test.’
Next, taking him to a very high mountain, the devil showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendour. ‘I will give you all these’ he said, ‘if you fall at my feet and worship me.’ Then Jesus replied, ‘Be off, Satan! For scripture says:
You must worship the Lord your God,
and serve him alone.’
Then the devil left him, and angels appeared and looked after him.
Each day, The Christian Art website gives a picture and reflection on the Gospel of the day.
The readings on this page are from the Jerusalem Bible, which is used at Mass in most of the English-speaking world. The New American Bible readings, which are used at Mass in the United States, are available in the Universalis apps, programs and downloads.
KEYWORDS: catholic; mt4; ordinarytime; prayer
Please FReepmail me to get on/off the Alleluia Ping List.
|English: Douay-Rheims||Latin: Vulgata Clementina||Greek NT: Byzantine/Majority Text (2000)|
|1.||THEN Jesus was led by the spirit into the desert, to be tempted by the devil.||Tunc Jesus ductus est in desertum a Spiritu, ut tentaretur a diabolo.||τοτε ο ιησους ανηχθη εις την ερημον υπο του πνευματος πειρασθηναι υπο του διαβολου|
|2.||And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterwards he was hungry.||Et cum jejunasset quadraginta diebus, et quadraginta noctibus, postea esuriit.||και νηστευσας ημερας τεσσαρακοντα και νυκτας τεσσαρακοντα υστερον επεινασεν|
|3.||And the tempter coming said to him: If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.||Et accedens tentator dixit ei : Si Filius Dei es, dic ut lapides isti panes fiant.||και προσελθων αυτω ο πειραζων ειπεν ει υιος ει του θεου ειπε ινα οι λιθοι ουτοι αρτοι γενωνται|
|4.||Who answered and said: It is written, Not in bread alone doth man live, but in every word that proceedeth from the mouth of God.||Qui respondens dixit : Scriptum est : Non in solo pane vivit homo, sed in omni verbo, quod procedit de ore Dei.||ο δε αποκριθεις ειπεν γεγραπται ουκ επ αρτω μονω ζησεται ανθρωπος αλλ επι παντι ρηματι εκπορευομενω δια στοματος θεου|
|5.||Then the devil took him up into the holy city, and set him upon the pinnacle of the temple,||Tunc assumpsit eum diabolus in sanctam civitatem, et statuit eum super pinnaculum templi,||τοτε παραλαμβανει αυτον ο διαβολος εις την αγιαν πολιν και ιστησιν αυτον επι το πτερυγιον του ιερου|
|6.||And said to him: If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down, for it is written: That he hath given his angels charge over thee, and in their hands shall they bear thee up, lest perhaps thou dash thy foot against a stone.||et dixit ei : Si Filius Dei es, mitte te deorsum. Scriptum est enim : Quia angelis suis mandavit de te, et in manibus tollent te, ne forte offendas ad lapidem pedem tuum.||και λεγει αυτω ει υιος ει του θεου βαλε σεαυτον κατω γεγραπται γαρ οτι τοις αγγελοις αυτου εντελειται περι σου και επι χειρων αρουσιν σε μηποτε προσκοψης προς λιθον τον ποδα σου|
|7.||Jesus said to him: It is written again: Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.||Ait illi Jesus : Rursum scriptum est : Non tentabis Dominum Deum tuum.||εφη αυτω ο ιησους παλιν γεγραπται ουκ εκπειρασεις κυριον τον θεον σου|
|8.||Again the devil took him up into a very high mountain, and shewed him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them,||Iterum assumpsit eum diabolus in montem excelsum valde : et ostendit ei omnia regna mundi, et gloriam eorum,||παλιν παραλαμβανει αυτον ο διαβολος εις ορος υψηλον λιαν και δεικνυσιν αυτω πασας τας βασιλειας του κοσμου και την δοξαν αυτων|
|9.||And said to him: All these will I give thee, if falling down thou wilt adore me.||et dixit ei : Hæc omnia tibi dabo, si cadens adoraveris me.||και λεγει αυτω ταυτα παντα σοι δωσω εαν πεσων προσκυνησης μοι|
|10.||Then Jesus saith to him: Begone, Satan: for it is written, The Lord thy God shalt thou adore, and him only shalt thou serve.||Tunc dicit ei Jesus : Vade Satana : Scriptum est enim : Dominum Deum tuum adorabis, et illi soli servies.||τοτε λεγει αυτω ο ιησους υπαγε οπισω μου σατανα γεγραπται γαρ κυριον τον θεον σου προσκυνησεις και αυτω μονω λατρευσεις|
|11.||Then the devil left him; and behold angels came and ministered to him.||Tunc reliquit eum diabolus : et ecce angeli accesserunt, et ministrabant ei.||τοτε αφιησιν αυτον ο διαβολος και ιδου αγγελοι προσηλθον και διηκονουν αυτω|
1. Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the Devil.
2. And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, He was afterward an hungred.
PSEUDO-CHRYSOSTOM. The Lord being baptized by John with water, is led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be baptized by the fire of temptation. ‘Then,’ i. e. when the voice of the Father had been given from heaven.
CHRYSOSTOM. (Hom. xiii.) Whoever thou art then that after thy baptism sufferest grievous trials, be not troubled thereat; for this thou receivedst arms, to fight, not to sit idle. God does not hold all trial from us; first, that we may feel that we are become stronger; secondly, that we may not be puffed up by the greatness of the gifts we have received; thirdly, that the Devil may have experience that we have entirely renounced him; fourthly, that by it we may be made stronger; fifthly, that we may receive a sign of the treasure entrusted to us; for the Devil would not come upon us to tempt us, did he not see us advanced to greater honours.
HILARY. The Devil’s snares are chiefly spread for the sanctified, because a victory over the saints is more desired than over others.
GREGORY. (Hom. in. Ev. 16.1.) Some doubt what Spirit it was that led Jesus into the desert, for that it is said after, The Devil took him into the holy city. But true and without question agreeable to the context is the received opinion, that it was the Holy Spirit; that His own Spirit should lead Him thither where the evil spirit should find Him to try Him.
AUGUSTINE. (de Trin. iv. 13.) Why did He offer Himself to temptation? That He might be our mediator in vanquishing temptation not by aid only, but by example.
PSEUDO-CHRYSOSTOM. He was led by the Holy Spirit, not as an inferior at the bidding of a greater. For we say led, not only of him who is constrained by a stronger than he, but also of him who is induced by reasonable persuasion; as Andrew found his brother Simon, and brought him to Jesus.
JEROME. Led, not against His will, or as a prisoner, but as by a desire for the conflict.
PSEUDO-CHRYSOSTOM. The Devil comes against men to tempt them, but since He could not come against Christ, therefore Christ came against the Devil.
GREGORY. (ubi sup.) We should know that there are three modes of temptation; suggestion, delight, and consent; and we when we are tempted commonly fall into delight or consent, because being born of the sin of the flesh, we bear with us whence we afford strength for the contest; but God who incarnate in the Virgin’s womb came into the world without sin, carried within Him nothing of a contrary nature. He could then be tempted by suggestion; but the delight of sin never gnawed His soul, and therefore all that temptation of the Devil was without not within Him.
CHRYSOSTOM. The Devil is wont to be most urgent with temptation, when he sees us solitary; thus it was in the beginning he tempted the woman when he found her without the man, and now too the occasion is offered to the Devil, by the Saviour’s being led into the desert.
GLOSS. (ap. Anselm.) This desert is that between Jerusalem and Jericho, where the robbers used to resort. It is called Hammaim, i. e. ‘of blood,’ from the bloodshed which these robbers caused there; hence the man was said (in the parable) to have fallen among robbers as he went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, bearing a figure of Adam, who was overcome by dæmons. It was therefore fit that the place where Christ overcame the Devil, should be the same in which the Devil in the parable overcomes man.
PSEUDO-CHRYSOSTOM. Not Christ only is led into the desert by the Spirit, but also all the sons of God who have the Holy Spirit. For they are not content to sit idle, but the Holy Spirit stirs them to take up some great work, i. e. to go out into the desert where they shall meet with the Devil; for there is no unrighteousness wherewith the Devil is pleased. For all good is without the flesh and the world, because it is not according to the will of the flesh and the world. To such a desert then all the sons of God go out that they may be tempted. For example if you are unmarried, the Holy Spirit has in that led you into the desert, that is, beyond the limits of the flesh and the world, that you may be tempted by lust. But he who is married is unmoved by such temptation. Let us learn that the sons of God are not tempted but when they have gone forth into the desert, but the children of the Devil whose life is in the flesh and the world are then overcome and obey; the good man, having a wife is content; the bad, though he have a wife is not therewith content, and so in all other things. The children of the Devil go not out to the Devil that they may be tempted. For what need that he should seek the strife who desires not victory? But the sons of God having more confidence and desirous of victory, go forth against him beyond the boundaries of the flesh. For this cause then Christ also went out to the Devil, that He might be tempted of him.
CHRYSOSTOM. But that you may learn how great a good is fasting, and what a mighty shield against the Devil, and that after baptism you ought to give attention to fasting and not to lusts, therefore Christ fasted, not Himself needing it, but teaching us by His example.
PSEUDO-CHRYSOSTOM. And to fix the measure of our quadragesimal fast, he fasted forty days and forty nights.
CHRYSOSTOM. But He exceeded not the measure of Moses and Elias, lest it should bring into doubt the reality of His assumption of the flesh.
GREGORY. (Hom. in. Ev. 16. 5.) The Creator of all things took no food whatever during forty days. We also, at the season of Lent as much as in us lies afflict our flesh by abstinence. The number forty is preserved, because the virtue of the decalogue is fulfilled in the books of the holy Gospel; and ten taken four times amounts to forty. Or, because in this mortal body we consist of four elements by the delights of which we go against the Lord’s precepts received by the decalogue. And as we transgress the decalogue through the lusts of this flesh, it is fitting that we afflict the flesh forty-fold. Or, as by the Law we offer the tenth of our goods, so we strive to offer the tenth of our time. And from the first Sunday of Lent to the rejoicing of the paschal festival is a space of six weeks, or forty-two days, subtracting from which the six Sundays which are not kept there remain thirty-six. Now as the year consists of three hundred and sixty-five, by the affliction of these thirty-six we give the tenth of our year to God.
AUGUSTINE. (Lib. 83. Quest. q. 81.) Otherwise; The sum of all wisdom is to be acquainted with the Creator and the creature. The Creator is the Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; the creature is partly invisible,—as the soul to which we assign a threefold nature, (as in the command to love God with the whole heart, mind, and soul,)—partly visible as the body, which we divide into four elements; the hot, the cold, the liquid, the solid. The number ten then, which stands for the whole law of life, taken four times, that is, multiplied by that number which we assign for the body, because by the body the law is obeyed or disobeyed, makes the number forty. All the aliquot parts in this number, viz. 1, 2, 4, 5, 8, 10, 20, taken together make up the number 50. Hence the time of our sorrow and affliction is fixed at forty days; the state of blessed joy which shall be hereafter is figured in the quinquagesimal festival, i. e. the fifty days from Easter to Pentecost.
AUGUSTINE. (Serm. 210. 2.) Not however because Christ fasted immediately after having received baptism, are we to suppose that He established a rule to be observed, that we should fast immediately after His baptism. But when the conflict with the tempter is sore, then we ought to fast, that the body may fulfil its warfare by chastisement, and the soul obtain victory by humiliation.
PSEUDO-CHRYSOSTOM. The Lord knew the thoughts of the Devil, that he sought to tempt Him; he had heard that Christ had been born into this world with the preaching of Angels, the witness of shepherds, the inquiry of the Magi, and the testimony of John. Thus the Lord proceeded against him, not as God, but as man, or rather both as God and man. For in forty days of fasting not to have been an hungred was not as man; to be ever an hungred was not as God. He was an hungred then that the God might not be certainly manifested, and so the hopes of the Devil in tempting Him be extinguished, and His own victory hindered.
HILARY. He was an hungred, not during the forty days, but after them. Therefore when the Lord hungred, it was not that the effects of abstinence then first came upon Him, but that His humanity was left to its own strength. For the Devil was to be overcome, not by the God, but by the flesh. By this was figured, that after those forty days which He was to tarry on earth after His passion were accomplished, He should hunger for the salvation of man, at which time He carried back again to God His Father the expected gift, the humanity which He had taken on Him.
3. And when the Tempter came to Him, he said, If Thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.
4. But He answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
PSEUDO-CHRYSOSTOM. The Devil who had begun to despair when he saw that Christ fasted forty days, now again began to hope when he saw that he was an hungred; and then the tempter came to him. If then you shall have fasted and after been tempted, say not, I have lost the fruit of my fast; for though it have not availed to hinder temptation, it will avail to hinder you from being overcome by temptation.
GREGORY. (ubi sup.) If we observe the successive steps of the temptation, we shall be able to estimate by how much we are freed from temptation. The old enemy tempted the first man through his belly, when he persuaded him to eat of the forbidden fruit; through ambition when he said, Ye shall be as gods; through covetousness when he said, Knowing good and evil; for there is a covetousness not only of money, but of greatness, when a high estate above our measure is sought. By the same method in which he had overcome the first Adam, in that same was he overcome when he tempted the second Adam. He tempted through the belly when he said, Command that these stones become loaves; through ambition when he said, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down from hence; through covetousness of lofty condition in the words, All these things will I give thee.
AMBROSE. (in Luc. c. iv. 3.) He begins with that which had once been the means of his victory, the palate; If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones become loaves. What means such a beginning as this, but that he knew that the Son of God was to come, yet believed not that He was come on account of His fleshly infirmity. His speech is in part that of an enquirer, in part that of a tempter; he professes to believe Him God, he strives to deceive Him as man.
HILARY. And therefore in the temptation he makes a proposal of such a double kind by which His divinity would be made known by the miracle of the transformation, the weakness of the man deceived by the delight of food.
JEROME. But thou art caught, O Enemy, in a dilemma. If these stones can be made bread at His word, your temptation is vain against one so mighty. If He cannot make them bread, your suspicions that this is the Son of God must be vain.
PSEUDO-CHRYSOSTOM. But as the Devil blinds all men, so is he now invisibly made blind by Christ. He found Him an hungred at the end of forty days, and knew not that He had continued through those forty without being hungry. When he suspected Him not to be the Son of God, he considered not that the mighty Champion can descend to things that be weak, but the weak cannot ascend to things that are high. We may more readily infer from His not being an hungred for so many days that He is God, than from His being an hungred after that time that He is man. But it may be said, Moses and Elias fasted forty days, and were men. But they hungred and endured, He for the space of forty days hungred not, but afterwards. To be hungry and yet refuse food is within the endurance of man; not be hungry belongs to the Divine nature only.
JEROME. Christ’s purpose was to vanquish by humility;
LEO. (Serm. 39. 3.) hence he opposed the adversary rather by testimonies out of the Law, than by miraculous powers; thus at the same time giving more honour to man, and more disgrace to the adversary, when the enemy of the human race thus seemed to be overcome by man rather than by God.
GREGORY. (ubi sup.) So the Lord when tempted by the Devil answered only with precepts of Holy Writ, and He who could have drowned His tempter in the abyss, displayed not the might of His power; giving us an example, that when we suffer any thing at the hands of evil men, we should be stirred up to learning rather than to revenge.
PSEUDO-CHRYSOSTOM. He said not, ‘I live not,’ but, Man doth not live by bread alone, that the Devil might still ask, If thou be the Son of God. If He be God, it is as though He shunned to display what He had power to do; if man, it is a crafty will that His want of power should not be detected.
RABANUS. This verse is quoted from Deuteronomy (c. 8:3). Whoso then feeds not on the Word of God, he lives not; as the body of man cannot live without earthly food, so cannot his soul without God’s word. This word is said to proceed out of the mouth of God, where he reveals His will by Scripture testimonies.
5. Then the Devil taketh Him up into the holy city, and setteth Him on a pinnacle of the temple,
6. And saith unto Him, If Thou be the Son of God, cast Thyself down; for it is written, He shall give His Angels charge concerning Thee: and in their hands they shall bear Thee up, lest at any time Thou dash Thy foot against a stone.
7. Jesus said unto Him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.
PSEUDO-CHRYSOSTOM. From this first answer of Christ, the Devil could learn nothing certain whether He were God or man; he therefore betook him to another temptation, saying within himself; This man who is not sensible of the appetite of hunger, if not the Son of God, is yet a holy man; and such do attain strength not to be overcome by hunger; but when they have subdued every necessity of the flesh, they often fall by desire of empty glory. Therefore he began to tempt Him by this empty glory.
JEROME. Took him, not because the Lord was weak, but the enemy proud; he imputed to a necessity what the Saviour did willingly.
RABANUS. Jerusalem was called the Holy City, for in it was the Temple of God, the Holy of holies, and the worship of the one God according to the law of Moses.
REMIGIUS. This shews that the Devil lies in wait for Christ’s faithful people even in the sacred places.
GREGORY. (ubi sup.) Behold when it is said that this God was taken by the Devil into the holy city, pious ears tremble to hear, and yet the Devil is head and chief among the wicked; what wonder that He suffered Himself to be led up a mountain by the wicked one himself, who suffered Himself to be crucified by his members.
GLOSS. (ord.) The Devil places us on high places by exalting with pride, that he may dash us to the ground again.
REMIGIUS. The pinnacle is the seat of the doctors; for the temple had not a pointed roof like our houses, but was flat on the top after the manner of the country of Palestine, and in the temple were three stories. It should be known, that the pinnacle was on the floor, and in each story was one pinnacle. Whether then he placed Him on the pinnacle in the first story, or that in the second, or the third, he placed Him whence a fall was possible.
GLOSS. (ord.) Observe here that all these things were done with bodily sense, and by careful comparison of the context it seems probable that the Devil appeared in human form.
PSEUDO-CHRYSOSTOM. Perhaps you may say, How could he in the sight of all place Him bodily upon the temple? Perhaps the Devil so took Him as though He were visible to all, while He, without the Devil being aware of it, made Himself invisible.
GLOSS. (ap. Anselm.) He set Him on a pinnacle of the temple when he would tempt Him through ambition, because in this seat of the doctors he had before taken many through the same temptation, and therefore thought that when set in the same seat, He might in like manner be puffed up with vain pride.
JEROME. In the several temptations the single aim of the Devil is to find if He be the Son of God, but he is so answered as at last to depart in doubt; He says, Cast thyself, because the voice of the Devil, which is always calling men downwards, has power to persuade them, but may not compel them to fall.
PSEUDO-CHRYSOSTOM. How does he expect to discover by this proposition whether He be the Son of God or not? For to fly through the air is not proper to the Divine nature, for it is not useful to any. If then any were to attempt to fly when challenged to it, he would be acting from ostentation, and would so belong rather to the Devil than to God. If it is enough to a wise man to be what he is, and he has no wish to seem what he is not, how much more should the Son of God hold it not necessary to shew what He is; He of whom none can know so much as He is in Himself?
AMBROSE. But as Satan transfigures himself into an Angel of light, and spreads a snare for the faithful, even from the divine Scriptures, so now he uses its texts, not to instruct but to receive.
JEROME. This verse we read in the ninetieth Psalm (Ps. 91:11.), but that is a prophecy not of Christ, but of some holy man, so the Devil interprets Scripture amiss.
PSEUDO-CHRYSOSTOM. For the Son of God in truth is not borne of Angels, but Himself bears them, or if He be borne in their arms, it is not from weakness, lest He dash His foot against a stone, but for the honour. O thou Devil, thou hast read that the Son of God is borne in Angels’ arms, hast thou not also read that He shall tread upon the asp and basilisk? But the one text he brings forward as proud, the other he omits as crafty.
CHRYSOSTOM. Observe that Scripture is brought forward by the Lord only with an apt meaning, but by the Devil irreverently; for that where it is written, He shall give his Angels charge over thee, is not an exhortation to cast Himself headlong.
GLOSS. (ap. Anselm.) We must explain thus; Scripture says of any good man, that He has given it in charge to His Angels, that is to His ministering spirits, to bear him in their hands, i. e. by their aid to guard him that he dash not his foot against a stone, i. e. keep his heart that it stumble not at the old law written in tables of stone. Or by the stone may be understood every occasion of sin and error.
RABANUS. It should be noted, that though our Saviour suffered Himself to be placed by the Devil on a pinnacle of the temple, yet refused to come down also at his command, giving us an example, that whosoever bids us ascend the strait way of truth we should obey. But if he would again cast us down from the height of truth and virtue to the depth of error we should not hearken to him.
JEROME. The false Scripture darts of the Devil He brands with the true shield of Scripture.
HILARY. Thus beating down the efforts of the Devil, He professes Himself both God and Lord.
PSEUDO-CHRYSOSTOM. Yet He says not, Thou shalt not tempt me thy Lord God; but, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God; which every man of God when tempted by the Devil might say; for whoso tempts a man of God, tempts God.
RABANUS. Otherwise, it was a suggestion to Him, as man, that He should seek by requiring some miracle to know the greatness of God’s power.
AUGUSTINE. (con. Faust. 22. 36.) It is a part of sound doctrine, that when man has any other means, he should not tempt the Lord his God.
THEODOTUS. (non occ.) And it is to tempt God, in any thing to expose one’s self to danger without cause.
JEROME. It should be noted, that the required texts are taken from the book of Deuteronomy only, that He might shew the sacraments of the second Law.
8. Again, the Devil taketh Him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth Him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them;
9. And saith unto Him, All these things will I give Thee, if Thou wilt fall down and worship me.
10. Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve.
11. Then the Devil leaveth Him, and, behold, Angels came and ministered unto Him.
PSEUDO-CHRYSOSTOM. The Devil, left in uncertainty by this second reply, passes to a third temptation. Christ had broken the nets of appetite, had passed over those of ambition, he now spreads for Him those of covetousness; He taketh him up into a very high mountain, such as in going round about the earth he had noticed rising above the rest. The higher the mountain, the wider the view from it. He shews Him not so as that they truly saw the very kingdoms, cities, nations, their silver and their gold; but the quarters of the earth where each kingdom and city lay. As suppose from some high ground I were to point out to you, see there lies Rome, there Alexandria; you are not supposed to see the towns themselves, but the quarter in which they lie. Thus the Devil might point out the several quarters with his finger, and recount in words the greatness of each kingdom and its condition; for that is said to be shewn whch is in any way presented to the understanding.
ORIGEN. (in Luc. Hom. 30.) We are not to suppose that when he shewed Him the kingdoms of the world, he presented before Him the kingdom of Persia, for instance, or India; but he shewed his own kingdom, how he reigns in the world, that is, how some are governed by fornication, some by avarice.
REMIGIUS. By their glory, is meant, their gold and silver, precious stones and temporal goods.
RABANUS. The Devil shews all this to the Lord, not as though he had power to extend his vision or shew Him any thing unknown. But setting forth in speech as excellent and pleasant, that vain worldly pomp wherein himself delighted, he thought by suggestion of it, to create in Christ a love of it.
GLOSS. (ord.) He saw not, as we see, with the eye of lust, but as a physician looks on disease without receiving any hurt.
JEROME. An arrogant and vain vaunt; for he hath not the power to bestow all kingdoms, since many of the saints have, we know, been made kings by God.
PSEUDO-CHRYSOSTOM. But such things as are gotten by iniquity in this world, as riches, for instance, gained by fraud or perjury, these the Devil bestows. The Devil therefore cannot give riches to whom he will, but to those only who are willing to receive them of him.
REMIGIUS. Wonderful infatuation in the Devil! To promise earthly kingdoms to Him who gives heavenly kingdoms to His faithful people, and the glory of earth to Him who is Lord of the glory of heaven!
AMBROSE. (in Luc. c. iv. 11.) Ambition has its dangers at home; that it may govern, it is first others’ slave; it bows in flattery that it may rule in honour; and while it would be exalted, it is made to stoop.
GLOSS. (non occ.) See the Devil’s pride as of old. In the beginning he sought to make himself equal with God, now he seeks to usurp the honours due to God, saying, If thou wilt fall down and worship me. Who then worships the Devil must first fall down.
PSEUDO-CHRYSOSTOM. With these words He puts an end to the temptations of the Devil, that they should proceed no further.
JEROME. The Devil and Peter are not, as many suppose, condemned to the same sentence. To Peter it is said, Get thee behind me, Satan; i. e. follow thou behind Me who art contrary to My will. But here it is, Go, Satan, and is not added ‘behind Me,’ that we may understand into the fire prepared for thee and thy angels.
REMIGIUS. Other copies read, Get thee behind me; i. e. remember thee in what glory thou wast created, and into what misery thou hast fallen.
PSEUDO-CHRYSOSTOM. Observe how Christ when Himself suffered wrong at the hands of the Devil, being tempted of him, saying, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down, yet was not moved to chide the Devil. But now when the Devil usurps the honour of God, he is wroth, and drives him away, saying, Go thy way, Satan; that we may learn by His example to bear injuries to ourselves with magnanimity, but wrongs to God, to endure not so much as to hear; for to be patient under our own wrongs is praiseworthy, to dissemble when God is wronged is impiety.
JEROME. When the Devil says to the Saviour, If thou wilt fall down and worship me, he is answered by the contrary declaration, that it more becomes him to worship Jesus as his Lord and God.
AUGUSTINE. (cont. Serm. Arian. 29.) The one Lord our God is the Holy Trinity, to which alone we justly owe the service of piety.
AUGUSTINE. (De Civ. Dei, x. 1.) By service is to be understood the honour due to God; as our version renders the Greek word ‘latria,’ wherever it occurs in Scripture, by ‘service’ (servitus), but that service which is due to men (as where the Apostle bids slaves be subject to their masters) is in Greek called ‘dulia;’ while ‘latria,’ always, or so often that we say always, is used of that worship which belongs to God.
PSEUDO-CHRYSOSTOM. The Devil, we may fairly suppose, did not depart in obedience to the command, but the Divine nature of Christ, and the Holy Spirit which was in Him drove him thence, and then the Devil left him. Which also serves for our consolation, to see that the Devil does not tempt the men of God so long as he wills, but so long as Christ suffers. And though He may suffer him to tempt for a short time, yet in the end He drives him away because of the weakness of our nature.
AUGUSTINE. (De Civ. Dei, ix. 21.) After the temptation the Holy Angels, to be dreaded of all unclean spirits, ministered to the Lord, by which it was made yet more manifest to the dæmons how great was His power.
PSEUDO-CHRYSOSTOM. He says not ‘Angels descended from heaven,’ that it may be known that they were ever on the earth to minister to Him, but had now by the Lord’s command departed from Him, to give opportunity for the Devil to approach, who perhaps when he saw Him surrounded by Angels would not have come near Him. But in what matters they ministered to Him, we cannot know, whether in the healing diseases, or purifying souls, or casting out dæmons; for all these things He does by the ministration of Angels, so that what they do, Himself appears to do. However it is manifest, that they did not now minister to Him because His weakness needed it, but for the honour of His power; for it is not said that they ‘succoured Him,’ but that they ministered to Him.
GREGORY. (non occ. vid. in Ezek. 1:8. n. 24. in 1 Reg. 1:1. n. 1. 2.) In these things is shewn the twofold nature in one person; it is the man whom the Devil tempts; the same is God to whom Angels minister.
PSEUDO-CHRYSOSTOM. Now let us shortly review what is signified by Christ’s temptations. The fasting is abstinence from things evil, hunger is the desire of evil, bread is the gratification of the desire. He who indulges himself in any evil thing, turns stones into bread. Let him answer to the Devil’s persuasions that man does not live by the indulgence of desire alone, but by keeping the commands of God. When any is puffed up as though he were holy he is led to the temple, and when he esteems himself to have reached the summit of holiness he is set on a pinnacle of the temple. And this temptation follows the first, because victory over temptation begets conceit. But observe that Christ had voluntarily undertaken the fasting; but was led to the temple by the Devil; therefore do you voluntarily use praiseworthy abstinence, but suffer yourself not to be exalted to the summit of sanctity; fly high-mindedness, and you will not suffer a fall. The ascent of the mountain is the going forward to great riches, and the glory of this world which springs from pride of heart. When you desire to become rich, that is, to ascend the mountain, you begin to think of the ways of gaining wealth and honours, then the prince of this world is shewing you the glory of his kingdom. In the third place He provides you reasons, that if you seek to obtain all these things, you should serve him, and neglect the righteousness of God.
HILARY. When we have overcome the Devil and bruised his head, we see that Angels’ ministry and the offices of heavenly virtues will not be wanting to us.
AUGUSTINE. (De Cons. Ev. ii. 16.) Luke has not given the temptations in the same order as Matthew; so that we do not know whether the pinnacle of the temple, or the ascent of the mountain, was first in the action; but it is of no importance, so long as it is only clear that all of them were truly done.
GLOSS. (ap. Anselm.) Though Luke’s order seems the more historical; Matthew relates the temptations as they were done to Adam.
Catena Aurea Matthew 4
Isabel was sister to the great king of France, St. Louis IX, in the 13th century. Not only was she royal and wealthy, but she also had a sharp intellect and was a highly accomplished lady. She left aside all of these advantages of life as a princess, however, and sought holiness above everything.
Even as a girl, she was known for fervent prayer and fasting. She loved learning and studied Latin so that she could pray the liturgy of the hours and read the Church Fathers.
Isabel refused to be married, even when famous men courted her. Once, the pope wrote to her directly to encourage her to marry the king of Jerusalem for the good of Christendom, but her refusal to him was so humble and wise that he acknowledged her desire to dedicate her life to God alone.
Every day, before she ate her dinner, Isabel would seat poor people at her table and serve them herself. She would spend the evening visiting others who were sick and poor.
She established a convent for Franciscan nuns, asking St. Bonaventure to write up the rule of life for the community, and named it the Monastery of the Humility of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Isabel never joined the community herself, but did live in the monastery in a room separate from the nun’s cells. She suffered from illnesses during her life, and these prevented her from following the rule of life for the nuns—this was one reason she refused to be named abbess of the monastery. That also allowed her to keep her wealth and resources, so she could support the community and continue to give to the poor. She kept a discipline of silence for most of her day.
Isabel understood the connection between the Eucharist and its call to service. Jesus washed the feet of his disciples at the Last Supper, which calls us to humble ourselves in love for others. Before she received communion herself, Isabel always begged forgiveness, on her knees, of the few servants that she retained.
Her life of prayer was marked by ecstasies at several points of her life, including a period of time near the end of her life when she stayed awake through several nights in rapt contemplation. She died in 1270 and her image is used here with permission from Catholic.org.
St. Isabel of France, who had the known world at her fingertips and left it all to serve God and the poor—pray for us!
Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam (To the Greater Glory of God)
From: Genesis 2:7-9; 3:1-7
The Creation of Adam (Continuation)
 Then the Lord God formed man of dust from, the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.
Man in Paradise
 And the Lord God planted a garden in Eden, in the east; and there he put the man whom he had formed.  And out of the ground the Lord God made to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food, the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
Temptation and the First Sins
 The serpent was more subtle than any other wild creature that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, "Did God say, 'You shall not eat of any tree of the garden'?"  And the woman said to the serpent, "We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden;  but God said, 'You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.'"  But the serpent said to the woman, "You will not die.  For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil."  So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate; and she also gave some to her husband, and he ate.  Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves aprons.
2:7. As far as his body is concerned, man belongs to the earth. To affirm this, the sacred writer must have been always conscious of the fact that when a person dies, his/her body will turn into dust, as Genesis 3:19 will in due course tell us. Or it may be that this sort of account (a special one like the literary genre of all these chapters) is based on the similarity between the word "adam", which means man in general, and "adamah", which means "reddish soil"; and given that the words look alike, the sacred writer may have drawn the conclusion that there is in fact a connection between the two very things (unsophisticated etymology goes in for this sort of thing). But the fact that man belongs to the earth is not his most characteristic feature: as the author sees it, animals too are made up of the stuff of the earth. What makes man different is the fact that he receives his life from God. Life is depicted here in terms of breathing, because only living animals: breathe. The fact that God infuses life into man in this way means that although man on account of his corporeal nature is material, his existence as a living being comes directly from God, that is, it is animated by a vital principle--the soul or the spirit--which does not derive from the earth. This principle of life received from God also endows man's body with its own dignity and puts it on a higher level than that of animals.
God is portrayed as a potter who models man's body in clay; this means that man is supposed to live in accordance with a source of life that is higher than that deriving from matter The image of God as a potter shows that man (all of him) is in God's hands just like clay in a potter's hands; he should not resist or oppose God's will (cf Is 29:16; Jer 18:6; Rom 9:20-21).
2:8-15. Here we have a scenario in which God and man are friends; there is no such thing as evil or death. The garden is described as being a leafy oasis, with the special feature of having two trees in the center, the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil--symbolizing the power to give life, and the ultimate reference-point for man's moral behavior. Out of the garden flow the four rivers the author is most familiar with; these water the entire earth and make it fertile. What the Bible is teaching here is that man was created to be happy, to enjoy the life and goodness which flow from God. "The Church interpreting the symbolism of biblical language in an authentic way, in the light of the New Testament and Tradition teaches that our first parents, Adam Eve, were constituted in an original 'state of holiness and justice' (Council of Trent, "De Peccato Originali"). This grace of original holiness was 'to share in...divine life' ("Lumen Gentium", 2)" ("Catechism the Catholic Church", 375).
From the outset, man is charged with cultivating the garden--working it, protecting it and making it bear fruit. Here again we can see that work is a commission that God gives man from the start. "From the beginning of creation man has had to work," St. J. Escriva said. 'This not something that I have invented. It is enough to turn to the opening pages the Bible. There you can read that, before sin entered the world, and in its wake death, punishment and misery (cf. Rom 5:12). God made Adam from the clay the earth, and created for him and descendants this beautiful world we live in, "ut operaretur et custodiret illum" (Gen 2:15), so that we might cultivate it and look after it" ("Friends of God", 57). But man needs to recognize God's mastery over creation and over himself by obeying the commandment God gives him as a kind of covenant, telling him not to eat the forbidden fruit. If man lost the original happiness he was created to enjoy (the writer will later explain), it was because he broke that covenant.
2:16-17. The fact that man had access to the "tree of the knowledge of good and evil" means that God left the way open to the possibility of evil in order to ensure a greater good--the freedom which is man's endowment. By using his reason and following his conscience, man is able to discern what is good and what is evil; but he himself cannot "make" something good or evil. So, God's command to our first parents implies that they have a duty to recognize that they are creatures and have a duty to reverence and respect goodness, as reflected in the laws of creation and in the dignity proper to man as a person. Were man to want to decide on good and evil for himself, ignoring the good-ness God impressed on things when he created them, it would mean man wanted to be like God. Man is always being tempted towards absolute moral autonomy--and he gives in to that temptation when he forgets that there exists a God who is the Creator and Lord of all, man included.
"The tree of the knowledge of good and evil," John Paul II comments, "was to express and constantly remind man of the 'limit' impassable for a created being" ("Dominum Et Vivificantem", 36).
2:25. Here we can see how man and his body were totally in harmony, as were man and woman; this harmony will be broken due to the sin the narrative goes on to report.
3:1-24. "The account of the fall in Genesis 3 uses figurative language, but affirms a primeval event, a deed that took place "at the beginning of the history of man". Revelation gives us the certainty of faith that the whole of human history is marked by the original fault freely committed by our first parents" ("Catechism of the Catholic Church", 390). The Bible is teaching us here about the origin of evil--of all the evils mankind experiences, and particularly the evil of death. Evil does not come from God (he created man to live a happy life and to be his friend); it comes from sin, that is, from the fact that man broke the divine commandment, thereby destroying the happiness he was created for, and his harmony with God, with himself, and with creation in general. "Man, tempted by the devil, let his trust in his Creator die in his heart and, abusing his freedom, disobeyed God's command. This is what man's first sin consisted of. All subsequent sin would be disobedience toward God and lack of trust in his goodness" ("Catechism of the Catholic Church", 397).
In his description of that original sin and its consequences, the sacred writer uses symbolic language (garden, tree, serpent) in order to convey an important historical and religious truth--that no sooner did he walk the earth than man disobeyed God, and therein lies the cause of evil. We can also see here how every sin happens and what results from it: "The eyes of our soul grow dull. Reason proclaims itself sufficient to understand everything, without the aid of God. This is a subtle temptation, which hides behind the power of our intellect, given by our Father God to man so that he might know and love him freely. Seduced by this temptation, the human mind appoints itself the center of the universe, being thrilled with the prospect that 'you shall be like gods' (Gen 3:15). So filled with love for itself, it turns its back on the love of God" (St J. Escriva, "Christ Is Passing By", 6).
3:1. The serpent symbolizes the devil, a personal being who tries to frustrate God's plans and draw man to perdition. "Behind the disobedient choice of our first parents lurks a seductive voice, opposed to God, which makes them fall into death out of envy (Wis 2:24). Scripture and the Church's Tradition see in this being a fallen angel, called 'Satan' or the 'devil'. The Church teaches what Satan was at first a good angel, made by God: 'The devil and the other demons were indeed created naturally good by God, but they became evil by their own doing' (Fourth Vatican Council)" ("Catechism of the Catholic Church", 391.).
3:2-5. The devil's temptation strategy is very realistically described here: he falsifies what God has said, raises suspicions about God's plans and intentions, and, finally, portrays God as man's enemy. "The analysis of sin in its original dimension indicates that, through the influence of the 'father of lies', "throughout the history of humanity there will be a constant pressure on man to reject God", even to the point of hating him: 'Love of self to the point of contempt for God,' as St Augustine puts it (cf. "De Civitate Dei", 14, 28). Man will be inclined to see in God primarily a limitation of himself, and not the source of his own freedom and the fullness of good. We see this confirmed in the modern age, when the atheistic ideologies seek "to root out religion" on the grounds that religion causes the radical "'alienation' of man", as if man were dispossessed of his own humanity when, accepting the idea of God, he attributes to God what belongs to man, and exclusively to man! Hence a process of thought and historico-sociological practice in which the rejection of God has reached the point of declaring his 'death'. An absurdity, both in concept and expression!" (John Paul II, "Dominum Et Vivificantem", 38).
3:6 And so both of them, the man and the woman, disobeyed God's commandment. Genesis refers not to an apple but to a mysterious fruit: eating it symbolizes Adam and Eve's sin--one of disobedience.
The sacred writer leads us to the denouement by giving a masterly psychological description of temptation, dialogue with the tempter, doubt about God's truthfulness, and then yielding to one's sensual appetites. This sin, Pope John Paul II also commented, "constitutes "the principle and root of all the others". We find ourselves faced with the original reality of sin in human history and at the same time in the whole of the economy of salvation…This original disobedience presupposes "a rejection", or at least "a turning away from the truth contained in the Word of God", who creates the world. [...] 'Disobedience' means precisely going beyond that limit, which remains impassable to the will and the freedom of man as a created being. For God the Creator is the one definitive source of the moral order in the world created by him. Man cannot decide by himself what is good and what is evil--cannot 'know good and evil, like God'. In the created world "God" indeed remains the first and sovereign source "for deciding about good and evil", through the intimate truth of being, which is the reflection "of the Word", the eternal son, consubstantial with the Father. To man, created to the image of God, the Holy Spirit gives the gift of "conscience", so that in this conscience the image may faithfully reflect its model, which is both Wisdom and eternal Law, the source of the moral order in man and in the world. 'Disobedience', as the original dimension of sin, means the "rejection of this source", through man's claim to become an independent and exclusive source for deciding about good and evil" ("Dominum Et Vivificantem", 33-36).
3:7-13. This passage begins the description of the effects of the original sin. Man and woman have come to know evil, and it shows, initially, in a most direct way--in their own bodies. The inner harmony described in Genesis 2:25 is broken, and concupiscence rears its head. Their friendship with God is also broken, and they flee from his presence, to avoid their nakedness being seen. As if his Creator could not see them! The harmony between man and woman is also fractured: he puts the blame on her, and she puts it on the serpent. But all three share in the responsibility, and therefore all three are going to pay the penalty.
"The harmony in which they found themselves, thanks to original justice, is now destroyed: the control of the soul's spiritual faculties over the body is shattered; the union of man and woman becomes subject to tensions (cf. Gen 3:7-16), their relations henceforth marked by lust and domination. Harmony with creation is broken: visible creation has become alien and hostile to man (cf. Gen 3:17, 19). Because of man, creation is now subject 'to its bondage to decay' (Rom 8:21). Finally, the consequence explicitly foretold for this disobedience will come true: man will 'return to the ground' (Gen 3:19), for out of it he was taken. "Death makes its entrance into human history" (cf. Rom 5:12)" ("Catechism of the Catholic Church", 400).
Adam's Original Sin
 Therefore as sin came into the world through one man and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all men sinned--  sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law.  Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sins were not like the transgressions of Adam, who was a type of the One who was to come.
 But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man's trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift in the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many.  And the free gift is not like the effect of that one man's sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brings justification.  If, because of one man's trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.
 Then as one man's trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one man's act of righteousness leads to acquittal and life for all men.  For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by One Man's obedience many will be made righteous.  Law came in, to increase the trespass; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more,  so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
12-21. Four important teachings are discernible in this passage: 1) Adam's sin and its consequences, which include, particular death (verses 12-14); 2) the contrast between the effects of Original Sin and those of the Redemption wrought by Christ (verses 15-19); 3) the role of the Law of Moses in relation to sin (especially verses 13, 20), anticipating what is explained more elaborately in Chapter 7; 4) the final victory of the reign of grace (verses 20-21). These teachings are closely connected by one single idea: only Jesus Christ can justify us and bring us to salvation. The Apostle refers to Adam as a "type of the One who was to come", that is, Jesus, the Messiah, who is the true head of the human race; and he also stresses that Christ, by His obedience and submission to the Father's will, counters the disobedience and rebellion of Adam, restoring to us--superabundantly--the happiness and eternal life which we lost through the sin of our First Parents.
Here we can see the clash of the two kingdoms--the kingdom of sin and death and the kingdom of righteousness and grace. These two kingdoms were established, the first by Adam and the second by Christ, and spread to all mankind.
Because the superabundance of Christ's grace is the more important factor, Adam's sin is referred to in no great detail. St. Paul takes it as something everyone is familiar with. All Christians have read about or been told about the account of the Fall in Genesis (Genesis 3) and they are familiar with many passages in Sacred Scripture which confirm and explain something which is self-evident--that all men are mortal and that the human race is subject to a whole series of afflictions (cf. Sirach 25:33; Wisdom 2:23-24; Psalm 51:7; Job 14:4; Genesis 8:21; etc.)
12-14. This passage can be elaborated on as follows: just as sin entered the world through the action of a single individual man, so righteousness is attained for us by one man--Jesus Christ. Adam, the first man, is a type of the "new Adam": Adam contained within himself all mankind, his offspring; the "new Adam" is "the first-born of all creation" and "the head of the body, the Church" (Colossians 1:15, 18) because He is the redeeming Word Incarnate. To Adam we are linked by flesh and blood, to Christ by faith and the Sacraments.
When, in His infinite goodness, He raised Adam to share in the divine life, God also decreed that our First Parent would pass on to us his human nature and with it all the various gifts that perfected it and the grace that sanctified it. But Adam committed a sin by breaking God's commandment and as a result he immediately lost the holiness and righteousness in which he had been installed, and because of this disloyalty he incurred God's wrath and indignation and, as consequence, death--as God had warned him. By becoming mortal and falling under the power of the devil, Adam "was changed for the worse", in both body and soul (cf. Council of Trent, "De Peccato Originali", Canon 1). From then on Adam and his descendants pass on a human nature deprived of supernatural gifts, and men are in a state of enmity with God, which means that they cannot attain eternal beatitude.
The fact of Original Sin is a truth of faith. This has been stated once again solemnly by [Pope] Paul VI: "We believe that in Adam all have sinned. From this it follows that, on account of the original offense committed by him, human nature, which is common to all men, is reduced to that condition in which it must suffer the consequences of that Fall [...]. Consequently, fallen human nature is deprived of the economy of grace which it formerly enjoyed. It is wounded in its natural powers and subjected to the dominion of death which is transmitted to all men. It is in this sense that every man is born in sin. We hold, therefore, in accordance with the Council of Trent, that Original Sin is transmitted along with human nature, "not by imitation but by propagation", and is, therefore, incurred by each person individually" ("Creed of the People of God", 16).
Our own experience bears out what divine Revelation tells us: when we examine our conscience we realize that we have this inclination towards evil and we are conscious of being enmeshed in evils which cannot have their source in our holy Creator (cf. Vatican II, "Gaudium Et Spes", 13). The obvious presence of evil in the world and in ourselves convince us of the profound truth contained in Revelation and moves us to fight against sin.
"So much wretchedness! So many offenses! Mine, yours, those of all mankind....’Et in peccatis concepit me mater mea!’ In sin did my mother conceive me! (Psalm 51:5). I, like all men, came into the world stained with the guilt of our First Parents. And then...my own sins: rebellions, thought about, desired, committed.... To purify us of this rottenness, Jesus chose to humble Himself and take on the form of a slave (cf. Philippians 2:7), becoming incarnate in the spotless womb of our Lady, His Mother, who is also your Mother and mine. He spent thirty years in obscurity, working like everyone else, at Joseph's side. He preached. He worked miracles.... And we repaid Him with a cross. Do you need more motives for contrition?" (St J. Escriva, "The Way of the Cross", IV, 2).
13-14. Both the commandment imposed by God on Adam, and the Mosaic Law, threatened the transgressor with death; but the same cannot be said of the period between Adam and Moses. In that period also people did sin against the natural law written on every person's heart (cf. 2:12ff). However, their sins "were not like the transgression of Adam", because the natural law did not explicitly bind under pain of death. If, nevertheless, they in fact had to die, this proves, the Apostle concludes, that death is due not to personal sins but to Original Sin. It is also proved, the Father of the Church usually add, by the fact that some people die before reaching the use of reason, that is, before they are capable of sinning.
Death is a consequence of Original Sin, because that sin brought with it the loss of the "preternatural" gift of immortality (cf. Genesis 2:17; 3:19). Adam incurred this loss when, through a personal act of his, he broke an explicit, specific command of God. Later, under the Mosaic Law, there were also certain precepts which involved the death penalty if broken (cf., for example, Exodus 21:12ff; Leviticus 24:16). In the period from Adam to Moses there was no law which stated: If you sin, you shall die. However, people in that period were all subject to death, even those who committed no sin "like the transgression of Adam" that is, what is termed "actual sin".
Therefore, death is due to a sin--Original Sin--which attaches to each man, woman and child, yet which is not an "actual sin". This Original Sin is the cause of death, and the fact that everyone dies is the proof that everyone is affected by Original Sin. The Second Vatican Council sums up this teaching as follows: "The Church, taught by divine Revelation, declares that God has created man in view of a blessed destiny that lies beyond the limits of his sad state on earth. Moreover, the Christian faith teaches that bodily death, from which man would have been immune had he not sinned (cf. Wisdom 1:13; 2:23-24; Romans 5:21; 6:23; James 1:15), will be overcome when that wholeness which he lost through his own fault will be given once again to him by the almighty and merciful Savior. For God has called man, and still calls him, to cleave with all his being to Him in sharing forever a life that is divine and free from all decay" ("Gaudium Et Spes", 18).
Jesus Fasts and Is Tempted
 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.  And He fasted forty days and forty nights, and afterward He was hungry.  And the tempter came and said to Him, "If You are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread."  But He answered, "It is written, 'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.'"
 Then the devil took Him to the holy city, and set Him on the pinnacle of the temple,  and said to Him, "If you are the Son of God, throw Yourself down; for it is written, 'He will give His angels charge of you,' and 'On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone'"  Jesus said to him, "Again it is written, 'You shall not tempt the Lord your God.'"  Again, the devil took Him to a very high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and the glory of them;  and he said to Him, "All these I will give You, if You will fall down and worship me."  Then Jesus said to him, "Begone, Satan! for it is written, 'You shall worship the Lord your God and Him only shall you serve.'"
 Then the devil left Him, and behold, angels came and ministered to Him.
1. Jesus, our Savior, allowed Himself to be tempted because He so chose; and He did so out of love for us and to instruct us. However, since He was perfect He could only be tempted externally. Catholic teaching tells us that there are three levels of temptation: 1) suggestion, that is, external temptation, which we can undergo without committing any sin; 2) temptation in which we take a certain delight, whether prolonged or not, even though we do not give clear consent; this level of temptation has now become internal and there is some sinfulness in it; 3) temptation to which we consent; this is always sinful, and since it affects the deepest part of the soul, it is definitely internal. By allowing Himself to be tempted, Jesus wanted to teach us how to fight and conquer our temptations. We will do this by having trust in God and prayer, with the help of God's grace and by having fortitude.
Jesus' temptations in the desert have a deep significance in salvation history. All the most important people throughout sacred history were tempted--Adam and Eve, Abraham, Moses, and the Chosen People themselves. Similarly with Jesus. By rejecting the temptations of the devil, our Lord atones for the falls of those who went before Him and those who come after Him. He is an example for us in all the temptations we were subsequently to have, and also for the battles between the Church and the power of the devil. Later Jesus teaches us in the "Our Father" to ask God to help us with His grace not to fall at the time of temptation.
2. Before beginning His work as Messiah, that is, before promulgating the New Law or New Testament, Jesus prepares Himself by prayer and fasting in the desert. Moses acted in the same way before proclaiming, in God's name, the Old Law on Mount Sinai (Exodus 34:28). Elijah, too, journeyed for forty days in the desert to fulfill the Law (1 Kings 19:5-8).
The Church follows Jesus' footsteps by prescribing the yearly Lenten fast. We should practice Lent each year with this spirit of piety. "It can be said that Christ introduced the tradition of forty days fast into the Church's liturgical year, because He Himself 'fasted forty days and forty nights' before beginning to teach. By this Lenten fast the Church is in a certain sense called every year to follow her Master and Lord if she wishes to preach His Gospel effectively" ([Pope] John Paul II, "General Audience", 28 February 1979). In the same way, Jesus' withdrawal into the desert invites us to prepare ourselves by prayer and penance before any important decision or action.
3. Jesus had fasted forty days and forty nights. Naturally He is very hungry and the devil makes use of this opportunity to tempt Him. Our Lord rejects the temptation and in doing so He uses a phrase from Deuteronomy (8:3). Although He could do this miracle, He prefers to continue to trust His Father since performing the miracle is not part of His plan of salvation. In return for this trust, angels come and minister to Him (Matthew 4:11).
Miracles in the Bible are extraordinary and wonderful deeds done by God to make His words or actions understood. They do not occur as isolated outpourings of God's power but rather as part of the work of Redemption. What the devil proposes in this temptation would be for Jesus' benefit only and therefore could not form part of the plan for Redemption. This suggests that the devil, in tempting Him in this way, wanted to check if Jesus is the "Son of God". For, although he seems to know about the voice from Heaven at Jesus' baptism, he cannot see how the Son of God could be hungry. By the way He deals with the temptation, Jesus teaches us that when we ask God for things we should not ask in the first place for what we can obtain by our own efforts. Neither should we ask for what is exclusively for our own convenience, but rather for what will help towards our holiness or that of others.
4. Jesus' reply is an act of trust in God's fatherly providence. God led Him into the desert to prepare Him for His messianic work, and now He will see to it that Jesus does not die. This point is underlined by the fact that Jesus' reply evokes Deuteronomy 8:3, where the sons of Israel are reminded how Yahweh fed them miraculously with manna in the desert. Therefore, in contrast to the Israelites who were impatient when faced with hunger in the desert, Jesus trustingly leaves His well-being to His Father's providence. The words of Deuteronomy 8:3, repeated here by Jesus, associate "bread" and "word" as having both come from the mouth of God: God speaks and gives His Law; God speaks and makes manna appear as food.
Also, manna is commonly used in the New Testament (see, for example, in 6:32-58) and throughout Tradition as a symbol of the Eucharist.
The Second Vatican Council points out another interesting aspect of Jesus' words when it proposes guidelines for international cooperation in economic matters: "In many instances there exists a pressing need to reassess economic structures, but caution must be exercised with regard to proposed solutions which may be untimely, especially those which offer material advantages while militating against man's spiritual nature and advancement. For 'man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God'" ("Gaudium Et Spes", 86).
5. Tradition suggests that this temptation occurred at the extreme southern corner of the temple wall. At this point, the wall was at its highest, since the ground beneath sloped away steeply to the Cedron River. Looking down from this point one could easily get a feeling of vertigo.
St. Gregory the Great ("In Evangelia Homiliae", 16) says that if we consider how our Lord allowed Himself to be treated during His passion, it is not surprising that He allowed the devil also to treat Him as he did.
6. "Holy Scripture is good, but heresies arise through its not being understood properly" (St. Augustine, "In Ioann. Evang., 18, 1). Catholics should be on their guard against arguments which, though they claim to be founded on Scripture, are nevertheless untrue. As we can see in this passage of the Gospel, the devil can also set himself up at times as an interpreter of Scripture, quoting it to suit himself. Therefore, any interpretation which is not in line with the teaching contained in the Tradition of the Church should be rejected.
The error proposed by a heresy normally consists in stressing certain passages to the exclusion of others, interpreting them at will, losing sight of the unity that exists in Scripture and the fact that the faith is all of a piece.
7. Jesus rejects the second temptation as He did the first; to do otherwise would have been to tempt God. In rejecting it, He uses a phrase from Deuteronomy (6:16): "You shall not put the Lord your God to the test". In this way He alludes to the passage in Exodus where the Israelites demand a miracle of Moses. The latter replies, "Why do you put the Lord to the proof?"
To tempt God is the complete opposite of having trust in Him. It means presumptuously putting ourselves in the way of unnecessary danger, expecting God to help us by an exceptional use of His power. We would also tempt Him if, by our unbelief and arrogance, we were to ask Him for signs or proof. The very first lesson from this passage of the Gospel is that if ever a person were to ask or demand extraordinary proofs or signs from God, he would clearly be tempting Him.
8-10. The third temptation is the most pseudo-messianic of the three: Jesus is urged to appropriate to Himself the role of an earthly messianic king of the type so widely expected at the time. Our Lord's vigorous reply, "Begone, Satan!" is an uncompromising rejection of an earthly messianism--an attempt to reduce His transcendent, God-given mission to a purely human and political use. By His attitude, Jesus, as it were, rectifies and makes amends for the worldly views of the people of Israel. And, for the same reason, it is a warning to the Church, God's true Israel, to remain faithful to its God-given mission of salvation in the world. The Church's pastors should be on the alert and not allow themselves to be deceived by this temptation of the devil.
"We should learn from Jesus' attitude in these trials. During His life on earth He did not even want the glory that belonged to Him. Though He had the right to be treated as God, He took the form of a servant, a slave (cf. Philippians 2:6-7). And so the Christian knows that all the glory is due to God and that he must not make use of the sublimity and greatness of the Gospel to further his own interests or human ambitions.
"We should learn from Jesus. His attitude in rejecting all human glory is in perfect balance with the greatness of His unique mission as the beloved Son of God who takes flesh to save men [...]. And the Christian, who, following Christ, has this attitude of complete adoration of the Father, also experiences our Lord's loving care: 'because he cleaves to Me in love, I will deliver him; I will protect him, because he knows My name' (Psalm 90:14)" (St J. Escriva, "Christ Is Passing By", 62).
11. If we struggle constantly, we will attain victory. And nobody is crowned without having first conquered: "Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life" (Revelation 2:10). By coming to minister to Jesus after He rejects the temptations, the angels teach us the interior joy given by God to the person who fights energetically against the temptations of the devil. God has given us also powerful defenders against such temptations--our guardian angels, on whose aid we should call.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.