Gn 2:7-9; 3:1-7 - Ps 51:3-4, 5-6, 12-13, 17 - Rom 5:12-19 - Mt 4:1-11
HNN – Real Reality Television
God likes to watch TV. In fact, He is up in heaven right now, sitting in his recliner, sipping on a nice cool beverage, with his feet propped up in his favorite Lazy-Boy watching HNN – Heavenly Network News. But God’s Television is not like our TV. He doesn’t just watch some Virtual Reality world, but rather He participates in Real Reality Television – Interactive and in Truth!
The beauty of HNN is that God (Because he exists outside of time) and sees all of the Superbowl Games all at once. And although he knows the outcome of every game played throughout all of time He still gets a kick out of watching all of them.
Hearing the Word at Mass is like Watching HNN with God
Hearing the Scriptures in Mass is like watching HNN with God, In the First Reading we learn that there is such a thing as Good and Evil. It is partly a consequence of our Human Freedom. The right use of freedom is to choose the good over the evil – because choosing the good leads us into happiness, while choosing evil leads us into a life of death.
Adam and Eve and the Garden of Eden
On HNN today we watched Eve be confronted with temptation and fall into sin. This is our struggle with sin. With Adam and Eve we too chose to listen to Satan, and fall into sin. When we sin we use our freedom to reject God.
Scorn or Cry
When we glance over at God the Father, to see how he is taking this terrible turn in events – We see tears pouring down His cheeks. God is greatly saddened to see his creation fall victim to Sin and the Devil.
St. Michael – The Angelic Analyst
Now the Angelic Analyst comes onto the screen to give his Analysis – Look it is Saint Michael the Archangel, Captain of the Heavenly Host.
“Notice how the enemy engages us. He never uses a frontal assault, because he knows that the Heavenly Host will go through him like snow through a snow blower! See how slippery he is, he asked Eve a question – diversion, deception and trickery are the hallmarks of our enemy. Let’s analyze his attack strategy...”
“Did God really tell you not to eat from any of the trees in the garden?”
An innocent Question – or is it. First of all, the first mistake of Eve was to listen to the suggestions of the Devil to begin with. He always starts with a question to get us thinking, and then he tries to twist our thinking with rationalization so that we are unable to resist his attack.
What underlies this question is the suggestion that God is not to be trusted.
- Did God really tell you that lusting after pornography is adultery?
- Did God really tell you that Gluttony is sinful, destructive to your body and your soul?
- Did God really tell you that violence is evil and begets more violence?
- How much violence, flesh, greed, anger, lying, lust, laziness, disobedience, pride is evil. Is it all evil, or just some of it evil?
“Notice that now that the Devil has her attention, he slips in the deception, the lie – she has been duped and doesn’t even know it!”
“You certainly will not die! No, God knows well that the moment you eat of it your eyes will be opened and you will be like gods who know what is good and what is evil.”
“See how skillful Satan is, he packs lies into simple statements.”
- God is a liar (You certainly will not die!) – But really Satan is the liar (The wages of sin is death)
- God is not looking out for you – you can’t trust him!
- God does not want you to be a God like him (why else would he forbid the fruit?)
God is crying because he sees the destruction wrought by Original Sin. Not only does he see the personal sin of Adam and Eve, but remember HNN’s slogan is “All the News from All of Time All at Once”. God is filled with sadness to see that what He created out of beauty and love for goodness, happiness and fulfillment is used to hurt His creation. What do I mean?
Adam and Eve only realized that they were naked after they ate the forbidden fruit because they no longer saw one another through the eyes of love, but rather through the eyes of selfish Lust!
The Jesus Channel (Channel 2)
Providentially, at the same time, God is watching Jesus on Channel 2 (He is the 2nd person of the Holy Trinity) in His battle with Satan in the Desert. Here, Jesus is winning back all of the ground lost by Eve and more in his contest with the Devil. It’s like watching “Let’s make a deal”, where the Devil is playing the part of Monty Hall, and Jesus is a contestant on the show. But this version is different. The Devil shows up with Door Number One (You can Turn Stones into Bread), Door Number Two (Go ahead and throw yourself off the Temple, you’ll be alright), and Door Number Three (Worship Satan and you can get everything in the World). The funny thing about this show is that Jesus sees through the temptation of Satan. He does this with Prayer, Fasting and a thorough understanding of Scriptures (He is after all, the Word made Flesh) and the power of the Holy Spirit. Jesus plays the game by God’s rules – He chooses the greater good over all of the temptations that Satan offers Him. He chooses fasting over gluttony. He trusts in God Word rather than the twisted reading of the Scriptures. He chooses to serve the God of Selfless love rather than serve the selfish devil.
King David and Temptation Palace!
On the “How to Fix It Channel” we see King David confessing his sins. This is what today’s psalm speaks to us about.
Tradition has it that King David wrote this psalm after Nathan confronted him about sleeping with Bathsheeba (Adultery). After David got her pregnant he tried to get her husband Uriah to lie with her so he wouldn’t get caught (David Lied). When that failed, King David sent Uriah up to the front to die (Murder).
YOU ARE DEAD!
After this happened to him, the prophet Nathan came to King David and told him of his Sin. Nathan told David that he was DEAD in God’s eyes. Nathan was filling the role of our conscience in David’s life.
David responded to Nathan’s witness by writing Psalm 51. In Psalm 51, we learn how to fix our broken souls. What we need to do to recognize our sinfulness and to find healing in God.
Recognize the Wrong by Guilt.
Have mercy on me, God, in your kindnessThe Battle with Satan, the struggle with Sin, with selfishness versus selflessness begins with…
In your compassion blot out my offense.
O wash me more and more from my guilt
And cleanse me from my sin.
- An understanding of God’s Goodness.
- Knowing that God has the ability to cleanse us, and to wash away our sin.
- Knowing that God can save us (To Wash away our Guilt means allowing God to heal our sinfulness).
Guilt is a good thing – it leads us to conversion – to repentance – and healing. Guilt is like pain for the soul – it is a gift from God that keeps us safe.
We need to “own” our actions – because our conscience will remember them anyway. We can choose to tune out our Guilt, like David did for a while, but eventually the truth of our actions will come home to roost.
My offenses 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.
This verse of the psalm speaks about the role of the Conscience in keeping us honest – it remembers. Repentance is about taking ownership of what you have done, and recognizing the evil that it is.
Why do we rationalize our Sin?
One of the reasons why we struggle with Repentance is that we fail to acknowledge the sinfulness of our actions. We fail to see how sin kills us – Why? Because often it is a slow death.
But our conscience always reminds us of the truth of our deeds – whether they are good or evil.
During Lent the Church invites us to meditate on our lives. When we are honest, we confront our Sin and we see why our behavior is sinful – how does it damage our relationship with God.
The Prayer of a Soul seeking healing!
(Confession is Disinfectant for the Soul)
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.
The psalm reminds us of the cleansing and healing action of God’s love – When you cut yourself, you clean out the wound with disinfectant to kill the germs. Sin is the same way, when you wound yourself with Sin, you wash it out with the cleansing presence of the Holy Spirit through the sacrament of Confession!
Todah – Thanksgiving
O rescue me, God, my helper
And my tongue shall ring out your goodness.
O Lord, open my lips
And my mouth shall declare your praise.
(Remember A Kid's First Confession)
The Joy of Confession – of healing is that we experience the true Joy of God – Our life, gives praise to God for the great things he has done for us.
Now God is tuned into Channel 23 – Where he witnesses the events of your lives. Don’t let time or sin keep you from taking advantage of the great grace of this sacrament.
Lent is the time for us to take up the heroic path!
Lent is the time for us to deal with Temptation and Sin!
This Lent will you follow the path of King David, and come to healing in your Soul?
At the end of this Lent will we see that the Fathers Eyes are filled with Sorrow at what we have done channel,
or with Joy?