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The Temptation of Selfishness

     Earlier this week I was sitting down and flipping through the pages of my Bible. As I sat there, praying the passages I came across, I flipped to todays Gospel; the temptation of Jesus. As I sat there are read the perplexing gospel passage, I came to realize that this passage presents a major difference between the path of God and that of Satan; Satan calls us to an alluring self importance lifestyle, while God calls us to a selfless life.  This Gospel, that had, at one point, scared me as a young child, and confused me growing up, began to make sense and all the more applicable.

    I began to think of how often in my own life I chose to act for myself instead of acting for others. I began to recall the times in which Jesus, although tired, never failed to act, to teach, to heal those who he encountered.  How often he gave himself, in a selfless way, when he could have been selfish. I began to think how he gave us his flesh in the substance of bread and wine, and how he died on the cross, all for a selfless cause. 

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    The first reading recalled the original sin of Adam and Eve, and how, when they were faced with the snares of the devil, they failed. In that moment, the devil approached and tempted with what often seems to be an attractive selfish desire. "You will not die; for God knows that when you eat of it [the fruit] your eyes will be opened and YOU will be like God, knowing good and evil"  (Genesis 3:4-5). In that phrase the serpent had tempted the women with the desire for a selfish act and within this act we had untied the unique rope we have had with God. We chose ourselves before God and before others, and it we have experiences a great loss.

    While Jesus was tempted, in three different ways for the self, was strong and withstood the devils temptations because Jesus knew there is something more than himself- his Father, Our Father. Jesus knew that there was something greater when he turned down the opportunity to use his miraculous powers to feed his hungry body. Jesus knew that selfishness was not the answer when he refuse to put to test the saving powers of God and jump from the pinnacle of the temple. Jesus knew that God was the true and one king when he refused to bow down to the devil to accept the worldly kingdoms for his own. 

     Through Adam and Eve we have broken the bond we held so tightly with God. But Christ, the one who resisted the temptations of the devil, is the one who we look to as the bridge back to God. Christ came in a selfless manner- his entire mission was selfless. He willingly and freely have himself up, a full human, for our salvation. In doing this he showed that although we have sinned, we have been made free, made sharers of Gods Kingdom again.  The tree of Eden is now and forever a sign of our disobedience to God, a sign of our sin, but the tree that Christ was nailed to is now the sign of hope, of resurrection, of victory and a sign of reconciliation.

    As we journey through lent, let us strive to become more selfless. May everything we do this lent bring us closer to Christ and strengthen our relationship with our father, who desires a relationship with us. Let us draw closer to Christ, the bridge back to God, and follow in his footsteps of resisting the temptation of selfishness.

P.S- I meant to post this yesterday however, I didn't realize I had it scheduled it for the wrong weekend! 

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