First Sunday of Lent

The sin and the grace

Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert  … He fasted for forty days and forty nights, and afterwards he was hungry. The tempter …said to him: “If you are the Son of God, command that these stones become loaves of bread”. He said in reply, “It is written: ‘One does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes forth from the mouth of God'”. Then the devil … made him stand on the parapet of the temple, and said to him: “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down. For it is written: ‘He will command his angels concerning you and ‘with their hands they will support you, lest you dash your foot against a stone'”. Jesus answered him, “Again it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord, your God, to the test.'” Then the devil took him up to a very high mountain, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in their magnificence, and he said to him: “All these I shall give to you, if you will prostrate yourself and worship me”. At this, Jesus said to him, “Get away, Satan! It is written: ‘The Lord, your God, shall you worship and him alone shall you serve'”. Then the devil left him and, behold, angels came and ministered to him. Mt 4,1-11

Being faced with this page of the gospel that speaks of the temptations which Jesus had to win to become the Savior of the world, we wonder what the sin is. The sin, going to its root, is the negation of God as God and of his plan of life for the humans. To sin means to take distance from God – which is always possible to make because of the gift of the freedom he has given to us – to live our lives pursuing projects other than his own, which shall be automatically projects of Satan. In fact, he has no plans on its own, other than to divert the man from God’s plan to deny his “lordship”. The Bible tells us that the first men to distance himself from God, for wanting to be the master of his own destiny, was Adam, whom sin entered the world, sowing hatred, wars, massacres, diseases, pain and death. Since then, Satan has had a good game because the sin entered the human. Jesus Christ, throughout his life, from the temptations in the desert to the exhortation to descend from the cross, has resisted the lure of the devil, has freed us from the leprosy of the sin, restoring for us the original purity of being children of God  It is, in short, the theology of st. Paul“: Therefore, just as through one person [Adam] sin entered the world, condemnation came upon all… so through one righteous act acquittal and life came to all …grace also might reign through justification for eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord“. (Rom 5,12-18). To include ourselves in this great world of justice, started by Jesus Christ, we must only joyfully accept his lordship and his plan of life for us.

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