Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet
Brothers and sisters in Christ, in today’s readings, we see how the ‘old’ Adam and the ‘new’ Adam are compared to each other. You may be asking, why is there two Adams? That is because, Jesus Christ, the Son of Man, is the new Adam who came to rectify the faults and mistakes committed by the first Adam, as what he had done in the Book of Genesis.
In the readings, we see the clear contrast between the two Adams. The first Adam, our first ancestor, fell to the temptation of Satan with Eve, and they disobeyed God’s will by eating the forbidden fruit of knowledge, thinking that they might become like God as the devil spoke to them about. Yet Christ, as the new Adam, did the exact opposite, refusing to listen to the sweet lies of the devil and firmly held onto the faith in God His Father.
Yes, how right it is when it is said that because of the first Adam, every single one of humanity, including all of us have been condemned to a life in difficulty on this earth, and a life that is subjected to the power of death because of the disobedience of our ancestors. Initially, because of the disobedience of the first Adam, we were also destined for doom and destruction, which were our due for our disobedience, but all that was changed with Christ, the new Adam.
In Christ, the new Adam, mankind was made anew. Christ our Lord became one of us, the sons and daughters of Adam, that through His perfect obedience to the will of God and the total rebuke and refusal to follow the ways of Satan, He had made all of us anew, and bring us into the light of God. As the new Adam, He broke free the fetters and chains holding us, that is the sin of the first Adam, our ancestor.
Adam and his wife, Eve, the first two mankind to be created by the Lord, showed us the things that we are vulnerable to, when the devil came and offers us things that are contrary to the goodness and to the will of God. And the temptation of Jesus in the desert by the devil further highlighted the many vulnerabilities that the devil may attack us, to tempt us away from the salvation in God.
Yes, brethren, even though Jesus through His death had liberated us from the chains of original sin, that is the sin of the first Adam, that tainted all mankind until the moment when Christ broke free that chain of sin as the new Adam, the progenitor of new life of man, the devil can still attack us and as he always does, he tries at every moment to bring us away from the salvation offered through the new Adam, our Lord Jesus Christ.
The temptations which Christ went through can show us the venues through which the devil may strike at us. The devil can strike at our desires, our greed and desire for things like food, as in the first temptation of Jesus. He can also strike at our ego and our desire and affinity for praise, and that was the second temptation of Jesus.
And lastly, the temptation of power and glory, which he may strike us with, is one of the most dangerous, which he made in the last of his three attempts to tempt Jesus. All of these he can utilise to break us and bend us to his ways. It is easy for us to fall if we do not prepare ourselves well. The devil has many tools in his disposal to trap us and make us fall.
Do not think that we can also use the Scriptures to ward off his attacks, if we are unprepared. The devil himself quoted from the Scripture passages when he tried to tempt Jesus! If he did so before, then certainly if we are unprepared, then we will be more vulnerable to the devil’s attacks. We have to prepare ourselves, by deepening our faith in God, and strengthening our devotion to Him.
Yes, brethren, we need to strengthen our faith, the shield of our souls, that we will not fall to the tricks of the devil. Our faith should be firm like the faith of Jesus. It is not easy, brothers and sisters, as the devil will be merciless and relentless in his attacks. We need to strengthen ourselves, and reject the alluring temptations of Satan, rejecting the false pleasures that he may offer us.
This is because the joy and pleasures he offers us are just temporary and illusionary in nature. They are pleasures that gives happiness briefly for a moment, and later on may bring about great sorrow and suffering. And ultimately, if we want to gain these false promises from Satan, we will have to serve and pay him our obedience.
Brethren, we cannot have two masters, either we serve the Lord or Satan, we have to make a decisive and concrete choice. And if we serve Satan we all should know that for a brief moment of joy and pleasure, we will suffer for eternity with the devil. Serving the Lord will not be easy, and there will be challenges awaiting us.
Therefore, let us from now on, seek the Lord with all of our strength. Do not be complacent in our faith but keep our faith living and strong, by devoting ourselves genuinely and sincerely to God, giving out our love to Him and to our fellow mankind. Be faithful brethren, and be strong always, against the evil one! Amen.