Let's take Jesus seriously, listen to him

Fr. Anthony Le

First Sunday of Lent, our lord went into the desert. spiritually speaking, he entered into the realm of nothingness, the realm of death. There, he encounters and battles with Satan himself. Satan is a father of lies, he is death personified, really. The temptations that our lord encountered, and he overcame, has to do with temptation of the flesh, temptation of the mind, and temptation of the heart. Turn the rock into bread, fix your eyes on food, on the things that satisfy your stomach. Paul mentions in the second reading - their God is their stomach. The second temptation has to do with power and glory. controlling. the power to control glory that the world satisfied. Also to whom we should worship. Satan wants to be the focal point of our worship. No, our lord Jesus has shown us that the almighty God is the one who's supposed to worship, the word of God is what we're supposed to listen to.

In today's gospel, we are brought up to the mountaintop. Have you ever wondered why our lord, not bring his disciples into the desert? Have you ever wondered why he brought us up to the mountaintop instead? amazing isn't it. In the desert, we have no chance against satan. our mortal strength could not overcome those temptations. how many of us here could probably say that: I have not yet been tempted by all of this, because I overcame them all already. None! If you say it, you have no place here. This church belongs to those who are weak, acknowledging that we are in need of God's mercy, and strength.

our lord brought them up to the mountaintop. Mountain is significant, in the biblical world, mountain is where we could see everything, where we could expand our vision, where we could get closer to the realm of life, the ultimate life - God. The mountain is where prophets like Moses and Elijah encounter God. where the covenant made by Abraham, renewed by Moses , where ten commandments were given - instruction how to live, how to worship, how to really execute God's plan. Today our lord. is in the desert, he lets Satan know that he is someone demons have to wrestle with. someone they have to take seriously, this is the son of God almighty. no mere mortal man. Now on the mountaintop he exposed himself once again to the disciples of our lord. let them know he is somebody that they could listen to, someone they could follow, someone that could place their trust, someone they could completely surrender their life and therefore receive ultimate life.

Moses and Elijah, one responsible for a covenant made to his people. God after moses led his people out of egypt, save the people out of slavery and depression. Elijah represents the entire generation of prophets. Those were chosen to speak God's word, those were chosen to deliver God's message of salvation, those who were chosen to call God's people back on the right track. on the right track, they left that path a long time ago. Now our lord Jesus exposed himself and allowed Peter, Johns, and James to understand who they are following, who they are following. those who subsequently believe in them - you and I - got to learn how to take him seriously, how to take the word of God seriously.

Now if Peter wanted to enjoy the moment, if Peter wanted to remain on the mountain top, Peter once again fell into that very temptation - stay put with what you have at this moment, satisfy your longing already. stay here, and don't go down. because go down there, what moses elijah and Jesus talking about is culmination of the mystery of God's plan that our lord Jesus had to die, has to be crucified, and then, only then, he rises again and shows you he has the power to transform our mortal bodies into his glorious body - according to saint paul in the second letter. in the second reading today, that we have heard. Our lord Jesus is somebody that you and I have to take seriously. listen to him. our heavenly father opened the sky, and let us know. listen to him. just the same way our blessed mother tells the servants: listen to him and do whatever he tells you. So my dear brothers and sister, do we take his word seriously? Do we take him seriously? if he's almighty God, dare we believe that he has the power to transform you and i, not physically but interiorly, that he could transform you and I form somebody who is away from God, who is no longer interested in morality, who is no longer interested in faith, truly become somebody who could on his behalf proclaim to the world his love and mercy. Paul, blighted by his own vision, blighted by his own belief, blighted by his own intelligence, struck blind. and therefore encounter the good lord. Only then, he opens his eyes, and he sees a world better, and he proclaims Christ to all.

Among RCIA, there's a man who came here. did not believe in God before, read the bible with his wife occasionally. He happened to get to know me, happened to get to know saint joseph, happened to work on a lighting project. Now he's a member of RCIA. I told him then : if you get closer to God, if you are in his house, watch out, he's gonna get you. I believe that. he's gonna get you. Soon enough, he's gonna get you. The more we expose ourselves to him, the more we allow ourselves to be taken by his presence, his word, his beauty, his magnificent love, where are we going, we have no way out other than the way in - the merciful heart of God.

So my dear brothers and sisters, once again I challenge us all. Let's take Jesus seriously. when he talks about eucharistic transformation, when he talks about confession and forgiveness of sins, when he talks about love your enemies, when he talks about you and I, his beloved sons and daughters. take him seriously. when he talks about how he could raise the dead to life, when he talks about resurrection of the dead, take him seriously. because that's how the world is going to be transformed. That's how you and I are going to be transformed. These are the people who have been called by Christ to inform, and touch by the magnificent beauty of his love, by the care and kindness of those who helped them, by you, by us, all by this community. and that is how our lord is going to transform the world.

Take the church seriously, because within the church, within the bosom of the church, you and I were born. Within this church community, within the church of God, we, my dear brothers and sisters, see the magnificent works of the almighty God. transforming the world, transforming lives. your lives and my life. Let's take him seriously. If Satan took him seriously, we too should take him seriously. as our almighty father said: listen to him, this is my beloved son.








在 RCIA 中有一位慕道者,他不信天主。偶爾和老婆一起查經。他碰巧認識了我,碰巧做整修教堂的照明工程。當時我告訴他:如果你接近天主,你在祂的房子裡進進出出,小心,祂會捕獲你。果然,現在他參加了RCIA。我們越是在主的面前作息,就越會被祂的存在、祂的話語、祂的美善、和祂偉大的愛所吸引。我們能去哪裡呢?除了進入天主仁慈的心之外,別無出路。