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.

真誠的對待主耶穌,聽從祂。

上個主日,耶穌在沙漠受到魔鬼的試探。從神魂上講,沙漠是個虛無,死亡的地方,而撒旦是謊言之父,祂就是死亡。在沙漠,主耶穌與撒旦征戰。克服了肉體、思想、和心靈上的誘惑。首先,撒旦要耶穌把目光放在食物上,將石頭變成麵包,來滿足飢餓的肚腹。聖保祿宗徒警告過我們說:他們的天主是肚腹,他們的結局是喪亡。耶穌戰勝了這個誘惑。然候,撒旦告訴耶穌説他掌控了權力和榮耀,如果要得到世上的權力和榮耀。只要朝拜他。撒旦想成為敬拜的焦點。主耶穌說,不,我們只敬拜全能的天主,只聽天主的話。

在今天的福音中,主把門徒們帶到了山頂。為什麼我們主帶我們到山頂,不到沙漠呢?因為在沙漠,我們無能對抗撒旦。凡人的力量,是無法克服撒旦的誘惑的。我們這裡有多少人能說:我沒有經歷過無法克服的誘惑,因為我已經克服了所有的誘惑。如果你這樣說,在這裡你就沒有立足之地。因為這個教會是屬於那些軟弱的,需要天主憐憫和力量的人。

在聖經裡,山很重要,山可以擴展視野,看到一切。在山上,可以接近生命的源頭和終極,天主。這山是梅瑟和厄里亞與天主相遇的地方。也是天主與亞巴郎立約,由梅瑟更新,頒布十誡的地方。十誡教導選民如何生活,敬拜,和執行天主的計劃。在沙漠中,我們的主讓撒旦知道祂是惡魔搏鬥的對象,一個驅趕惡魔的人。祂是全能天主的兒子,不是凡人。在山頂上,他向門徒們展示,讓祂們知道祂是可以傾聽,可以追隨,可以信任,可以放棄自己的生命,來獲得永生的天主。

梅瑟和厄里亞都是先知。梅瑟追隨天主,帶領以色列人離開埃及,天主繼續拯救以色列子民脫離奴役和困苦。厄里亞代表了以色列的先知,被揀選來宣講天主的話語,傳揚救恩,召喚天主子民回歸到那已經偏離很久的正途。

在山頂、耶穌向伯多祿、若望、和雅各伯顯示了聖容,讓祂們知道他們追隨的是誰。那些後來的信徒,你和我,也必須明白我們追隨的是誰,如何認真的來對待主,聽祂的話。就在這時,伯多祿想留在山頂,因為現有的,已經滿足了他的欲望。他陷入了誘惑,想保有,享受這一刻。留在這裡,不要下去。因為在高山下,那梅瑟,厄里亞,和耶穌所談論的天主奧秘計劃-耶穌必須被釘死在十字架上,會發生。然後,就像聖保祿在讀經二所說的耶穌才會復活,來改變我們卑賤的身體,相似祂光榮的身體。

在山頂、天父打開了天,並且要求我們,要聽從祂。所以,你和我必須真誠的對待主耶穌,聽從祂。就像我們有福的母親對僕人說的一樣:要聽從祂,按照祂的吩咐去做。親愛的兄弟姐妹,我們有認真的聽從祂嗎?真誠的對待祂嗎?如果祂是全能的天主,我們是不是相信祂有能力改變你和我嗎?是不是相信祂可以改變我們的心,將我們從一個遠離天主,對道德,和信仰都不感興趣的人,成為一個向世界宣告天主的愛和憐憫的人。保祿被他自己的眼光,信仰,和智慧所困擾,他瞎了眼。但是他遇見了良善的天主,就在那一刻,他睜開了眼,看到一個美好的世界,從此就向所有的人宣講耶穌基督的福音。

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。

親愛的兄弟姐妹們,我向你們提出挑戰。真誠的對待主耶穌。在聖體聖事中,在告解聖事中,當祂談到愛你的敵人,當祂談到你和我是祂心愛的兒女,談到死者復活,真誠的對待主耶穌,聽從祂。因為這就是改變世界,改變你和我的方式。

領受了這個社區每一份子的關心,和善意的幫助,感受到耶穌的爱是如此的壮丽,如此的美善,蒙召來告訴每一個人我們的感動。這就是主耶穌基督改變世界的方式。

真誠的對待教會,因為在教會的懷抱裡,我們重生了。在這個團體,這個天主的教會內,我們看到了全能天主的傑作。改變世界,改變生活,改變你和我的生命,讓我們真誠的對待主耶穌。如果撒旦認識祂,也與祂戰鬥。我們更該明認祂,真誠的對待祂。正如我們全能的父親所說:聽祂的,這是我心愛的兒子。