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You are why we do what we do - report, describe, comment, review. It is to bring to your eyes just what life is like for believers across Asia that we publish UCAN.
But as you know, the effort needs to be sustained if it is to have continuing effect.
UCAN publishes some 150 stories a week in four languages across six websites. We are grateful to benefactors in Europe and the US who support us. But those countries and the Church there are under increasing financial strain and their generosity no longer covers our costs.
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Thanks in anticipation.
Fr. Michael Kelly SJ
The Temptation Of Jesus
- February 17, 2013
This Gospel is placed at the beginning of the 40 days of Lent, the season in which Christians are invited to encounter God, like their Lord and Saviour Jesus. Lent is the time to be spiritually challenged and tempted.
The three temptations of Jesus can be summed up as temptations to power. They are not commonplace, such as our own temptations to wealth, theft or sex. They are all related to the misuse of power on his divine mission.
The first temptation, to change stones into bread, is to use miraculous power to provide for ordinary needs. Jesus replies in the words of Scripture, from the book of Deuteronomy: he will not fulfil his mission by providing for basic physical needs, but by proclaiming God’s word which alone gives life.
The second temptation urges Jesus to provide a spectacular sign which would compel people to belief in his mission. Once again Jesus quotes Deuteronomy to show that God does not fulfill his plans by sensational displays, so one shouldn’t ask for this either.
The third temptation is that of political messianism: let Jesus use power and force of arms to accomplish his mission. Jesus’s answer is dismissive. Secular messianism is akin to the worship of false gods.
Israel wandered in the desert for 40 years and was tempted in various ways. Jesus is the new Israel and he shares with his Church the temptations of his mission. Matthew’s Gospel is addressed to the community of disciples. Like its Lord and Saviour, this community must not succumb to using its powers for its own benefit, nor yield to the attractiveness of political power, but be faithful to its mission of being a ‘servant of Yahweh’ through suffering, persecution and death.