By Fr. Andrew Kelly
FIRST SUNDAY OF LENT – FEB. 17
Jesus is the Son of God endowed with the power of God’s Holy Spirit. But Jesus is also Son of Adam with all the limitations of being a human being.
The tension and testing in the wilderness described in Sunday’s Gospel (Luke 4:1-13) were all about how Jesus, Son of God and Son of Adam, would handle the power of the Holy Spirit.
Would the power be used for the release and freedom of human beings, or for Jesus’ personal needs and aggrandizement? Would Jesus’ mission be about self or selflessness?
In each test Jesus chose selflessness over self, God’s ways over other ways.
In the story, two things sustained Jesus. One was the Holy Spirit; the other was the prayerful use of the Word of God.
The combination of Spirit and Word were all the power Jesus needed to resist the teasingly tempting choices the devil offered.
All believers are tested by the question: Will life be about self (our way) or selflessness (God’s way)?
The good news is that believers are sustained by the power of God’s Holy Spirit and Word, just as Jesus was. With that kind of power, choosing God’s way, as Jesus did, becomes possible.
(Father Andrew Kelly is a retired priest of the Diocese of Davenport.)
Scripture Readings for Feb. 17-24
Lv 19:1-2, 11-18
Est C:12, 14-16, 23-25
1 Pt 5:1-4
Gn 15:5-12, 17-18
Phil 3:17—4:1 or Phil 3:20—4:1