1st Sunday in Lent, Year C

Sunday, March 10, 2019
Fr. Kyle
Homily transcription: 

Why not just give into temptation.  Why not give into our desires and passions and just do whatever the heck we want?  On Friday I was driving down Lincoln way and saw an advertisement for a double bacon cheese burger and thought, “oh sweet, sweet bacon.  Why do you tempt me so?”  So why not just give into temptation and human desires.  Isn’t that freedom!?

In today’s gospel Jesus is in the desert for 40 days and 40 nights being tempted by the devil.  The devil tempts him in his hunger; he tempts him with power; he tempts him to test God.  And like a boss, Jesus shows us that true freedom in not found in giving into temptation, but in being able to say no to temptation.

As human beings we have human desires and passions.  St. Thomas Aquinas teaches that our human desires and passions are good things as they direct us to a good and beautiful life.  But, he says, unbridled desires and passions in the face of temptation is dangerous and giving into these temptations can make us slaves to our human desires.  He uses a great analogy of a charioteer driving a chariot lead by 2 horses.  The power and strength of the horses is a good thing.  They can carry the charioteer to his destination quickly and safely.  But only if the charioteer has a good hold of the reigns.  If the charioteer does not have a hold on the reigns, then the horses control him and take him wherever they want as the charioteer becomes a slave to wherever the horses want to go.  Even if that is off a cliff.   Like those horses, our human emotions and passions are good things as they have the power to drive us to a good and beautiful life; but only if we have a hold of the rains and can direct them.  Unbridled, desire and passions; simply giving into temptation makes us a slave just being carried away by our human impulses.

Jesus, like a boss, resist  in today’s gospel.  He shows us a different way than just giving into our temptations and doing whatever we want.  Christ shows us that we don’t need to be controlled by our passions; we don’t need to be slaves to temptations.  We can be free to live a good and beautiful life.