The Gospel for the First Sunday of Advent (Novus Ordo) last night at the Vigil Mass, 20 February 2021, is Mark’s super short account of Jesus tempted by Satan in the desert immediately after the Baptism. Unlike the lengthy accounts offered by Matthew and Luke, Mark simply says that Jesus was tempted by Satan. That’s it. While the first readings were read and the psalm was chanted so beautifully, I asked my guardian angel what I should speak about during the homily. It’s like I could almost hear my rib cage explode as he ripped my heart out and stomped on it while I beheld what I was being instructed to speak about. It’s not that I saw anything. It’s not that I heard any words. It’s that of a sudden – wham! – I understood that short account and what the real temptation of Jesus was. Oh my God, my Lord and my God.
The temptations to which Jesus was subjected in the desert and then repeated quite exactly on Calvary by the ones Satan was possessing are mere distractions, very clever. While Jesus is busy with that Satan would offer Jesus the temptation which Satan had in mind even before he approached Jesus years before in the desert. Soooo clever.
We get some clues about this in all the accounts of the temptations presented to Jesus in the desert, such as Luke saying that Satan then departed but with a plan in mind that would involve a more opportune time, more opportune because there will be an added element. It’s that added element that was so crushing to me.
Let’s see if I can preach coherently today. I’ll publish the recording if the homily isn’t too disjointed. But I have to tell you, I’m still devastated about what happened the instant I asked my guardian angel to tell me what to say.
Now it’s time to feed the dogs, run up to church to set up for Adoration and Confessions from 6:00-7:00 AM, then run up to Graham County for more Adoration and Confessions and Mass, then run back for Confessions and Mass here in Cherokee County, then rush off for the rest of the day on Communion Calls and possibly other Sacraments all over God’s good creation among Jesus’ little flock. I probably won’t be back until late. But if the homily in Robbinsville early this morning turns out well, I’ll see if I can’t publish that before the second Mass.
UPSHOT: It’s good to ask your guardian angel to help you out. He will. And if you recognize that, as I did, it’s not because anyone is special, it’s because were so very much know-nothings that we must ask for help. God provides with the angels. He does. Ask.