1st Sunday of Lent (C)
VIRAL SNIPPETS (3:24) – Thomas Edison, world’s renowned inventor lost his factory in fire incident. Talk by Gaur Gopal Das
FEATURED HOMILY ANECDOTE
We Can Begin Again
The conventional wisdom is that every homily should begin with a story to capture the congregation’s attention and to introduce the theme. Here is one example. Visit Fr. Tony’s website for a whole lot more.
It is reported that Thomas Edison’s laboratory was virtually destroyed by fire in December 1914. Although the damage exceeded $2 million, the buildings were only insured for $ 238,000 because they were made of concrete and were thought to be fireproof. Much of Edison’s work literally went up in smoke on that fateful December night.
At the height of the fire, Edison’s 24year-old son, Charles frantically searched for his father among the smoke and debris. He finally found him, calmly watching the scene, his face glowing in the reflection, and his white hair blowing in the wind. Said the sympathetic son, “My heart ached for him. He was 67 –no longer a young man – and everything was going up in flames.
When he saw me he shouted, “Charles, where is your mother?” When I told him I didn’t know, he said, “Find her. Bring her here. She will never see anything like this as long as she lives.”
The next morning, Edison looked at the ruins and said, “There is great value in disaster. All our mistakes are burned up. Thank God we can start anew.”
Three weeks after the fire, Edison managed to deliver his first phonograph!
SOURCE: James Valladares in Your Words O Lord, Are Spirit and They Are Life
Lent begins with a reflection on the Temptation of Jesus in the wilderness. The Church assigns temptation stories to the beginning of Lent because temptations come to everybody, not only to Jesus, and we seem almost genetically programmed to yield to them.
The first reading describes the ancient Jewish ritual of presenting the first fruits and gifts to God during the harvest festival in order to thank Him for liberating His people from Egypt and for strengthening them during the years of their trials and temptations in the desert.
The Responsorial Psalm (Ps 91), points to Satan’s third temptation of Jesus in the desert as recorded in Luke’s Gospel.
In the second reading, St. Paul warns the early Christians converted from Judaism not to yield to their constant temptation to return to the observances of the Mosaic Laws. He reminds them that they will be saved only by acknowledging the risen Jesus as Lord and Savior.
Bible scholars think that the graphic temptations of Jesus described by Matthew and Luke in their Gospels are the pictorial and dramatic representations of the inner struggle against a temptation that Jesus experienced throughout his public life. The devil was trying to prevent Jesus from accomplishing his mission of saving mankind from the bondage of sin, mainly through a temptation to become the political Messiah of Jewish expectations, and to use his Divine power first for his own convenience and then to avoid suffering and death.
Choose AS MANY AS TIME ALLOWS
1) We need to confront and conquer temptations as Jesus did, using the means he employed: Like Jesus, every one of us is tempted to seek sinful pleasures, easy wealth, and positions of authority, and is drawn to the use of unjust or sinful means to attain good ends. Jesus serves as a model for conquering temptations through prayer, penance, and the effective use of the ‘‘word of God.” Temptations make us true warriors of God by strengthening our minds and hearts. We are never tempted beyond the strength God gives us. In his first letter, St. John assures us: “The One Who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world” (1 John 4:4). Hence during Lent, let us confront our evil tendencies with prayer (especially by participating in the Holy Mass), penance, and the meditative reading of the Bible. Knowledge of the Bible prepares us for the moment of temptation by enabling us “to know Jesus more clearly, to love him more dearly and to follow him more nearly, day by day,”as William Barclay puts it.
2) We need to grow in holiness during Lent by prayer, reconciliation and sharing. We become resistant and even immune to temptations as we grow healthier in soul by following the traditional Lenten practices: a) by finding time to be with God every day of Lent, speaking to Him and listening to Him; b) by repenting of our sins and renewing our lives, uniting ourselves with God both by the Sacrament of Reconciliation and by forgiving those who have hurt us, while asking forgiveness of those whom we have hurt; and c) by sharing our love with others through our selfless and humble service, our almsgiving, and our helping of those in need.
End of homily
Jokes of the Week
At the end of Mass, some priests like to offer a joke to their parishioners. Please be sensitive though to particular circumstances or concerns. Some Jokes may not be suitable for particular times, placeS, OR CONGREGATIONS.
1) Satan or God? A priest was ministering to a man on his deathbed. “Renounce Satan!” said the priest.” No,” said the dying man. “I say, renounce the devil and his works!” “No,” the man repeats. “And why not, I ask you in the name of all that is holy?” “Because,” said the dying man, “I want to wait until I see where I’m heading, before I start annoying anybody.”
2) “Get behind me, Satan!” (A) A little boy always went next door to play even though his mom had warned him against doing so. This worried his mom so badly that she asked him why he was so disobedient. He replied that Satan tempted him so bad and he did not know what to do. His mom then advised him to say ‘Get behind me Satan’ whenever he was tempted. She then built a fence around the house. This worked for a week, then one sunny afternoon his mom looked out the window and there was her son playing on the neighbor’s lawn having cut a hole in the fence. “Jeremy”, she yelled, “come here!” She then said, “Did I not tell you to say, ‘Get behind me Satan’ whenever he tempted you?” “Yes”, the boy replied, “I said, ‘Get behind me Satan’, then he went behind me and pushed me through the hole in the fence.”
3) “Get behind me, Satan!”: (B) I saw a cartoon on this notion recently. “A woman had bought a new dress which was very expensive. Her husband asked why she had been so extravagant. She replied, “The Devil made me do it.” “Well,” the husband asked, “Why didn’t you say, ‘Get thee behind me Satan!’” “I did,” explained the wife, “But he said it looked as good in back as it did in front.” So I bought it.”
4) Smarter than Einstein: At the conclusion of the Church service, the worshipers filed out of the sanctuary to greet the minister. As one of them left, he shook the minister’s hand, thanked him for the sermon and said, “Thanks for the message, Reverend. You know, you must be smarter than Einstein.” Beaming with pride, the minister said, “Thank you, brother, but why do you think so? The man replied, “Well, Reverend, they say that Einstein was so smart that only ten people in the entire world could understand him. But Reverend, no one can understand you!”
5) Priestly temptations: Once four priests were spending a couple of days at a cabin. In the evening they decided to tell each other their biggest temptation. The first priest said, “Well, it’s kind of embarrassing, but my big temptation is gluttony.” “My temptation is worse,” said the second priest. “It’s gambling. “Mine is worse still,” said the third priest. “I sometimes can’t control the urge to drink. The fourth priest was quiet. “Brothers, I hate to say this,” he said, “but my temptation is worst of all. I love to gossip – and if you guys will excuse me, I’d like to make a few phone calls!”
6) Picking Forbidden Fruit:It is hard to pick forbidden fruit if you are a hundred yards away, but it is easy if you are at an arm’s length. When you flee temptation, be sure you don’t leave a forwarding address. (Rev. Kent Crockett)
7) “Well, make that eighty-five.” A young novice was learning to become a holy hermit. Struggling over lustful thoughts and desire, he came to his old spiritual hermit-director and asked, “At what age do you think all these go?” The eighty-year-old guru confidently replied, “Eighty, son, at age eighty.” “Eighty?” the young aspirant gasped desperately and started to leave. Suddenly, a young voluptuous lady crossed the hut of the old hermit picking dry twigs, and the old man’s eyes were glued to the crossing beauty. Still gazing at the lady, he called back the aspirant and said, “Son, did I say eighty? Well, make that eighty-five.”
Fr. Tony started his homily ministry (Scriptural Homilies) in 2003 while he was the chaplain at Sacred Heart residence, applying his scientific methodology to the homily ministry. By word of mouth, it spread to hundreds of priests and Deacons, finally reaching Vatican Radio website (http://www.vaticannews.va/en/church.html). Fr. Tony’s homilies reach nearly 3000 priests and Deacons by direct email every week.
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