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1st Sunday of Lent
1st Sunday of Lent
God's response to sin
This is the heart of the good news, the gospel, Adam's sin damaged everyone, everyone stands condemned, everyone is deprived of the eternal life and the happiness which God intended for us when he created mankind. It's like a single man sets off a huge explosion in a nuclear power plant. He did it, he's at fault but because of his action everyone is effected by radiation and everyone is slowly dying.
What is God's response? - he sends another man, his son Jesus, God made man, to make amends, to repair the damage, to bring a cure, to open up the way to eternal life and happiness again. St Paul as we have just heard describes this at length. Adam brought condemnation and death by his action, Jesus bring forgiveness and life by his.
How did Jesus repair the damage caused by the original sin?
Part of Lent is deepening our understanding of how Jesus does this. What reveals this divine love, how are we saved from eternal death and unhappiness, how does this divine love forgive us and bring us life?
The devil asks the questions for us in the wilderness. Are we saved by plenty of food, comfort, and end to suffering in this world? 'No - man does not live by bread alone' says the one who will give himself to us at the last supper and in this mass as the Bread of life. Then can we be saved by a miraculous public sign of God's power, 'jump down let the angels save you'. 'No says the one who will not be saved by any angels when the cross is lifted up as a public sign of defeat. Maybe we will be saved by a great and powerful king, the ruler of all the kingdoms of the earth? No says the one who is poor and has no armies to protect him as he dies in shame and weakness on the cross'.
So the Devil leaves and St Luke says ' to return at the appointed time' directing our questions to the cross and resurrection. That is where we find the answer which begins to unfold over the next few Sundays.