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Welcome to our Bible Study March 9, 2014 1 st Sunday of Lent A In preparation for this Sunday’s Liturgy As aid in focusing our homilies and sharing Prepared.

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Presentation on theme: "Welcome to our Bible Study March 9, 2014 1 st Sunday of Lent A In preparation for this Sunday’s Liturgy As aid in focusing our homilies and sharing Prepared."— Presentation transcript:

1 Welcome to our Bible Study March 9, st Sunday of Lent A In preparation for this Sunday’s Liturgy As aid in focusing our homilies and sharing Prepared by Fr. Cielo R. Almazan, OFM

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3 1 st reading: Genesis 2,7-9; 3,1-7 Creation of Man / Setting 2,7 The LORD God formed man out of the clay of the ground and blew into his nostrils the breath of life, and so man became a living being. 8 Then the LORD God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and he placed there the man whom he had formed. 9 Out of the ground the LORD God made various trees grow that were delightful to look at and good for food, with the tree of life in the middle of the garden and the tree of the knowledge of good and bad.Temptation 3,1 Now the serpent was the most cunning of all the animals that the LORD God had made. The serpent asked the woman, "Did God really tell you not to eat from any of the trees in the garden?" 2 The woman answered the serpent: "We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden; 3 it is only about the fruit of the tree in the middle of the garden that God said, 'You shall not eat it or even touch it, lest you die.'" 4 But the serpent said to the woman: "You certainly will not die! 5 No, God knows well that the moment you eat of it your eyes will be opened and you will be like gods who know what is good and what is bad." 6 The woman saw that the tree was good for food, pleasing to the eyes, and desirable for gaining wisdom. So she took some of its fruit and ate it; and she also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized that they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made loincloths for themselves. The focus is on the temptation.

4 1 st reading: Genesis 2,7-9; 3,1-7 Creation / Setting 2,7 The LORD God formed man out of the clay of the ground and blew into his nostrils the breath of life, and so man became a living being. 8 Then the LORD God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and he placed there the man whom he had formed. 9 Out of the ground the LORD God made various trees grow that were delightful to look at and good for food, with the tree of life in the middle of the garden and the tree of the knowledge of good and bad. Commentary The text comes from the second story of creation (2,4b--3,24). The first creation story (1,1-2,4a) God creates man out of clay and his breath. v.7 God also creates a garden and settles the man there.v.8 God again creates. This time he creates trees. v.9 Delightful to see Good for food There are two trees of special interest: Tree of life Tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

5 Temptation 3,1 Now the serpent was the most cunning of all the animals that the LORD God had made. The serpent asked the woman, "Did God really tell you not to eat from any of the trees in the garden?" 2 The woman answered the serpent: "We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden; 3 it is only about the fruit of the tree in the middle of the garden that God said, 'You shall not eat it or even touch it, lest you die.'" 4 But the serpent said to the woman: "You certainly will not die! 5 No, God knows well that the moment you eat of it your eyes will be opened and you will be like gods who know what is good and what is bad." In 3,1 the author ( Yahwist ) personifies the serpent. The author makes him speak and talk to the woman. The serpent asks a seemingly innocent question, but truth is, he plays on the woman’s weakness (or challenges God’s authority). In vv.2-3, the woman entertains the cunning serpent (snake) and this is a big mistake. In vv.4-5, the serpent again speaks in a more convincing manner. He subverts the threat of death. He assures of the good effect once she will eat of it. Their eyes will be opened. They will become like gods who know everything (merismus: good and bad)

6 The Fall 6 The woman saw that the tree was good for food, pleasing to the eyes, and desirable for gaining wisdom. So she took some of its fruit and ate it; and she also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized that they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made loincloths for themselves. V.6 reveals the woman’s inner craving for three reasons: Good for food Pleasing to the eyes Desirable for gaining wisdom In v.6b, the woman acts to satisfy her desire. She takes some of its fruit and eats it She also gives some to her husband. (She does extra.) It is a violation of God’s command. (Gen 2,16-17) V.7 mentions the unexpected result. Yes, their eyes are opened, but they have not attained wisdom. Instead, they see their nakedness (vulnerability). They are ashamed. They sew fig leaves and make loincloths to cover their bodies. They do not become like gods.

7 Reflections on the 1 st reading We must know our limits. We must be wise enough on whom to listen to. We must discern where the voice, inducing us to do something, is coming from: From God or from our subliminal needs? If we want to know everything, to taste everything, to always satisfy our appetites, if we want to be like the gods…forget it. We are courting disaster. We are playing with fire. Let’s learn from the mistake of Adam and Eve.

8 Resp. Ps 51:3-4, 5-6, 12-13, 17 R. (cf. 3a) Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned. R. (cf. 3a) Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned. 3 Have mercy on me, O God, in your goodness; in the greatness of your compassion wipe out my offense. 4 Thoroughly wash me from my guilt and of my sin cleanse me. 3 Have mercy on me, O God, in your goodness; in the greatness of your compassion wipe out my offense. 4 Thoroughly wash me from my guilt and of my sin cleanse me. 5 For I acknowledge my offense, and my sin is before me always: 6 “Against you only have I sinned, and done what is evil in your sight.” 5 For I acknowledge my offense, and my sin is before me always: 6 “Against you only have I sinned, and done what is evil in your sight.” 12 A clean heart create for me, O God, and a steadfast spirit renew within me. 13 Cast me not out from your presence, and your Holy Spirit take not from me. 12 A clean heart create for me, O God, and a steadfast spirit renew within me. 13 Cast me not out from your presence, and your Holy Spirit take not from me. 16 Give me back the joy of your salvation, and a willing spirit sustain in me. 17 O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth shall proclaim your praise. 16 Give me back the joy of your salvation, and a willing spirit sustain in me. 17 O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth shall proclaim your praise.

9 Resp. Ps 51:3-4, 5-6, 12-13, 17 R. (cf. 3a) Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned. R. (cf. 3a) Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned. 3 Have mercy on me, O God, in your goodness; in the greatness of your compassion wipe out my offense. 4 Thoroughly wash me from my guilt and of my sin cleanse me. 3 Have mercy on me, O God, in your goodness; in the greatness of your compassion wipe out my offense. 4 Thoroughly wash me from my guilt and of my sin cleanse me. 5 For I acknowledge my offense, and my sin is before me always: 6 “Against you only have I sinned, and done what is evil in your sight.” 5 For I acknowledge my offense, and my sin is before me always: 6 “Against you only have I sinned, and done what is evil in your sight.” 12 A clean heart create for me, O God, and a steadfast spirit renew within me. 13 Cast me not out from your presence, and your Holy Spirit take not from me. 12 A clean heart create for me, O God, and a steadfast spirit renew within me. 13 Cast me not out from your presence, and your Holy Spirit take not from me. 16 Give me back the joy of your salvation, and a willing spirit sustain in me. 17 O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth shall proclaim your praise. 16 Give me back the joy of your salvation, and a willing spirit sustain in me. 17 O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth shall proclaim your praise. Commentary The psalm is full of parallelisms. A parallelism is a style of saying the same thing in different ways (different vocabularies). In v.3, the psalmist, a repentant sinner (supposedly David), asks God for mercy and compassion. (Prayer for Mercy) In vv.3b-4, three times the psalmist asks God to show his mercy by Wiping out his offense Washing from his guilt Cleansing of his sin In v.5, the psalmist admits his offense/ sin. (Admission of Guilt) In v.6, the psalmist admits that his sin is directed against God and flagrantly he has done evil even in front of God. In v.12, the psalmist prays for cleansing (=forgiving) and spirit of renewal. In v.13, the psalmist asks not to be cast out from God’s fold. V.16 implies that inner joy returns when there is forgiveness. V.17 is a prayer to help us pray. It is God who makes us pray.

10 Reflections on the Psalm We must learn how to repent from our sins. We do it in the context of prayer. When repenting, we admit our guilt, our sins, our violations and transgressions. When repenting, we ask for mercy, understanding, forgiveness, and love When we are forgiven, we should experience serenity and joy in our heart. We should feel God’s spirit working in us again. If we are always justifying ourselves by saying “I did not do anything wrong, they are wrong,” we will never repent and we will keep repeating the same mistakes. Have you ever repented? Have you ever examined your conscience? Have you ever realized you offended someone by your careless speech, action (body language, foul gestures, patuchada)? Pray for a good conscience.

11 2 nd reading: Romans 5, The coming of sin and death 12 Through one man sin entered the world, and through sin, death, and thus death came to all men, inasmuch as all sinned. Reign of life through Jesus 17 For if, by the transgression of one, death came to reign through that one, how much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of justification come to reign in life through the one person Jesus Christ. 18 In conclusion, just as through one transgression condemnation came upon all, so through one righteous act acquittal and life came to all. 19 For just as through the disobedience of one man the many were made sinners, so through the obedience of one the many will be made righteous. The focus is on sin and grace.

12 2 nd reading: Romans 5, The coming of sin and death 12 Through one man sin entered the world, and through sin, death, and thus death came to all men, inasmuch as all sinned. Reign of life through Jesus 17 For if, by the transgression of one, death came to reign through that one, how much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of justification come to reign in life through the one person Jesus Christ. 18 In conclusion, just as through one transgression condemnation came upon all, so through one righteous act acquittal and life came to all. 19 For just as through the disobedience of one man the many were made sinners, so through the obedience of one the many will be made righteous. Commentary The reading recalls the fall of Adam (and Eve) in Genesis. It is a theological reflection on the first reading. The first parents fall into sin. The consequence is death. V.12 clarifies that all men and women die, because they too commit sin. Their death is not attributed solely to the first parents. V.17 speaks of the redemption of humankind. Picking up the sin of one man as the cause of death, we come back to life through the merit of one man also, Jesus Christ. Vv further develop the idea of v.17.

13 Reflections on the 2 nd reading Jesus Jesus dismantles sin and its consequence - death. Christ Christ repairs (undoes) the damage done by the sin of our first parents. How How does he do it? Through Through obedience to God’s law. By By listening to the voice of the Father. We We are saved from sin and death, by the merits of Jesus Christ. It It is a big favor from God that our sin and guilt are removed from us. Let Let us live according to the likes of Christ, not the likes of Adam and Eve.

14 Gospel reading: Matthew 4,1-11 Introduction 1 At that time Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. 2 He fasted for forty days and forty nights, and afterwards he was hungry. Entrance of the Devil: 1 st temptation 3 The tempter approached and said to him, "If you are the Son of God, command that these stones become loaves of bread." 4 He said in reply, "It is written: 'One does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.'" 2 nd temptation 5 Then the devil took him to the holy city, and made him stand on the parapet of the temple, 6 and said to him, "If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down. For it is written: 'He will command his angels concerning you and 'with their hands they will support you, lest you dash your foot against a stone.'" 7 Jesus answered him, "Again it is written, 'You shall not put the Lord, your God, to the test.'" 3 rd temptation 8 Then the devil took him up to a very high mountain, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in their magnificence, 9 and he said to him, "All these I shall give to you, if you will prostrate yourself and worship me." 10 At this, Jesus said to him, "Get away, Satan! It is written: 'The Lord, your God, shall you worship and him alone shall you serve.'" Exit of the devil 11 Then the devil left him and, behold, angels came and ministered to him. A simple outline! The focus is on the temptations of Jesus.

15 Gospel reading: Matthew 4,1-11 Introduction 1 At that time Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. 2 He fasted for forty days and forty nights, and afterwards he was hungry. Commentary In vv.1-2, we are told that Jesus is led by the Spirit (Holy Spirit), into the desert (arid place, without food, in contrast to the Garden), to be tempted (tested) by the devil (evil one). He fasted (not eaten anything or no full meals) for 40 days and nights (symbolizing the Israelites’ wandering in the desert for 40 years). Jesus gets hungry afterwards. Temptations come when there is hunger. Why does Matthew place the temptations here, not within the ministry of Jesus? According to some interpreters, the temptations are placed right before his ministry to tell us his method of evangelization. Will he gain people to God by satisfying the craving and appetite for worldly values (money, power and prestige)?

16 Gospel reading: Matthew 4,1-11 Entrance of the Devil: 1 st temptation 3 The tempter approached and said to him, "If you are the Son of God, command that these stones become loaves of bread." 4 He said in reply, "It is written: 'One does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.'". In v.3, the devil is identified as the tempter. The tempter is subtle. He starts by saying, “If you are the son of God…” Wow, but did not God tell us during Jesus’ baptism that he is the son of God? And here comes the devil to confuse him and make him doubt that he is. The devil puts him into a crisis (identity crisis). The test is a matter of whom to listen to: God or the devil. In v. 3 the devil says: command these stones to become bread. Jesus does not listen. He listens to God speaking through the scriptures: “One does not live by bread alone…” v.4 (Dt 8,3). This is the response of God when the Israelites complain there is no food in the desert. Hunger should dispose this people to listen to the Word of God.

17 Gospel reading: Matthew 4, nd temptation 5 Then the devil took him to the holy city, and made him stand on the parapet of the temple, 6 and said to him, "If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down. For it is written: 'He will command his angels concerning you and 'with their hands they will support you, lest you dash your foot against a stone.'" 7 Jesus answered him, "Again it is written, 'You shall not put the Lord, your God, to the test.'" 3 rd temptation 8 Then the devil took him up to a very high mountain, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in their magnificence, 9 and he said to him, "All these I shall give to you, if you will prostrate yourself and worship me." 10 At this, Jesus said to him, "Get away, Satan! It is written: 'The Lord, your God, shall you worship and him alone shall you serve.'" Exit of the devil 11 Then the devil left him and, behold, angels came and ministered to him. In vv.5-6, the devil commands: “throw yourself…” he also quotes the bible (Ps 91,12). How dare him! He shamelessly quotes the bible as if he is listening to God. Jesus does not listen. He listens to God speaking through the scriptures: “You shall not put the Lord to the test.” v.7 (Dt 6,13) In vv.8-9, the devil says, “I will give you these kingdoms, if you worship me…” Jesus does not listen. He listens to God speaking through the scriptures: You shall worship the Lord your God…” v.10 V.11 states the defeat of the devil. And come the angels who take care of him.

18 1 st temptation If you are the son of God 2 nd temptation If you are the son of God 3 rd temptation LocationDesert No man’s land (alone) Holy City = Jerusalem Place of worship (many people) High mountains Vantage point (few people) Voice of the Devil (prioritize yourself, your needs) Stone into bread (wealth) Satisfy your craving for material things. You need them for your campaign. Throw yourself down (prestige) Satisfy your craving to be popular (vanity). You need a name for people to follow you. Worship me (devil) (power) Satisfy your craving for power. You can’t make people follow you if you don’t control the army. Voice of God Not by bread, but word… You need God’s Word, not just material food, to live with dignity as children of God Do not tempt the Lord… Don’t presume God will save you when you endanger yourself by doing foolish stunts. Worship God alone… Don’t betray God to pursue your personal ambition. For your further observation

19 Jesus does not fall into any of the traps of the devil. It is very tempting, very convenient, but salvation is not cheaply attained. Following any of them, to prove himself, will spell disaster to his true identity as the Son of God and his mission to spread God’s reign. Jesus wants to teach us a new paradigm: Listening to the voice of God always. Never listen to the devil and compromise with it.

20 Reflections on the gospel reading Jesus is the model on how to handle temptations. Jesus is the model on how to handle temptations. Like Jesus, first of all, we must never doubt our identity as children of God. Like Jesus, first of all, we must never doubt our identity as children of God. As such, we must act and decide accordingly. As such, we must act and decide accordingly. We must do our mission by following God’s way, not the devil’s way. We must do our mission by following God’s way, not the devil’s way. We must stand guard against entertaining possibilities of a compromise because of a nice promise that comes from an enticing intruder. We must stand guard against entertaining possibilities of a compromise because of a nice promise that comes from an enticing intruder. Once we compromise, give an inch to what contradicts God, we spell our downfall. Once we compromise, give an inch to what contradicts God, we spell our downfall.

21 Tying the 3 readings and the Psalm The first reading talks about Adam and Eve’s fall into temptation. The psalm is a prayer for mercy, for those who have fallen into temptation. The second reading talks about the triumph of Jesus over sin and death. He does not fall into temptation. The gospel reading demonstrates how Jesus successfully handles the temptations.

22 How to develop your homily / sharing Temptations Temptations are here to stay. As As long as we desire a lot of things, we are prone to be tempted. And And we have more chances of falling into sin. The The “devil” triggers what is inside us (our inordinate desires and thoughts).

23 The first reading demonstrates the innate desire of human beings to know and possess everything (pakialamero, gustong malaman ang lahat; sakim, gustong angkinin lahat, without limits). The first reading demonstrates the innate desire of human beings to know and possess everything (pakialamero, gustong malaman ang lahat; sakim, gustong angkinin lahat, without limits). In the process, we lose our innocence and vitality. In the process, we lose our innocence and vitality. We expose our vulnerability. We expose our vulnerability. We discover that we are not that smart. We discover that we are not that smart. We feel ashamed of ourselves. We feel ashamed of ourselves. What we discover put us into trouble. What we discover put us into trouble.

24 The The gospel reading reading demonstrates how Jesus Christ, who is disinterested in wealth, prestige and power and all those garbage, successfully fights against the seductions of the devil. His His only desire is to do the will of God. He listens to the voice of God. The The voice of God is to establish God’s reign by: Listening Listening to God’s Word, not by satisfying appetites Living Living simply and ordinarily, not by trying to impress Being Being focused to the one true God, not to anything bizarre

25 If we are not formed by the Word of God, we easily give in to any temptation. If we are not formed by the Word of God, we easily give in to any temptation. We have no qualms about committing injustices, crimes, blunders and sin. We have no qualms about committing injustices, crimes, blunders and sin. The voice of God (God’s Word) serves as a reminder for us not to give in to what is evil. The voice of God (God’s Word) serves as a reminder for us not to give in to what is evil.

26 The The second reading reading reflects on the downfall (sin) of the first parents and ours (1 st (1 st reading) reading) and the victory of Christ Jesus over the devil (gospel). Sin Sin leads us to death; Christ brings us back to life. Christ Christ overcomes sin, because he never listens to the devil, nor to himself. Besides, Besides, he has no worldly desires. He too overcomes death.

27 How do we handle the temptations To grab power? To steal other’s money? To be showy and ostentatious? To be unfaithful to our loved ones because somebody else is seducing us? To consume what is more than necessary? To buy what we don’t need? To squander our hard earned money? To use our influence to get what we want? How do we handle temptations when there is no choice? Jesus’ answer is never compromise with the devil (no to “kapit sa patalim”) We should not desire anything else but God. We take hold of our identity as children of God. We should decide die as children of God, in God’s loving hands, not to die in disrepute.

28 The The eucharist eucharist is the reward for those who resist temptations. It It is the sacrament that celebrates our victory over evil. The The eucharist eucharist strengthens us in our fight against temptations. Frequency Frequency in the eucharist eucharist assures us of God’s continued support to our journey to holiness and fullness of life.

29 Our Context of Sin and Grace Giant billboards Giant billboards Commercials Commercials Indecent suggestions Indecent suggestions Compulsive buying, credit cards Compulsive buying, credit cards Unlimited access to information Unlimited access to information “The public has the right to know everything.” (using it justify invasion to privacy) “The public has the right to know everything.” (using it justify invasion to privacy) Eavesdropping, snooping, spying Eavesdropping, snooping, spying Stealing of secrets Stealing of secrets Greed (money, property, power) Greed (money, property, power) Aware of one’s limitations Listens to the voice of God (God’s Word) In control of oneself (not easily seduced) Pure of heart Has simple needs Tightly clings to God Uncompromising in terms of spiritual and moral issues Nourished by God’s Word

30 Suggested Songs Ashes Ashes Hosea Hosea Paano Namin Masasabi Paano Namin Masasabi Reflection For Ash Wednesday (from Sambuhay) Reflection For Ash Wednesday (from Sambuhay) AshWednesday_A.pdf AshWednesday_A.pdf AshWednesday_A.pdf AshWednesday_A.pdf


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