» 03/09/2014, 00.00
Pope: Do not argue with Satan, defend yourself with the Word of God
Pope Francis dedicates his Sunday Angelus to the Gospel of the first Sunday of Lent on Christ’s temptation in the desert, "Jesus does not dialogue with Satan, as Eve did in the Garden of Eden . Jesus knows that there is no dialogue with Satan, because he is too cunning. This is why Jesus, instead of entering into a dialogue like Eve, chooses to take refuge in God's Word and responds with the power of this Word. We should remember this when we are tempted".
Vatican City (AsiaNews) - Lent "is a fitting occasion for all of us
to undertake a journey of conversion, by sincerely taking this Gospel passage into
consideration. Let us renew the promises of our Baptism: renouncing Satan and
all his works and seduction, to walk the path of God". This was Pope Francis'
message during the usual Sunday Angelus, a few days after the first anniversary
of his election to the Chair of Peter . Before he began to speak, the Pope
"tested" his microphone for a few seconds, with those present in the square
exploding with laughter .
Francis spoke of the Gospel of the first Sunday of Lent, which every
year presents the story of Jesus' temptation in the desert, when the Holy Spirit
descended upon Him after His baptism in the Jordan, urging Him to openly
confront Satan in the wilderness for forty days, before beginning His public
ministry: " the tempter tries to divert Jesus from the Father's plan, in
other words from the path of sacrifice, love the offering of Himself in
expiation. He tries to make Him choose
the easy path of success and power. The duel between Jesus and Satan is a rally
of quotations from the Holy Scriptures. The devil, in fact, to divert Jesus
from the way of the cross, presents Him with false messianic hopes: economic
well-being, indicated in the ability to turn stones into bread; a lifestyle of the miraculous and spectacular seen
in the idea of throwing Himself off the highest point of the temple of
Jerusalem, to be saved by angels, and finally a shortcut to power and
domination, in exchange for Him openly worshipping Satan. There are three groups
of temptations: we too know them well".
Jesus, the Pope explained, "firmly rejects all these temptations
and reiterates His determination to follow the path set by the Father, without
any compromise with sin and with the logic of the world. Notice how well Jesus
answers Satan, not entering into a dialogue as Eve had done in the Garden of
Eden . Jesus knows that you cannot dialogue with Satan, because he is too
cunning. This is why Jesus, instead of entering into a
dialogue like Eve, chooses to take refuge in God's Word and responds with the power
of this Word. We should remember this when
we are tempted: do not argue with Satan, always defend ourselves with the Word
of God. And this will save us ".
In his response to Satan, the Lord reminds us, first, that "man
does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of
God" (Mt 4:4; cfrDt 8.3), and this gives us strength, supports us in our
battle against the worldly mentality that lowers man to
the level of his most basic needs, causing him to lose his hunger for what is
true, good and beautiful, the hunger for God and His love. Also remember that
"It is also written: 'Do not test the Lord your God'" (v. 7), because
the road of faith also passes through darkness, doubt, and is nourished by patience
and perseverance. Finally remember that "it is written:" The Lord,
your God, shall you worship and Him alone shall you serve '"(v.10),
that is, we have rid ourselves of idols, of vain things, and build our lives on the
essentials. These words of Jesus will
then been translated into actions. His absolute faithfulness to
the Father's plan of love will lead Him after about three years to the final
showdown with the "prince of this world" (Jn 16:11), the hour of the
passion and cross, Jesus will return and there His is the final victory, the
victory of love! "
Dear brothers, the Pope concludes, "is a fitting occasion for all
of us to undertake a journey of conversion, by sincerely taking this Gospel
passage into consideration. Let us renew the promises of our Baptism: renouncing
Satan and all his works and seduction, to walk the path of God "to arrive at
Easter in the joy of the Spirit" (cf. Collect, I Sunday of Lent Year A)".
Immediately after the Marian prayer, the Pope greeted, as usual, the
various groups present in St. Peter's Square, recalling the campaign launched
by Caritas International against hunger in the world, and announced the beginning
of the usual spiritual exercises for the Roman Curia, which will begin this
afternoon at the house of the Divine Master in Ariccia, a small hill top town
South of Rome. The retreat will end
Friday, March 14th: "I hope that the Lenten journey which has just begun will
be a fruitful one for you all and I ask you to remember me and my collaborators
of the Roman Curia in your prayers, as we begin this evening a week of Spiritual
Exercises . Thank you. Have a good Sunday and a good lunch. Goodbye".
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At the Angelus, Benedict XVI recalls the gospel episode of the leper who is healed, to recall that it is sin, and not physical illness, that separates us from God. In his passion, Jesus "would become like a leper, made unclean by our sins, separated from God: he would do all of this for love, for the purpose of obtaining for us reconciliation, forgiveness, and salvation."
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At the Sunday Angelus, Francis speaks of Jesus 'discourse ' about the end of time" and in unscripted remarks recalls the "brothers and sisters in many parts of the world who are still persecuted for their fidelity to Jesus. There are many, perhaps more than in the first centuries, we are close to them with our hearts and prayers”. After the Marian prayer, the Pope announces the distribution of Misericordina in the square : a small box containing a Rosary , "spiritual medicine" 59 beaded steps that "is good for all of our lives ."
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