Knock Out – 1st Sunday of Lent – Gen 2: 7-9, 3:1-7/ Romans 5: 12-19/ Matthew 4: 1-11
Lies, lies and more lies, and yet we fall for the wily ways of Satan. By the way, that’s not his name! Satan is simply a description of who he is, the ‘deceiver’; and in both our readings he excels with his web of lies. But here in lies the difference. In the book of Genesis, paradise is lost. In the gospel of Matthew, paradise is regained. In the story of Genesis, the ‘first Adam’ and Eve succumb to the lies of Satan.
In the gospel of Matthew, Jesus, the ‘new Adam’ dismisses the deceiver with the word of God. Satan’s triple lie is crushed three times by the written Word of truth; scripture. Jesus, quoting the law from book of Deuteronomy (Chapters 6-8) confounds the lie of Satan with the words, “it is written.” The devil is overpowered by Jesus, THE WORD OF GOD.
So we are called to be on our guard when Satan quotes or rather mis-quotes scripture (verse 5). This should ‘open our eyes’, (another wily trick that Eve fell for) to the reality, that the devil will use every means in the book; in this case even the ‘Holy Book’ to lure us into his fire of hell.
I guess all this sounds a bit dramatic for even a good Catholic. So let us look at the evidence. In the first reading, God is emphatic in his instructions to Adam and Eve. You shall not eat or touch, or else you shall die. So Satan tells them four lies. First he says, “you will not die”, then, “your eyes will be opened” followed by, “you will be LIKE God” and finally, “you will know good and evil”.
Most of us think that the first sin of Adam was disobedience, when he and Eve ate of the forbidden fruit. Aha, but look a bit beyond this class you received in Sunday school. The first sin was that of a LACK OF FAITH. Notice Satan says to Adam and Eve, “you will be LIKE God”; but they were already made in HIS IMAGE AND LIKENESS.
Satan said they would not die, but they did. He told them their eyes would be opened and they would know good from evil, but the irony is THAT THEY ALREADY KNEW IT (and so do we). The ‘Deceiver’ simply made them believe that they did not have what they already did, and they were not, what they already were. Herein lies the tragedy; they disbelieved God; they believed SATAN! (and so do we!)