Monday, March 07, 2011

Matthew 4:1-11

Lent 1 - Year A

Matthew 4:1-11

Temptations are always larger when in a compromised situation. Being famished stresses every decision. It heightens small decisions into large ones. Mirages seem more and more real.

There is a similar conflation of time and place and possibility in moments between awake and sleep or sleep and awake when connections between stones and bread are apparent. An appropriate role of the whole of scripture is the same as for tradition, present experience and reason. All four can help clarify again bread from stone.

This same sort of process happens as we see the trees bend and feel the wind and beg the trees to stand still so the wind will stop. Cause and effect can get as confused as anything. We can even begin to make up all manner of details pulled from hither, thither and yon. Remember how all manner of attempts are made in dreams to get us out of danger (and stepping off a high place is a danger)? Again, our engagement with the whole of scripture, tradition, experience, and reason can clarify decisions so we don’t rely on the miraculous but can appreciate it should it come unbidden, rather than calculatedly.

Fantasies of wealth while in a famished condition are to be expected. Again and again, we need to be pulled back to reality and actually invest that dollar we are tempted to spend on a lottery ticket into someone else’s life or our own. It would actually be helpful to do both in ways of sharing the little we have with others in the building of a new community. There is strength in solidarity of the famished. This is particularly true regarding collective bargaining. Here is worship - building community, not getting rich at another’s expense.

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