Deacon Thomas Kathman

Homily March 5: Matthew 4:1-11

I think when we read this gospel we must understand the Devil in this gospel was not tempting God. The Devil was tempting the human being side of Jesus with all his human weaknesses, just like us. But because Jesus was tightly connected to God his father, he was able to fend off all the Devil’s temptations.

I believe this gospel is important for us because we all have our human weaknesses, just like Jesus. And we will all fail, if we try to fend off the Devil without the support of God. We are no match for the devil on our own. The Devil has only one goal: To send each one of us to Hell for eternity. I think I am comfortable in saying that in our life, we have seen the rise of the confrontation to the teachings of God and Jesus. We have seen that some people appear to just ignore God, and let the whim of the moment, or the pleasure of desire, direct their actions, not seeming to care how the results might over time affect them or others. They let the world influence their thoughts about God. And because of this weakness, the Devil is able to begin to influence their lives. The answer to this is to build that relationship with God and make use of all the sacraments he has given us through Jesus to build grace and the power to fight the Devil. But, some of those who want to ignore God’s assistance might say: Beyond the faith of belief, how do we know that God is there for us?

Let me speak for myself on this topic. I can remember as a child being in a candy store and feeling tempted to just steal some candy while in the store. I can also remember as a child thinking about telling a lie to avoid getting in trouble when asked about something. But at the same time these types of instances were occurring, I can remember a feeling or a voice within me telling me not to do the wrong thing. We call it our conscience. And everyone here knows they have one. We have all felt it at times. While I believe that my conscience was somewhat formed at the footstool of my parents, I also know that there is no way they could have expected the type and amount of temptations that we see today. I can remember the good nuns telling us as children that the feeling or voice we heard or felt was our Guardian Angel. I think the feeling or voice is God himself trying to help us, so we will not go wrong. He does this because he loves each of us so much. We have all felt the feeling or heard the voice at times in our lives. We know it exists. It’s in every one of us. It’s part of our makeup. And we know it tries to keep us from doing wrong. We have all listened and followed it at times and we have all chose to ignore it at times.

The point I want to make is that if we break that connection with God. If we begin to ignore him and let other things start becoming the major influences in our lives. His voice will begin to be softer and harder to hear within us. And the temptation voice of the Devil will become louder in trying to influence us.

The message of this gospel to me is to build on and continue the relationship with God and listen to that feeling or voice when you hear it. It is God trying to help you. Trying to keep you in his graces so your path to Heaven is clearer and soother. And eternity in Heaven will be yours.