“The old onion is at it again”. Just when I thought I could take a little break from being convicted of my faults and sin, something else pops up. God is peeling back another layer of the onion. I know it’s good news, but it can be a bit exasperating…..
Bishop Barron was the “onion peeler” this time… using the reading from Luke 4:1-13, where Jesus is tempted in the desert by Satan. Well, it is the first Sunday of Lent, so I guess I should be ready to be convicted…another layer of pride peeled away. The Bishop says, “ Placing the Lord on the very pinnacle of the Temple, the devil urged Jesus to throw himself down, confident that God would send angels to protect him. This is the subtle but devastating temptation toward pride, putting oneself at the center of the universe, making God himself into one’s attendant. Every single one of us sinners, to varying degrees, falls prey to this sin—which is, of course, Satan’s own sin. Jesus resists him; you shall not put the Lord your God to the test.”
How do I make God into my attendant? How do I give the Lord my list of jobs and send him off to do them, while I sit on the sofa with my feet up drinking a glass of Pino Noir. “Dear Jesus, here’s my intercession list…. heal this person, find a house for Chuck & Mabel, provide that new job for Freddy, let the Giants win the Super Bowl, take care of the Ukraine, help me take off that 20 pounds, etc., etc., etc.” I offer my prayers and sit back checking the “Intercession Update Paper” each day….hmmmmm, pretty good job, but what about number 15 and 16…not much progress. It’s like I’m the boss and Jesus is my attendant….NOT GOOD.
Well, how should I ask the Lord for help… how should we bring our many needs and crises to the Lord…. we clearly need help, we clearly will perish if the Lord doesn’t intervene on our behalf… we know we’re suppose to ask. Hmmmmm, I’m not completely sure.
We do need to approach the Lord in deference to his majesty, to his greatness, honoring him. We need to approach him as our heavenly father, but also as our mighty God and King. We need to come in gratitude for his mercy and kindness, knowing that we are lost without him. It’s out of his love for us that we can come to him as his children. We should be confident in his love for us, knowing that we can “ask for our daily bread and deliverance from evil and protection in times of temptation…” At the same time we need to approach him as “our father who art in heaven, hallowing his name, asking for his great kingdom to come to our poor earth as it is completely in heaven, our ultimate home.”
So, let’s not be afraid to approach our great God and King and Father with our many needs, but let’s do it with humility and gratitude.