Then he took him up and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a single instant. The devil said to him, “I shall give to you all this power and their glory; for it has been handed over to me, and I may give it to whomever I wish. All this will be yours, if you worship me.” Jesus said to him in reply, “It is written: ‘You shall worship the Lord, your God, and him alone shall you serve.’” [1]

Ah, the little kingdoms to which I aspire…Chair of a Board, Executive Directorship, Top of the Class, with minions running around doing my bidding.  Ah, such power.

Worship you, sure, if you can secure my position, grant me my desire…How often have I fallen…into that seductive and vicious trap.  One can’t stay there, you know, without doing a bit of politicking, scratch your back-you scratch mine, the end justifies the means, it’s just a little white lie, that’s a self-administered perk, I-am-above-all-that, not-my-problem type thinking.

Lazarus, do I know him, what firm is he with?  What does he have to offer?  He wants help…well, tell him we work for our money here. Go find a food kitchen, a homeless shelter, get off my doorstep. As the eminent Mr. Scrooge said: “Are there no prisons?  Are there no workhouses.” Injustice, not my problem.  That’s equity before the law…mercy has nothing to do with it.

Must look the part: wing tips or running shoes. Comes with the territory.  Wife and kids.  Certainly, my status, shouldn’t you?  House in the suburbs, “commuting’s a drag, but somebody’s got to do it.”

Therein is a moral maelstrom from which few escape… What profit is there for one to gain the whole world yet lose or forfeit himself?[Lk 9:25]…only a miracle saved me.

‘Tis the season for miracles…some think that is only during Christmas…but that was only the beginning. This season we bring you: A Lord who is both Priest and Sacrifice…The Word who is made flesh and pitches his tent among us…A King who rules the Kingdom of the Poor. Whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.[Lk 9: 24]

“Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest.” [Mt 11: 28] As in AA, et. al., first you have to “Come to,” wakee-wakee, time to look around and see the world I have created for myself.

But I did not want to leave, Jesus.  After all, I was use to this life…if I come to You, You’ll tell me: go, sell what you have and give to [the] poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me. [Mt 19: 21] What’s this treasure in heaven bit?  I’ve got it pretty good right here on earth.  And I’ve got to sell it all?  You kiddin’ me?

What about my family?  What do we live on? Do not worry and say, ‘What are we to eat?’ or ‘What are we to drink?’ or ‘What are we to wear?’…Your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom (of God) and his righteousness, and all these things will be given you besides. [Mt 6: 31-33]

“Take my yoke upon you…” [Mt 11: 29] A yoke…that does not sound nice.  I am not an ox…I don’t wear yokes.  If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. [Lk 9: 23]  Daily?  How about every once in a while?

You got an answer for everything? “Learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart.” [Mt 11:31]

Jesus, meek and humble of heart, make my heart like unto Yours.  And they dragged him to his feet and he stumbled on.

[1] Scripture texts in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Washington, D.C. and are used by permission of the copyright owner. All Rights Reserved. No part of the New American Bible may be reproduced in any form without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

Excursus on Oblivion

It is amazing how long I can be oblivious of what is right in front of my nose.  I just read that the order of the temptations is different in Matthew [Temple/Kingdoms] and Luke [Kingdoms/ Temple].  A different spin? Whatever, forgive me, Lord, for not paying more attention to the beauty of Your Word.     In addition, I commend to your reading Jimmy Akin, “9 things you need to know about the mysterious temptation of Jesus,” NCR, February 14, 2013,




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