Sunday, February 14, 2016

Temptation in the Wilderness, Giant Donkey



In today's Gospel, Christ is tempted by Satan in the wilderness, at the peak of which he's taken to the top of a mountain and shown all the kingdoms of the world. "All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it," says Satan, who continues with the proviso, "If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine."




What we see here is an inverse or anti-Sinai. On the holy mountain Moses is given the divine law, to love and worship the true God and him alone, and to love our neighbor. On the Devil's mountain we're told to worship the false God, Satan, and to indulge ourselves. The temptations begin with the latter, "Command this stone that it be made bread."




I took that as an opportunity to preach on fasting, for the first time ever, or at least for any length, and can't recall ever hearing a sermon on the subject. A serious omission; after all, if it's good enough for Christ, it's good enough for Christians, and by it we wage a kind of war against concupiscence and our disordered passions and appetites. Those of you who know what it's like in LSPland will understand that I was preaching to myself. 




After the Masses I went for a ride and one of the Troop rode a donkey, most definitely the biggest donkey I've ever seen. It was a right giant of a beast.

What a fine way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

Stay on the horse,

LSP

8 comments:

Mattexian said...

One day I'd love to have a donkey, as I've read that they generally a few degrees smarter than horses, and when I was back in Scouts, we raced burros at one of the themed camps at Philmont Scout Ranch, NM. We were doing great, ahead of the other teams, rounded the halfway point, when ours stumbled and refused to go any faster than a slow walk, as we were passed by everyone else, no matter how much we pushed and pulled.

LL said...

Fasting for the sake of fasting is vanity. Fasting and prayer for a purpose to focus the need builds spiritual strength and fortitude. Oh my gosh, I may indeed be bucking for Vicar General...

LSP said...

Donkeys keep the coyotes away, evidently, Mattexian. This beast was HUGE.

LSP said...

See, LL, I told you. And what does Christ say -- "this kind can only be cast out by prayer and fasting."

America obviously needs more of this medicine.

Jack Lusted said...

Mule?

Brighid said...

Are you sure that isn't a mule. Either way a big'n.

LL: glory hallelujah!

LSP said...

Could be, Jack. A monstrous mule.

LSP said...

It was an enormous great beast, Brighid!