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,