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First Sunday in Lent Lk 4/1-13
Catholic Homilies
March 4th ,2001

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First Sunday in Lent Lk 4/1-13


Patently this story is a theological discussion -- which does not mean that Jesus, a like us in all things save sin, was immune to temptations. Especially the temptations to power, pleasure, and fame which are described in today's story. It is in the nature of human nature, threatened as it is by the inevitability of death, to try to fight off death with power and pleasure and fame. It never works of course but the allure of these temporary escapes is attractive. They at least defer the thought of death or at least give the illusion of deferring it. During lent we are supposed to remind ourselves that we come from dust and we will eventually return, despite whatever power we may pole up, whatever pleasures we may enjoy, whatever fame we may acquire. Indeed we are destined for glory but only once we conquer our fears of death and overcome the phony escapes that so tempt us.

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Once upon a time, back in the late 1920’s, a well-to-do businessman was approached by some friends and offered the opportunity to be part of a plan they promised would make him a millionaire in no time at all. These men had "connections" with the political leaders in the city and they were assured of kickbacks on all of their projects. Now, our businessman had "pulled himself up by his bootstraps" and was well off, but not a millionaire. Though his friends promised that this was a no lose situation and no one would ever be able to figure out what was going on, our businessman considered taking kickbacks to be immoral as well as illegal and he declined to get involved. He didn’t preach to his friends but simply said he felt it was wrong and wouldn’t do it. As he was often found of saying in later years, the "crash" of ’29 took him cleaner than "Grant took Richmond." It did the same to his friends.

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"Grant took Richmond." It did the same to his friends

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