..Lent a season of joyful recreation..is it re-creation or recreation ?..or both? ..a surprise moment of realisation & gratitude last Wednesday, Ash Wednesday, was the grimy gloomy day of this season..& tonight /this morning, the very first sentence of first reading on this first Sunday of Lent says it all.. “the Lord God fashioned man of dust from the soil; he breathed into his nostrils a breath of life, & this made man a living being..”
..the dust of Ash Wednesday fashioned into a new you; a new spirit & a new opportunity.. ; Lord have mercy ..he breathed into his nostrils..your nostrils..a breath of life; new life no longer breathlessness.. ; Christ have mercy ..this made man & woman a living being; man & woman, one breath one life one love.. ; Lord have mercy May Almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us our sins & bring us to everlasting life Amen.
..we talked 3wks ago about choice, & in 1st rdg in book of Genesis we have two greatest gifts God can give us; gift of life, breathing divine life into our nostrils; gift of choice.. free will, to choose life or evil..inappropriate use of choice personified in serpent/devil; man was to blame his woman; we too seek an alibi “it was the devils fault not mine”..the woman the wise partner knew the prohibition; one tree in an orchard of 42,000 keep off & yet she persuaded herself to test groundrules & thereby test her God..touch a kitchen hotplate in spite of its safety warning “do not touch” or the only remaining parking space in front of locked rusted doors marked “no parking”; our half hearted bullet headed attempts to be in control & stay in control; warning signs always meant for someone else not me..she ate the forbidden fruit & worse still enticed her husband into the felony..& no mention of how tasty it was, only that it gave them a self awareness an experience/insight an emerging conscience which gave them a guilt to want to pull back & hide their true selves from it; their equivalent of deleting file experience in Windows 10..yet realising it [sin] is always retrievable should temptation; or is it when temptation?; reoccurs; who holds the ultimate responsibility for the felony?..the devil, woman or her husband?..or God?..didn’t God make us with potential to self harm?..& why would a God of love create/allow imperfection to infect his paradise his Eden?..a virus infectious potentially life threatening, eternal-life life threatening..& if God is all knowing, all powerful , why didn’t he push delete button when he saw it beginning to go pear-shaped rather than apple-shaped?..would we want a sugar Daddy God who will always intervene to settle, to recreate Antartica or Amazon rain forest, or prevent Calder Valley flooded for sixth time or 1million victims of genocide in Syria..building homes reduced to rubble & families returned to dust..why did he allow his own Son to be tempted? why did he risk sending his only Son into world; & who breathed life into God in the first place?..& gave him the imagination to create a super human kind of being to life in a real & potentially sustainable paradise, chosen created to be co-creators of life & supernature..& the devil then for Our Lord, & now for you & I, tests our faith resolve & authenticity as custodians not owners or tenants, stewards co-creators of goodness & truth.. “..if you are the Son of God” the devil knew well enough who he was, & he knows well enough who we are; we are a threat to the spread of the devils virus/evil; to misuse of gift of free will; ever tempted & giving way to the one tree in orchard we are asked to avoid even if we can’t ignore it..& still always we touch take bite into & relish taste of moment ..“man lives on every word that comes from the mouth of God” in this Year of the Word wouldn’t it be great if each of us was to write a word..one word..on piece of paper, collect them in, share them out at sign of peace at Mass..”my peace my word I give you “of each for each other, in mood, state of mind & spirituality in which each of us finds ourself in this now moment..“if you are the Son of God” he will save you from self harm; how would our Community have read/understood that 25yrs ago when we lost Fr Benjamin in Monks Wood; & Basil Hume’s reaction when he was told was “Benjamin you clot!” ; that gentleness of spirit & understanding when we are faced with tragedy of sin & self harm; where real choice is overwhelmed by self guilt or despair; & victim is welcomed home with human sadness & divine great joy..”if you are the Son of God” the offer of prosperity ownership & control at cost to our real self; ransomed into a world of pretence & competiveness..“be off Satan!” the choice to commit to the healthy option, to live in servant discipleship..a Lenten desert experience for each of us; not to test interrogate God for answers but to be open receptive & trusting to receive the free gift that we can never earn nor deserve, of being made righteous, of being redeemed; “do not be afraid; I have redeemed you” my life, says your God, became dust in order to breath my mercy & new life into you..does life faith & your Lent come any better?..take a deep breath & choose life!.. [1stSunLentYrA; Mt 4;1-11]