Reflection/Homily: Second (2nd) Sunday of Lent (March 1 2015)
Theme: At the Mountain-Top Faith gives way to Vision
As a little boy, when I first heard the passage read in the first reading, the first question that was raised in my mind was whether God could tempt one to sin since Abraham would have been guilty of murder if he had sacrificed Isaac. I later grew up to understand this passage better bearing in mind the distinction between temptation and test. The transliterated Hebrew “nacah” is rendered in English as “to test or tempt”. Its transliterated Greek equivalent “peirasmos” also means “test or tempt”. The words “test and tempt” though similar are not exactly the same, the former is positive while the latter is negative. For this reason, exegetes recommend we look into the context to differentiate between the two meanings, bearing in mind that God only tests while Satan tempts. The goal of God’s tests is for us to prove our faith but the devil tempts to destroy our faith. St. James stresses this distinction when he says “consider it a great joy when tests of many kinds come upon you, for you well know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance… (1 v.2-3) and “… God does not tempt anyone to sin” (1 v.13).