You shall not tempt the Lord your God
13 March 2011
First Sunday of Lent (A)
Mt 4: 1-11: You shall not tempt the Lord your God.
Homily of Saint Augustine (Commentary on the Psalm 90, II 6-7)
«Listen to the Lord: Man does not live on bread alone, but on the whole Word that comes out of the mouth of God. Do you not believe that the Word of God is bread? If the Word of God is not bread, the Lord would not say: I am the living bread, I who have come down from heaven. (Jn. 6: 41) Thus, you have learned then what to reply to the tempter when you find yourself in tight situation due to hunger.
And what will you say if the devil tempts you: «If you were a Christian, you would perform miracles as many Christians did. » Being deceived by this perverse prompting, you would be capable of tempting the Lord your God, saying: «If I am a Christian before your eyes and you consider me as one belonging to you, then grant that I may do something similar to what your saints did. » You have tempted God, thinking that you are not a Christian if you do not do such things . . . What, then, must be your response in order not to tempt God, if the devil tempts you by saying: «Perform miracles! » Reply using the response of the Lord. The devil said to him: He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. (Mt. 4: 6) If you throw yourself, the angels will pick you up. Thus, it could happen, brothers, in a way that if the Lord had thrown himself down, the angels would have picked his body up devoutly. But what did He reply to him? It is written as well: You shall not tempt the Lord your God? (Mt. 4: 7) . . . The devil, then, sees him to be mortal and for this reason, he tempted Him; but the temptation of Christ is a great teaching for a Christian. What is written then? You shall not tempt the Lord your God. Let us not tempt, then the Lord by saying: «If we belong to you, grant that we may perform miracles. »
(Trad. de Romeo Potencio, oar)