Pope Francis reminds us to know our creator is to know His creation. I am always amazed when I hold a baby in my arms for Baptism ̶ the beauty and the details of the hands, the fingers and the nails ̶ they are so perfect. I am awe struck at God’s creation. In the first reading from Genesis, a loving God has created you and breathed life into you, so that you may live your life in a loving relationship with God your Creator.
We also hear we don’t always respond or trust our loving Creator. Our pride, envy, jealously and even anger damage our relationship with God. In our sinfulness we are deceived into thinking we don’t need God or we can do better without God interfering in our lives. We become like Adam and Eve who hid themselves from God and His truth.
In Paul’s Letter to the Romans, where there is sin there is also an abundance of God’s grace available through Jesus Christ who came to save us by His life, death and Resurrection. Pope Benedict XVI called the temptation of Jesus in the desert “a descent into the perils besetting mankind.” This happened so that we may be counted among those “who receive the abundance of grace, coming to reign in life through the one Jesus Christ.”
Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert. He is inviting us to trust like Him; in God’s grace and the Holy Spirit. Jesus was sent by the Father to show us the way, teach us the truth and share with us the life.
Jesus promised the apostles that He would not leave them alone; that He would send the Holy Spirit to pour into their hearts the gifts of wisdom, understanding, knowledge, counsel, courage, piety, and fear of the Lord. Like Jesus’ temptations in the desert, may the Holy Spirit lead and guide you through the dangers and challenges of life. The Lord’s greatest joy is that your life may be complete in living your life in relationship with your God and Creator.
Homily by Bishop John Noonan, Rite of Election
Basilica of the National Shrine of Mary, Queen of the Universe, Orlando – March 1, 2020