The Temptation

Then Jesus returned from the Jordan, filled with the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit led him into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil for 40 days. He ate nothing while he was there and was very hungry at the end of that time.

The devil approached him and said “If you are truly the Son of God, then you should tell this stone to become bread so you can eat.” But Jesus answered him “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from God.’”

Then the devil took Jesus up onto a high mountain and he showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor in a twinkling of the eye. He said “I will give all of this to you because it has been given to me and I can give it to anyone I want. It will all be yours if you will fall on your knees and worship me.” Jesus answered him “It is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve Him only.’”

So then the devil took him to Jerusalem and had him stand on the top of the Temple and said “If you are the Son of God, then throw yourself down from here, for it is written ‘He will order his angels to take care of you. They will lift you up with their hands so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’”
And Jesus said “It is also written: ‘Do not test the Lord your God.’”

Then the devil left him and immediately the angels came and began to serve him.

MT 4:1-11, MK 1:12-13, LK 4:1-13

Poem – Civil?

Why do we say it is
when we
tear down trees,
dig up rocks,
flatten hills,
evict the animals,
and build
a new subdivision
or a mall
or a freeway?

How is it “civilized”
or even human
in the sense of smart
in the sense of forward thinking
to destroy what is there,
to not live with the land
to remove shade
to remove our source of oxygen
to remove birdsong

to render the colors
into the grey
of asphalt
and the pastels
of house paint?

Why do we have to go away
from our homes
our “civilization”
to feel more at home
in our bodies?

We go to the mountains
to the seaside
to the country
to find ourselves.

We are lost
in the
we created
for ourselves.

Wouldn’t it make
more sense
to live with the land
to live with the
trees and wildflowers and birds and deer and opossum
and not tear it down
to grow our own trees and
plant our own flowers
and bring our own pets?

We say we like nature,
but only if it is on our own terms.
We like it if we can control it
and name it.

We shortchange our souls
to be civilized.