First Sunday of Lent

The readings for today’s Mass are exceptionally rich and could be the subject of several weeks' worth of lectures, so we will have to limit ourselves today to a few central themes.

(Disclaimer to my students: many of you have heard this before.  In fact, all of this is in the tradition.  I claim no originality.)

The First Reading is the account of the Fall, in which Eve, followed by Adam, gives in to temptation by eating the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.

The classic scriptural formulation of the nature of temptation is found in 1 John 2:15-16:

 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If any one loves the world, love for the Father is not in him.  For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the pride of life, is not of the Father but is of the world.


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